Let’s face it ― at times life can feel like a circus with you, the ringleader, struggling to tame your never-ending list of responsibilities involving assignments, projects, team meetings and deadlines. In today’s society, we are challenged with expansions of the traditional idea of a workday. As a recent graduate of James Madison University and one of IGS’ newest team members, I am learning that finding just the right amount of work and personal time can get complicated.
In fact, I have read several articles that claim work-life balance is unattainable. Personally, I choose to reject these claims. There isn’t one right way — or wrong way for that matter — to balance your time, but I do believe some techniques can help you along the way. I’ve outlined a few methods below that I have found helpful in managing my work and personal life.
Set clear, attainable goals. Begin each week by outlining daily goals for yourself. Having these set goals will not only help you hold yourself accountable but will also outline a stopping point for the day. Once you have accomplished what you set out to do each day, you can start to remove yourself from the stress of your workday.
Make use of weeknights. Don’t allow yourself to become a weekend warrior, running yourself ragged on Saturdays and Sundays trying to enjoy personal activities. Make dinner plans with a friend or catch an evening Washington Nationals game (go, Nats!). Some of the latest trends include participating in adult sports leagues or wine and paint nights. The options are endless, especially in the D.C. metropolitan area.
Make a work best friend. You might be surprised how far having a best friend in the workplace can take you. Studies show having friends in the workplace not only increases employee satisfaction but it also increases your productivity. Increased productivity creates more time to tend to your endless to-do list.
Be present. When you designate personal time for yourself, use this time to be present with family or friends. Give them your undivided attention. Don’t allow yourself to get caught up in a work-related email or call unless it is absolutely necessary.
Ultimately, finding the right work-life balance comes down to finding life within your work. When you see the meaning behind your work, you will likely better prioritize your responsibilities, thus increasing your productivity and overall life satisfaction. At IGS, we have a dedicated team that takes pride in our collaborative and creative work environment. The IGS team is industrious but also knows when to have a little fun. As the saying goes, we work hard and play hard.
How do you manage your work and personal life?