Really… Take Time Off? Help for finding work-life balance

If you think work-life balance is impossible here are some tips

As you consider your typical workday, does any of the following sound familiar: I wake up tired, I eat lunch at my desk, I cannot keep up with all the email. If you answered yes, sounds like you may need some Work-Life Balance. How is this mysterious balance that we all desire achieved?

“You will never feel truly satisfied by work until you are satisfied by life.”  ~ Heather Schuck

New research tells us that to achieve “work-life balance” instead of doing more, we should consider spending more time doing less. We should engage in strategic renewal … daily workouts, naps, more sleep at night, more frequent vacations. The research suggests that strategic renewal boosts productivity, performance, and health. Here are a few ways to work on your own strategic renewal.

Take time off. You may be thinking, I do take time off. But are you really off? Many of us submit our vacation time, only to spend our days off responding to emails that come in, or scheduling conference calls that easily could wait until our return to the office. To maximize the benefit, we must find ways to really be off.

For those of you thinking, “who has time, for time off? You are not alone. The number of unused vacation days by Americans is on the rise (9.2 vacation days unused in 2012). Research also suggests that those individuals who do take more vacation have higher performance ratings from their supervisors and report increased job satisfaction.

Increase your energy. Time is finite …there are 168 hours in a week. No matter what we do, we cannot change this. Energy is NOT finite… it is renewable. More energy means we can be more productive with the time we have. While you can’t increase the hours in the day, you can increase your energy.

Tips for increasing energy:

  1. More time at work means less time for sleep. Less sleep = decreased performance
  2. Take breaks. Working at 90-minute intervals may help you maximize productivity.
  3. Take time off… and make it count. You will likely find that by really enjoying your time off, you will be more present when you are back “on.”

Strategic renewal can help you achieve work-life balance. Contact your Trust Program Manager to explore resources available through EXOS and the YMCA to assist you with your strategic renewal efforts.

This Lifelete Fundamental was powered by This Habit is Worth Making (and Keeping) posted by Mario Batali, award-winning chef, author and entrepreneur.