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15 Ways to Balance Life and Career

Maintaining a balance between life and career is an ongoing battle in everyone’s life. Weighing the scales equally on both sides is a must to win this battle.

Balancing life and career can be a shaky roller coaster ride in today’s competitive world. As you grow in your career, responsibilities will increase both on the career and home front. Achieving a cent percent work-life balance will seem like an almost impossible task.

But a few changes and methods along the way will take you closer towards that goal.

  1. Prioritize: Begin the week by prioritizing. Tackle the most important tasks first, both at work and home, and then move on to the next important task.
  2. Choose: Make a list of tasks that eat a lot into your time. Like with clutter, you have to discard tasks that do not add value.
  3. Focus: Aim at completing things before you move on to the next. Don’t let extras get in the way. Every email does not have to be replied to the moment it lands in your inbox.
  4. Keep a handle on time spent: Keep track of time spent on tasks and see that it does not extend more than necessary. Delegate if required.
  5. Keep options open: If your company allows you to telecommute, you can easily work from home a few days a week. Explain to your employer how the arrangement will work for both parties.
  6. Do not mix office and home: Leave your files firmly locked up in your office desk. Do not carry work home. At the same time, focus on work when in office. Do not answer personal emails. Take personal calls only if necessary and keep the conversation brief.
  7. Communicate: Communication is not just important, it is imperative. Keep your employer and colleagues posted when you have to be away or taking off from work for a few days to deal with family issues. You will gain their support by staying connected.
  8. Learn to say ‘No’: Difficult as it may seem, many a time saying ‘No’ when you really cannot take on a task is vital. Respectfully refuse to act as standby for a parent at a school charity show or serve overtime at work for a colleague when you have a full plate yourself.
  9. Get fitter: An unhealthy lifestyle and bad habits can shake your work-life balance like no other. Good sleep, a healthy diet and proper exercise will make you more confident and efficient.
  10. You can be less perfect: Perfection is definitely a virtue but do not let it come in the way of your happiness. An unmade bed or a dusty window is better than a foul mood.
  11. Integrate personal interests into your day: Whether it is a game of tennis or a few chapters of a novel, take time to pursue your interests; you will feel relaxed instantly.
  12. Take a vacation: Plan time off for holidays even if it is a short trip. It’s an ideal way to recharge your batteries.
  13. Get unplugged: Technology is great for efficiency but it is also a perennial interference. Go into switch-off mode with your gadgets when at your child’s concert or at an evening dinner with friends.
  14. Share housework: Share household chores with your spouse. It helps in greater bonding, better understanding and more time.
  15. Make time for yourself: It is okay to do nothing once in a while. Slow down and enjoy the small things in life. Don’t burn yourself out to the extent you stop appreciating the finer nuances of life.

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