The pressure to be the best and most productive at work can be pretty overwhelming. The problem is we all have a personal life, too. When we pursue being the “best” in both of those places, it can be a recipe for disaster.
We’re all seeking balance in every aspect of our lives. And with company cutbacks placing increasing emphasis on job security and creating more internal competition, that pressure can be pretty overwhelming for employees. So how do you find that elusive nirvana? Forbes published an article about how to reach that promised land.
Life is constantly changing. Marriage, children, personal issues are all going to make major impacts on anyone’s life. There are a couple small steps you can take to ensure that you don’t lose your way. The trick is taking the time to really take a look at your life and edit out what doesn’t fit. Jody Greenstone Miller, who is an author and chief executive of Business Talent Group, has a few tips that can help you on your way.
“Focus on the things that are important to you, and don’t do the extraneous stuff,” says Miller. “It’s a discipline that doesn’t come too naturally to most of us.”
We all have a lot of things that compete for our time outside of work. The tendency is for us to scatter our attention on many different pursuits. This tends to wear us out and not give us the sense of accomplishment we desire. Miller suggests taking inventory of those things and devoting ourselves to a few pursuits that we can really commit to without feeling overwhelmed or ineffective.
Another option to consider is telecommuting. Not every company offers this, but it can really help give you extra time to handle some of your personal life issues that compete for your attention while at work. Don’t be afraid to broach the topic with your manager. You may be surprised by their answer! They may be sympathetic to your needs, seeing as how everyone has their own daily struggles. Companies care about their workers and want them to succeed.
Next, keep an eye on your technology use. The important thing to remember is that technology ideally exists to help us, not control us. Our phones and tablets can be a means to great efficiency and productivity. But when we utilize them obsessively and without any boundaries, they can quickly become the tail wagging the dog. Setting up boundaries and technology “blackout” times when we’re at home helps to establish that critical work/life balance. And don’t be afraid to let your co-workers and managers know about your boundaries either. They probably won’t be frustrated or irritated. In fact, they likely will respect the proactive steps you’re taking to protect yourself. Barbara Wankoff, director of workplace solutions for a professional services firm called KPMG, agrees.
“Set up your rules and adhere to them. This doesn’t make you inflexible or unresponsive; it just allows you to be more in control of how you work.”
Loretta Penn, former president of Spherion Staffing Services, add that this discipline can be practiced in the workplace as well as at home.
“You don’t have to respond to every e-mail or voicemail as soon as it comes in. Just because someone else deems something a priority doesn’t mean you should too.”
We here at AccelaWork know it’s easy to have devices affect employee satisfaction and attention. Shut off your phone, turn off your computer, and give your full attention to family and work separately.