If your work-life balance lately feels a lot more like work-work, it may be time to make some changes. Maybe you’ve already started thinking of ways you can restore the balance, but as you do so, have you experienced that nagging fear that you may jeopardize your career? The short answer is that it shouldn’t in any way; the honest answer, however, is that you still should be smart about it.
To find the work-life balance you need without jeopardizing your career, employee these suggestions:
* Make use of technology. Modern technology offers you plenty of advantages when it comes to carving out a healthy work-life balance. Inquire about opportunities to work from home and use them when you’re not swamped with meetings. If you resolve to work during the periods when you normally sit in rush-hour traffic, you’ll increase your productivity and find a better work-life balance at the same time.
* Accept a new normal at home. If you can’t find more time to enjoy yourself at home, see what you can do instead to make your limited time at home even more enjoyable. Consider asking for help with small chores like dusting and making the bed every day, and turn laundry into a weekend duty. Eliminating any of these tasks from your daily routine means you could have more time to spend enjoying life.
* Take stock of the importance of your activities. Take a look at the routine activities that make up your daily life and ask yourself, “Does this activity positively impact my work? Does this activity positively impact my life?” If the answer is no in both regards, drop it. Life is too short and your work-life balance is too precious to waste time on activities that don’t improve you personally or professionally.
* Exercise smart. Physical exercise is a common victim of a poor work-life balance, so protect your right to get fit by exercising smart. Walk or bike to work if you can and take the stairs instead of the elevator. Use your lunch break as an opportunity to get fit and consider exercising after work if you can. A quick workout before you drive home may be just the ticket to open up that freeway.
* Set attainable goals. If a goal to reduce your work week by 10 hours isn’t doable, don’t try. A drastic change like that could jeopardize your career. Instead, set a smaller goal, such as leaving an hour early one day each week. Then, plan a fun activity to do that night when you leave early. By making the most of your free time, you’ll enjoy a better work-life balance without harming your career.