It’s that time of year when most people look back over the last year to consider what went well and what could’ve gone better. If you feel your work-life balance was not level, you’re in good company. According to a 2015 EY study, 1/3 of people feel their work-life balance is a struggle.
You have to work unless you’ve won the lottery, an inheritance or plan on going homeless. It’s an option.
In an ideal world, you work in a job you don’t hate. If you’re lucky, you like your job. Even if you love your job, you can still live an unbalanced life.
In fact, the more you like your job, the more likely you are to keep loose rules about your work.
To curb your enthusiasm, make these your rules for 2017.
Plan Time Off Now
You can change your mind but plan your time off for the whole year now.
Consider how many days off you’ve earned. Consider holidays. Try to space out your time so you get the frequency of breaks that you need.
If you think you don’t need time off, consider the people with whom you work. They need time off from you.
If you’re in a leadership position, and you think it’s okay to skip vacations, consider the message you are sending. The people who work for or with, think they work for someone who doesn’t value balance.
You can’t talk your way outta this one, with the whole “don’t do as I do, but do as I say” logic. You have to be the example.
Leave Work On Time
The best advice you’ll ever get about the workload is, it will be waiting for you when you return.
You should not miss your commitments or deadlines, but don’t ever think you’re done working. It’s okay. You can come back to it.
Nobody on his deathbed remarked that life would’ve been better with more time spent at work. Plan your day every day, before it starts, with priorities that you work in order. Then, when it’s time to leave, do it.
Set a time that you start packing up your things to leave. Stick to it.
Go spend time with your family. If you don’t have a family, go make some friends. Spend time with them.
Don’t Work Sick
Don’t take it personally; nobody wants you around when you’re sick. It’s not you. It’s the phlegmy coughs and snotty sniffles.
That, and body else has your dedication. They don’t want to get sick. Nor do they want to feel like they need to work when they’re sick.
Kidding aside, it’s one thing if you have a little cold, but don’t go to work with aches and pains or nausea. There are no awards for the toughest employee.
There is no company that awards bonuses to people for working sick. If your place of business is worth working for, they’ll question you for coming into work when you don’t feel well.
Listen to them. Go home. Rest up.
Stop Giving Rides
Not people, I mean emotional trash. Don’t let any garbage join you in your commute.
This means you leave your work at work when you go home. It means you leave your home at home when you go to work.
Your family doesn’t need to hear about the drama at your job. Your work comrades should not know about your marriage battles.
See a professional counselor if you need someone to talk to. You’ll get more out of it without straining the ears of the people you spend your time with.
Plus, what will be the opinion of your spouse regarding your job if you’re always complaining? What will the people at work think of you if you complain about your home life all the time?
You will spend 2-3000 hours of your life at your job this year, maybe more. Those are all hours of your life.
If you spend them watching the clock to go home, counting the days to Friday, then you’re flushing your life down the trash. You are wishing away the hours and days.
Add to that, if you drink through your weekends and evenings, then the only time you are present is when you are sleeping. You think you’re all work hard play hard, but it’s more like you’re practicing death.
Take up mindfulness meditation. Teach yourself to keep your head in a given moment.
If you hate your work, then 2017 is the year you find a new line of business.
Setting boundaries is key to maintaining balance. You don’t have to etch them in stone.
If there is a circumstance that warrants you bend your rules, then do it. They’re your rules, after all.
But, if you’re always bending the rules, then why set them in the first place? It’s time to stop, consider the circumstances, then ask what’s going awry?
Remember, this is the year you create balance.