If you’re finding it more challenging than ever to juggle the demands of your job and the rest of your life, you’re not the only one. Many people in Namibia are putting in extra hours, or using their smartphones or laptops to be on call when they’re not physically at work.
There was a time when the boundaries between work and home were fairly clear. Today, however, work is likely to invade your personal life — and maintaining work-life balance is no simple task.
Work-life balance can be defined as a concept including proper prioritizing between “work” (one’s career and ambition) and “life” (one’s health, family and leisure).
A lot of people are having a more difficult time finding balance in their lives because there have been cutbacks or layoffs where they work and they are afraid it might happen to them as well. Thus they put in the extra hours as they feel it will help them maintain their position or better their chance of getting that promotion they’ve been longing for quite some time.
It may be tempting to rack up those extra hours at work, however if you’re spending most of your time working, though, your home life will definitely take a hit.
Poor work-life balance can lead to some serious consequences such as:
- Fatigue: If you are over tired it reduces your ability to work productively and think clearly. This can take a toll on your professional reputation.
- Health: Long working hours can cause stress which may have adverse effects on one’s immune system. Stress also puts one at risk of substance abuse.
- No time for Family: Working long hours or overtime might make you miss important family moments and events. This can leave you feeling left out and damage your relationships.
- Increased Expectations: Working extra hours might lead to you taking on extra responsibility. This can cause extra stress and challenges that one will have a really hard time facing.
When asked about why we work overtime and such long hours, most of us answer that it is out of our control.
Even if you don’t have much control over the hours you have to work, you can ask yourself: In what other ways am I bringing greater enjoyment into my life?
One needs to focus your time and attention on things you can control.
Here are 5 tips you can use to bring a little more balance into your daily routine:
Add downtime into your busy weekly schedule
When you plan your week, make it a point to schedule time with your loved ones and friends as well as activities that will help you recharge and give you more energy like going to the gym. Time spent with your family and friends should also be adventurous and fun such as date night with your spouse or paintball with your friends. You’ll have something to look forward to and manage your time better so you don’t have to cancel.
Drop activities that drain your energy
Many people waste their time and energy on people that add no value. Such as spending too much time at work with that one colleague who constantly just wants to vent and gossip.
You need to become aware of activities that don’t enhance your career and personal life and minimize the time you spend on these activities.
Rethink your tasks
Consider whether you can outsource any of your time-consuming household chores like ordering your groceries online instead of going to the shop to buy them and asking the boy down the street to mow your lawn for a small fee. Even if you’re on a tight budget, you may discover that the time you’ll save will make it worth it. But it’s this saved time that you need to use resourcefully like spending it with your family, creating memories and building relationships.
It’s hard to make time for exercise when you have a jam-packed schedule, but it may ultimately help you get more done by boosting your energy level and ability to concentrate.
A little relaxation goes a very long way
Don’t assume that you need to make big changes to bring more balance to your life. Set small realistic goals to get to the overall big goal you want to achieve. Start small like decide to leave the office one night early per week. Slowly build more activities into your week that are important to you and your health. Even during a hectic day, you can take just 10 or 15 minutes to do something that will recharge your batteries like reading a book or going for a walk.
Most importantly, know when to seek professional help. Everyone needs help from time to time. If your life feels too chaotic to manage and you’re spinning your wheels worrying about it, talk with a professional — such as a Counselor or Life Coach. We at Capacity Trust offer these services and want to help you grow your capacity to find a better work-life balance.
If your employer offers employee assistance programs, take advantage of the available services. Or if you feel your employer needs to implement new employee wellness programs then let them give us a call so we can help and work on not just improving your daily life but everyone in your company’s as well.