Keep Your Sanity: 10 Ways to Balance Work and Life in Gov

If you’re like me, you probably find yourself thinking at least once a week that there are just not enough hours in the day. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you’re busy at work and in your personal life. However, it can be even more difficult when these two worlds bleed into each other. Sometimes it’s an impossible decision to choose between work and your personal life.

And for those of you participating in the NextGen Leadership Program, you have one more thing – as rewarding as it is – to fit into your busy day. As a result, we wanted to give you ten tips to managing your work-life balance in this week’s NextGen Leadership post so you can balance your work and personal lives instead of having to choose between them.

  1. Know your limits. Maybe you can go to a cardio class at 5 a.m., be at work by 7 a.m., go straight to your daughter’s soccer practice after work and then wake up and do it all again the next day. However, not all of us can live a constantly on the go lifestyle. Know when you have too much in your schedule and then learn to say no.
  1. Set priorities. Start each week by deciding what is important to you and what you can spend your time on. Choose 5-10 things that you know you can and will get done this week.
  1. Track your time. Over the week, write down how you spend your time at work and at home. Then look at how this aligns with your priorities. If what you spend most of your time on doesn’t match up with your highest priorities, look for ways to reorganize your schedule.
  1. Take a minute. Whether it’s a walk around the office, aimlessly scrolling through social media for five minutes, or a couple moments of meditation, try taking a few minutes each day to re-center yourself and give your brain a break before you keep going with your daily duties.
  1. Take a vacation. The longer-term version of taking a minute, taking a vacation allows you to more wholly recharge. Whether it’s a few days or a week or if you go somewhere or just stay home and hang out, refocusing on what is important and recharging yourself is critical to top performance at work and in your personal life.
  1. Seek support. We are definitely not meant to do everything alone. Talk to your partner, close friends or boss about how you are trying to create balance in your life. They can help keep you accountable and on the right track.
  1. Set boundaries. Whether they’re physical or electronic, everyone needs boundaries. Set some time away each day to be by yourself and don’t let coworkers, partners, or children intrude on that time. Additionally, establish times where you turn off your phone and stay off of social media and email. These boundaries allow you to regroup both physically and mentally.
  1. Set goals. Know what you want to accomplish in both your career and at home and set goals that allow you to achieve both. Setting goals also allows you to realistically understand what things you are going to have to cut back on to achieve the balance you want.
  1. Try a flexible work environment. If you can and want to, talk to your boss to see if teleworking is possible for your position. Even if it is just one day a week, this will give you the flexibility to focus on other priorities at home while still getting work done. For example, who doesn’t love the efficiency of folding the week’s laundry while still being virtually present for a team meeting?
  1. Say no. This tip comes in handy when you’ve reached your capacity of things you can do in one day and when you simply don’t want to do something else. It can be hard at first, but ultimately you can’t do everything and you will feel much more balanced when you say no to things that aren’t a priority.

Got some work-life balance tips that we didn’t mention? Throw them in the comments! Additionally, for more information on all things professional development, check out all of the NextGen Leadership program’s blogs here.

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