Back in the 50s, as more and more advancements in efficiency were being made, theorists predicted that workers of the future would only work a few days a week, and they worried about how we might fill all the extra time we had when the world became more efficient with the help of technology. Well, the opposite has come to pass. Workers today, actually work more hours than they did 60 years ago, and advancements in technology are actually making it harder for us to let go of our work at the end of the day and find balance in our lives. If you’ve found that you are working even when you are not working, maybe it’s time to make a change, focus on more things that you want to do, and spend more time with your family.
1) Set times and stick to them
If you feel like you need more balance in your life between work, family, and relaxation, the first thing you need to do is set some boundaries. Pick a time in the day at which you will stop working and will not respond to phone calls or emails that relate to work. It can be hard, but you’ll feel better about yourself if you can stick to it. Then you can set times for spending time with your family and doing other activities. For example, you could say that you end work at 5, spend time with family until 8, then focus on a “me” activity until 10—a time when you focus on something you want to do for yourself. When you set apart time for specific activities, you’ll begin to feel more balance in your life.
2) Switch Gears
One of the reasons it’s hard for some people to find balance is because they don’t know how to switch from their work life to their after-work life. If the transition from work to life isn’t well defined, then it can be hard to separate the two. To help you along, you might try drastically switching gears when you plan to transition from one phase of your life to another. For example, if you stop work at 5, try going directly into playing a game with your children, or walking the dog when you get home. When you plan to have a transition, you will better adjust to your new schedule.
3) Become Something New
Many people work all the time because they feel like their work defines them. If that describes you, then it’s time to redefine yourself. You need to step back and realize that you are more than your financial success or last quarter’s performance review. You are a whole person who only does those other things so that you can eat and have a place to live. Start a new hobby, commit to spending time with you family, and you might begin to see your life from a whole new perspective.
Finding balance is really all about creating a new definition of yourself based on what you really want to get out of life. But the first step to achieving that balance is setting boundaries where you can explore other experiences and spend time on the things that really make you happy.
About the Author
Diane Johnson writes about pell grants, and anything else that interests her. She enjoys traveling, reading, sledding, and sports.
*Image courtesy of Yoga Tune Up.*