I traveled to Tanzania in West Africa last month with the folks from Coke to check out their amazing 5 by 20 initiative. If you haven't heard of 5 by 20, you should really...
Tips for Balancing Your Personal Life and Work
Keeping your personal life and professional life balanced is difficult. It is much like spinning plates as you juggle chainsaws on a tightrope, without a net. Despite that, it is possible to find a healthy balance between your real life and work. Here are a few tips that will help you with balancing life and work.
1. GET PRIORITIES STRAIGHT.
You must get your priorities straight. Decide what is most important to you and put that first. Except in extreme cases, family should always be first. Know what those extreme cases are and do not let work interfere with your personal life.
2. KEEP A CALENDAR.
Keep a calendar. Mark down important events for both home and work. Birthdays, anniversaries and other personal events should take priority. Take note of important work-related events such as when presentations are due and the like. Work at keeping those dates different to help maintain balance between your personal life and work.
3. LEAVE WORK AT WORK.
Leave your work at work. Do not take business calls when you are having family time or time with your significant other. Make sure your supervisors are aware of the important events in your personal life and that you are unavailable at those times.
4. COMMUNICATE WITH FAMILY.
Communicate with your family and/or significant others about the stress you are under balancing your personal life and work. Explain your priorities and ask for help. Brainstorm ideas on how you can have both quantity and quality time together. Make sure they understand how important they are to you and how you are striving for a balance with your personal life and work.
5. TRAVEL TOGETHER.
Whenever possible, travel together. Try weekend trips as a family or a couple. If an entire a weekend is not possible, a day trip would work as well. Take a road trip for a few hours to spend in order to spend time together.
Just breathe. Take time for yourself each day. Just a few minutes to clear your mind can help give you a fresh perspective on your personal life and work. You can not have a happy personal life or professional life if you don't take a little time for yourself. Relax and learn to say “life happens” when the unexpected happens that throws a wrench in your personal life or professional life.
7. POWER DOWN.
All technology has its time and place. Being able to power down is key to really be there and living in the moment. I know it is a cliche but it is true. I power down every day between the hours of 5-8PM. I give my family my full attention.
Balancing your professional life and your personal life is not an easy task. However, it can be done, if you are willing to make an effort to keep the two parts of your life separate. Follow this simple tips and you will find more balance with your life and work.