With the evolution of technology over the last two decades, work and workers are now seemingly accessible around-the-clock. The problem is that this constant connectivity has created an imbalance in the relationship between work and personal time. A recent study by the Harvard Business Review reported that 94% of people surveyed work at least 50 hours a week, with half working over 65 hours. While many employers may be happy that their employees are so dedicated and committed to their work, this often has negative effects for the employees. The compounding stress of too much work is truly damaging and can hurt relationships, health, overall happiness and coincidentally, can lead to reduced productivity.
Being in the IT world, especially in NYC, you have the enjoyment of flexible work schedules, often that you dictate on your own. However, working from your home or own location can often create a blur between where work starts and ends. To have a productive and enjoyable 2015, here are some tips on finding the work-life balance .
- Unplug: As we said, there are many advantages of having this constant connectivity, however it has created this expectation of nonstop accessibility. It is important to remember to make quality time actually quality time – keep your phone in your pocket or out of sight and don’t check or answer any work-related messages you receive during this time. Constantly checking emails and texts when you are off the clock can create an undercurrent of stress and will make you unable to disconnect from work.
- Prioritize: For consultants, you may have many projects happening simultaneously all while managing your personal life. It is important to decide what projects have the most importance and make a schedule accordingly. Concentrate on one thing at a time – if this means turning off your email notifications and checking it in batches, do so. Stop surfing the web when you are on the clock. Don’t take on too much. This will help to maximize the hours that you are working instead of dragging them on.
- Strive for excellence, not perfectionism: As your progress through life many more responsibilities come into your life that require constant hard work – family, career, etc. And, within each of these facets, there is a pressure to be perfect. The key to not burning out is letting go of unrealistic expectations – strive to be excellent at everything you do, not perfect.
- Take care of yourself: This is probably the most important tip in the list. Getting enough sleep, having great nutrition and participating in physical activity are all essentials in keeping you feeling and performing at your best, whether it is at work or home. If you don’t prioritize these things, you will find it impossible to be successful.