How to Attain Work Life Balance

When I think about work life balance, it becomes clear how essential it is to happiness. When I hear someone say that they work 80 – 100 hours a week, there is a problem. Either you’re a workaholic or very badly organized. I have never worked more than 40 hours a week in my life for two reasons.

1. I don’t want to – I believe in balance between work, life, family, leisure and so on

2. You don’t have to. If you are well organized, you can get it done.

In a recent Forbes article, they offer several ways to overcome working too hard. Did you know that after approximately 7 hours, your productivity drops dramatically?

Here are some ways to attain the elusive work life balance.

Let go of perfectionism

  • A lot of overachievers develop perfectionist tendencies at a young age when demands on their time are limited to school, hobbies and maybe an after-school job. It’s easier to maintain that perfectionist habit as a kid, but as you grow up, life gets more complicated. As you climb the ladder at work and as your family grows, your responsibilities mushroom. Perfectionism becomes out of reach, and if that habit is left unchecked, it can become destructive, says executive coach Marilyn Puder-York, PhD, who wrote The Office Survival Guide.

Unplug
From telecommuting to programs that make work easier, technology has helped our lives in many ways. But it has also created expectations of constant accessibility. The work day never seems to end. “There are times when you should just shut your phone off and enjoy the moment,”

Start small and build from there

We’ve all been there: crash diets that fizzle out, New Year’s resolutions we forget by February. It’s the same with work-life balance when we take on too much too quickly, says Brooks. Many of his workaholic clients commit to drastic changes: cutting their hours from 80 hours a week to 40, bumping up their daily run from zero miles a day to five miles a day. It’s a recipe for failure, says Brooks. When one client, who was always absent from his family dinners, vowed to begin attending the meals nightly, Brooks urged him to start smaller. So he began with one evening a week. Eventually, he worked his way up to two to three dinners per week.

“If you’re trying to change a certain script in your life, start small and experience some success. Build from there,” says Brooks.

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