Life is hectic, and becoming more so every day. Our to-do list is ever-growing, but most of us dream about being highly productive and the opportunity leave the office at a reasonable hour so that we can fully participate in the other aspects of our lives.
Sylvia Huang contributed an article to PsychCenteral entitled, 5 Practices to Achieve Work-Life Balance. Her main point was that there are many techniques that we can employ, such as yoga, meditation, or massage to rejuvenate and stay motivated. But the bottom line is that, we must actually plan to have enough time to rest, sleep and replenish our energy supply.
She offers five tips to help us and each of them resonated with me. However you can read the original article here.
Negotiate reasonable deadlines and timelines. To the extent possible, attempt to manage your workload and requests so that you can leave the office on time. Always try to renegotiate tough deadlines for more reasonable ones. Try to make a counter offer for more feasible timelines.
Plan your after-work time. Of course we must make time for our family and friends. It will help to maintain our motivation if we plan to leave work at a reasonable hour, to enjoy desired activities with family or friends. For some additional motivation, Sylvia recommends imposing a penalty and donating the money to a charity of your choice each time you fail to exercise your new habit during less hectic periods at work.
Maximize your lunchtime. It may be counter intuitive to take breaks when trying to power through a busy workday, but the rewards of doing so are immeasurable. Using the lunchtime to reset and rejuvenate yourself is like taking a wonder pill for productivity.
Leverage existing materials and resources. When new tasks or projects are assigned, take a moment to reflect and plan before jumping into the new stuff. You may find that you can use some existing work that you or others have created to save yourself some unnecessary or additional work. As a bonus, you may be able to produce superior results by improving on previous versions in a shorter time than if you had started from scratch.
Begin to set clear expectations that you leave work on time. Make it a point to leave work at a set, reasonable hour every day after having completed your important and urgent tasks. If you can’t finish your work in time, communicate to your colleagues, manager or clients to negotiate a compromise. The main idea is to get the people you work with accustomed to the working hours that you’ve set.
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