Editor’s note: This is a guest blog by our LiveWell at Work sponsor Kaiser Permanente Colorado.
The fact is we are all busy. Rushing the kids to school, hurrying out the door to get to work on time, squeezing in a quick lunch before your next meeting. Whatever keeps you busy, finding work-life balance is a challenge.
What constitutes balance is different for everyone, as is the stress. At work, you may be stressed about your home life. At home, you may stress about your job. It seems like a vicious cycle and interferes with your ability to achieve balance.
Does this sound like you?
- You always have more work to do at your job?
- Too many people depend on you every day?
- You never have enough time for yourself, your family, or friends?
- You never have time for hobbies or things you enjoy?
- Each second of your day is scheduled?
If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, chances are you need a plan to achieve work-life balance. Here are a few tips to start you on the right path:
Manage your time
Focus on what's most important to you.
Taking on too much can wear you out. Learn to say "no" and let go of things that do not matter.
Set one small goal at a time.
Use a day planner. Break large projects into smaller ones. Schedule time for yourself to exercise, meditate, relax.
Ask for help.
Let your children, spouse, coworkers and others help you get things done.
Leave your work at work.
Don't give up free time to get more work done. If your job offers a flexible work schedule, use it to fit your own work style.
Do not let technology (such as your cell phone or the Internet) erase the line between your time and your employer's time.
Reduce job stress
Job stress can be caused by:
- pressure and deadlines
- heavy workloads or long hours
- lack of autonomy at work
- health and safety hazards
- uncertainty about your employment or job duties
Consider talking with your boss to change things. There are some things that you may not be able to control, but even a few small changes might help lower your stress. Work with your team to come up with creative solutions to manage work load for everyone.
Those most successful at reducing stress have learned to identify problems and implement solutions. Decide to make a change in how you manage stress. Identify sources of stress including positive changes in your life, which cause “good” stress.
Stress won’t disappear from your life, but learning how to deal with it will make you happier and healthier at work and at home.
Andrea Groth is a Senior Wellness Consultant for Kaiser Permanente Colorado with 18 years of experience in her field.