Ways to Balance Your Professional and Private Life
The separation of professional and private life and a good balance has become like an impossible mission for most people in the labor market. Amazingly, most of us are not even aware of this problem at all. It’s easy to be overwhelmed with the immense amount of work and responsibilities, especially if you like what you do. Read more: Work-Life Balance When Working From Home.
It’s easy to accidentally integrate work responsibilities into a period of time that you or your family should spend. The lack of control affects not only your relationships with the closest people but also deprives any leisure moments that can lead to very severe mental and physical burnout in the long term, which is promoted by increased stress levels and the lack of sleep.
Why do we lose the boundaries between professional and private life
The need to separate professional and private life is hampered by the link between technology and our professional life. We use technology and smart devices an average of 5 hours per day on an uncontrolled basis, looking at screens about 77 times a day. Research data shows that only about 2.8 hours of this time are productive and spent on the job.
Using smart devices for reading news as well as some special kind of brain relaxation, we often turn our planned rest into a regular business hour. Job emails, announcements, and to-do lists: all of this information is kept in front of us, so we often return to work responsibilities outside of office hours.
Another complicating factor is the increasing changes in traditional patterns of working time. Nowadays, many companies are based on the principle of working hours, where employees are allowed to work a certain number of hours conveniently for them and from any location. While flexible work schedules generally help increase employee productivity and well-being, there is a risk of losing a work-life balance.
How to avoid professional responsibilities in private life
- Understand your roles in specific circumstances. It is your job to be aware of your roles and responsibilities towards your loved ones, your work, and yourself. Be aware that you are a child or parent, a paid employee, student, sister or brother, and the like. Realize which of these roles are important to you and devote enough time to them!
- Don’t take too much work to make a better impression! This is very typical for people who have just started a new career. We take on all that is offered without realizing or evaluating our time and capabilities. Often, such reckless decisions result in overtime.
- The same applies to duties that do not fit your job. Do not take on unimportant jobs simply because you cannot refuse. Not all options are useful to you.
- Don’t forget about delegating work to colleagues and assistants. This way, you not only give other people job opportunities but also lighten the workload for yourself. In a work team, it is important to be aware of each employee’s strengths to use time resources wisely.
- Separate your professional and private life for your online profiles as well. 69% of Google employees constantly check emails outside office hours. Most of these people would like to change their habits, but the desire is not enough. Creates separate emails and social platform profiles. Use a different photo in each of them to help you navigate both profiles!
- The best way to keep your work and personal life separate when using smart devices is to use your computer for work only, but leave news and entertainment to your smartphone, tablet, etc. However, it is best to relax without using any of these devices.
Prevent private life from entering the work environment
In order to achieve a better separation between professional and private life, it is necessary to avoid the fusion of these two aspects of life. However, it should be noted that working in your free time is not the only risk. It’s just as uncontrolled that we tend to integrate privacy into the work environment.
- Do not check your private email during office hours, and use silent mode for non-business chats wherever possible.
- Avoid long phone calls with family and friends. You can discuss all the current events of the day with your loved ones at lunchtime, during breaks, or just after work.
- The details of privacy are usually not important in the work environment. Therefore, consider the information that is expressed and the emotions displayed in the work environment. Remember, there are topics that you should not talk to, even your closest colleagues, to maintain a professional work environment. Money, details of relationships, addictions, political and religious views are considered to be the most inappropriate topics in the work environment.
Other things that tend to distract
- Limit the amount of time you spend on the Internet. Of course, in today’s information-filled environment, this advice is easier said than done, but each and every one of us has heard success stories about productivity improvements the moment you start limiting your Internet activities.
- Current issues and news discuss with colleagues during breaks. Having a nice team is a very important part of any company, but friendly relationships can also result in long discussions during work time, which can delay you.
For those who work flexible hours
Remote work is most common for people who work in industries such as telecommunication, IT, marketing, accounting, and project work. While people who work from home value their work more highly than those who do not have this opportunity, they also face new challenges to balance private life.
- While the work environment allows you to disperse your working time, try to choose a specific time you plan to work and stick to it. The statistics show only 26% work after normal working hours, but 40% work after 10 pm.
- If you stick to a specific working time, you should be able to fit into the hours you need already on weekdays. Try not to work on your weekends. If you feel that this scheme is not working, opt for the other two days of the week that you promise not to work or even think about work-related things. If the job is very stressful at a given time, have at least one free day!
- Remember, rarely can a person concentrate for more than 90 minutes, so don’t let yourself get tired and take a moment to relax! Such short breaks will improve your productivity, so don’t be afraid to sacrifice a few minutes for a short respite!
It is easy to lose the true essence of yourself in an everyday rush – don’t forget about the need for physical activity, relaxation, and being with your loved ones. A good balance between professional and private life must become the goal of conscious and planned change. A rested man is also a productive man!