Do you have the feeling that you are always on call and there is no clear line between being at work and being elsewhere? Is the last thing you do before retiring for the evening checking your email? Do you need more time for yourself and your family? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are not alone. But all hope is not lost, claims time management coach and author of Devine Time Management Elizabeth Grace Saunders. She recommends four steps to achieve a better work-life balance, regardless of your position.
Step One: Define “After Hours”
Many decorative plumbing and hardware showroom teams don’t work conventional 9 to 5 jobs. If your position necessitates flexible hours, Saunders recommends determining when you want to be off the clock. Determine how your work hours mesh with your personal commitments such as taking your children to school or extracurricular activities, going to the gym or on a date with someone special. If your professional responsibilities demand your constant attention, Saunders advises, map out the amount of time you need daily and weekly for personal priorities and also set aside time designated as “off hours.”
Step Two: Have Mental Clarity
Develop a to-do list and establish milestones for task completion. Your list should include specific time slots for working on specific tasks versus time spent in meetings, responding to email, or interacting with coworkers.
Plan an end-of-the-day wrap session. Spend 15 minutes or so before going home to ensure that you have completed tasks with hard deadlines. Prior to leaving the showroom, scan your email to help assure that if there is a fire brewing, you are in a position to put it out.
Step Three: Communicate With Team Members
If you dedicate time for family, or simply for yourself, please let your team members know that unless something needs to be addressed immediately, you don’t look at your phone after 8pm and you most likely will not get back to them until the next day. If the situation commands immediate attention, you may want to tell your team to send a text instead of using email.
Step 4: Become More Productive at Work
Establish do not disturb time at the showroom where your team knows that you are not to be interrupted unless it is absolutely necessary. Schedule time to work on projects and to review email. If you have to work after hours, establish a start and stop time. I will work from home from 7pm-8:30pm and then stop.
It is not healthy or productive to be thinking about work all of the time. You need to set aside a few hours a day for your family and yourself. When you do, you become healthier, happier and more productive.