2013 Work Life Balance Tips

December 27, 2012

Young adult using a smart phone

Work Life Balance Tips for 2013

In 2012, I set myself one major work life balance goal.  It was a tough one, particularly based on the past few years, where I hadn’t achieved it at all.  The goal was to have 2 weeks off.  As I have always worked better with a deadline, I have come to the end of the year and with no surprise, I am cramming in the remaining days to make up my 2 weeks off over the course of the last year!  Phew…. Mission accomplished!

For anyone who knows me, knows that I love what I do, therefore whenever I stop and take leave, that is when I get creative and my mind starts ticking away with ideas.  I will no doubt have to contend with this over the next few weeks, particularly as I have been planning an exciting 2013 ahead!

I wanted to share some other specific actions I took in 2012 to achieve better balance in the hope that this may also give you some ideas of actions to take to improve balance in your own life in 2013.  I must admit, this was the hardest year I have had to achieve balance in my life, with working on a project with stakeholders all around the world and having to deal with multiple time zones.  This meant that there were activities happening anywhere from 6am up until 11pm at night.  This meant a typical day no longer existed.

Here are some of the specific actions to consider for 2013 to help you to achieve work life balance.

1.       Set weekly tasks in advance

My work schedule became busier this year than previous years.  To help ensure that I stayed on track, that I didn’t work too much and still achieved what I needed to, I started an important weekly routine.  Every weekend, I would plan my week in advance, including when I would work and what specific tasks every day that I would accomplish.  I applied this to both professionally and personally, to ensure that I also made time for my personal goals, plus spending time with the people that I care about.  To help me do this, I invested in a whiteboard with a week breakdown by days that I would write my tasks onto each relevant day.  As the week progressed, as needed, as sometimes circumstances/events change throughout the week, this allowed for flexibility to modify tasks where necessary.  Since starting this routine over six months ago, I have certainly felt more in control, more focused and able to achieve more due to planning in advance.

2.       Stop checking your work emails first and last moments of the day

To help keep on track of work activities throughout the year, I started using my iphone to check emails at all hours of my awake hours.  This started as a simple checking my work emails whilst I was still in bed before starting the day and also just before I went to bed at the end of the day.  I became addicted to checking it and I soon noticed that the line between business and personal was consistently blurred and my work seemed to always be on my mind.  It has only been a few months, but at the start of each day I now complete my morning routine before checking emails – such as getting ready, having breakfast, reviewing my tasks for the day and getting in the right frame of mind.  This has made a HUGE difference and has helped me to keep work in perspective.

3.       Cook for two or more meals at one time

I’m not much of a cook, as I find it difficult to justify the time spent in the kitchen when I could be doing other things.  This past year I spent time cooking bulk meals to freeze and also mostly cooking meals that I would get at least two meals out of.  This helped me to save time in the long run, so I wouldn’t have to cook the food from scratch again or have all the washing up to do as well.  Plus having frozen left overs, certainly helps when you have those days you’re completely buggered and the thought of take away leaves your body cringing.

4.       Put the mobile devices down

As the world of technology has taken on a whole new level of mobility, devices are now common place in our modern lives.  It is unfortunately very easy to get caught up on social media, internet searching or playing games on these devices.  It is important of course to have a way of relaxing and winding down, but we all must be careful that it’s not consuming our lives.  As we reflect on the year that was and look at the year ahead, make sure you take moment to put your devices down and connect with those important to you.

For more work life balance tips, download our free work life balance tips ebook today.

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