August 17, 2017

If you had to rank your stress level on a scale of 1–5, what would it be? Aside from time spent at work, most of us have responsibilities outside the office—involving family, finances, pets, social activities, health and many other things. When we feel life sliding out of balance, it can cause stress. You probably hear it all the time or even say it yourself: “I’m so stressed out!” Well, you can take steps to balance your life at work with your life outside of work, and allot adequate time for your responsibilities for each—helping to keep your life well-balanced and manageable.

How to achieve work-life balance

With a little organization and planning, you can take your life from stressful to much more stress-free. Try the following:

Set reasonable goals

No one can do everything at once. However, everyone can do something at once. The best way to plan your time at work (and at home!) is to create a to-do list. Think about what you can reasonably accomplish in one day and stick to it. If you finish with time to spare, you can always take on something extra. But planning to do way more than you can comfortably accommodate leads to stress, a feeling of failure and longer work days.

Be efficient with your time

This takes a little planning and practice. At work, determine when your peak performance hours are. Then, plan to tackle any tasks during that time that require the most concentration. Work on other easier tasks during your off-peak times. At home, plan thoughtfully to be efficient and cross more tasks off your to-do list. For example, if you need to go to the doctor and get groceries, choose a grocery store that’s on the way home from your appointment so you won’t need to go out of your way.

Communicate your needs

When you have a lot going on outside of work, talk to your boss. They may help you build a work schedule to accommodate your needs. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your responsibilities, ask for guidance and support. If your employer offers an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), take advantage of it if you need to. Outside of work, identify your support network (such as your spouse, a friend or a parent), and ask for help if you need it to meet your responsibilities.

It’s important to take time for yourself, too

Life is not all work, either in the office or at home. It’s important to take your scheduled breaks every day at work, and use your vacation time. At home, set aside time to have fun. The mind needs time to rest and rejuvenate—this is a key element in work-life balance!

Looking for your next job?

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