I can’t speak for all men, but I’ve observed that many of us are terrible at work-life balance. Many of us work too hard and play too little. While this may sound like a “first world problem” to some, we know that our bodies and minds suffer from overwork, which affects our personal lives. So, it is important that we find the most effective way to manage our time and achieve a better work-life balance?
Time is the scarcest resource and unless it is managed nothing else can be managed. Time management is life management. Time management has nothing to do with how many hours you put in at work. It is all about working smarter, not harder.
One of the most common complaints I hear from lower level managers and employees entering the workforce is that they don’t have enough time to get their work done. The reality is that time management isn’t about finding more time, but rather about making better use of the time you already have available. How? By taking control of your schedule, your day-to-day tasks, and your long-term goals. Below are some time management tips that can help you achieve work-life balance:
1. Create a Time Audit
You can’t manage your time well until you understand where it goes. Many of us have a vague sense that we waste a lot of time, but we don’t know where or how. To find out, try an experiment. For one week, carry around a little notebook and write down what you do every ten minutes during the day.
2. Set Clear Priorities
Once you know where your time goes, you can set priorities and decide how much time to allot to each task. The most important thing here is to be realistic about how long things take. If you’re like most people, your first priority will be to get control of work activities so that they don’t spill into after-hours and weekend time with family and friends.
Then at the end of the week look over the results. You’ll probably be surprised at how you spend your time. A lot of office workers are amazed to discover that they spend only 20% of their time on things they consider their main job responsibilities. This kind of discovery is painful, but only by discovering the truth can you improve.
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3. Learn to Say No
Saying “no” is a key part of setting priorities and putting boundaries around your time. For example, if a co-worker drops by with a “quick question,” he may really need an hour or more of your time to work through it. It’s okay to tell him that you’re unavailable now but can talk later in the day or tomorrow, after you’ve cleared your current tasks.
It takes practice, but saying “no” when appropriate is critical for success at work and at home. Saying yes to everything means you overcommit yourself, which leaves you feeling stressed and tired.
4. Set Boundaries
The first thing you will need to do is make sure that you set boundaries and let people know what they are. If you want to be able to spend more time with your family, then make sure that others know that you are not available for work from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., for example.
5. Get Up Earlier
Getting up earlier in the morning can give you time to exercise, get organized and enjoy time with your family before heading off to work. Be sure to set an alarm that will wake you up in plenty of time so that you don’t feel rushed in the morning. If getting up earlier is difficult for you, try setting several alarms or asking someone else in your household to wake you up. You should also consider going to sleep earlier so that early mornings are easier on your body clock.
6. Schedule Things in Advance
If you have a meeting at work, schedule it for a specific time, rather than saying that you’ll have the meeting “next week” or “when everyone’s ready.” This will get things done faster and will allow you to be home in time for dinner or for your child’s soccer game.
7. Limit Work-related Activities Outside of Work Hours
If someone emails you about something that needs to be done at work, don’t respond immediately. Instead, wait until you’re back at work the next day and then respond in a timely manner. This will keep your mind on your family when you should be focusing on them, and it’ll keep your mind on your job when you should be focusing on it.
8. Manage Interruptions
Are constant interruptions affecting your efficiency at work? If so, consider whether they can be avoided or cut short. For example, if colleagues talk to you at length about their personal problems when they come into your office, ask them if they would rather book an appointment with you.
9. Schedule Time for Family and Friends
Make sure that you schedule time in your calendar for your loved ones. It’s easy to let work take over and neglect spending time with the people who matter most to you.
Conclusion In conclusion, it is important to be aware of your time management skills and how they impact your life. As well as understanding how you can improve the balance in your life and make positive changes. If you are someone who has a busy schedule and you don’t know where to start with improving your time management skills then I would recommend writing a list each day that outlines all of the things you need to do. This will help to priorities tasks, as well as helping you to feel more organized. You could also use technology to help improve your time management skills such as using calendars or apps that can help you manage your time more effectively.