A client of mine asked me to help address balance in their life as they frequently work late and don’t have much time left for any kind of social life, especially during the week.
We looked at their normal work patterns which included working with colleagues in other time zones on the other side of the world.
It turned out that it had become normal for my client to stay late to accommodate the needs of the teams on the other side of the world. Effectively making this their new norm.
We decided on one simple trick that I use myself to ensure that their personal life was given equal priority…
What to Do
We blocked it out in their online diary. Just as you would any other important part of your life.
You write business appointments down so why not schedule your personal time too, especially if you find yourself constantly being asked to stay late for meetings.
How it Works
By booking the time out in your diary you prevent Parkinson’s Law, which states that a task will expand to fill the time allotted to it, from taking over your life.
Your home life should and must have equal priority if you are to avoid burn out and diminishing returns of effectiveness in your work.
Effectively, you have to erase/delete your own time to allow for a work commitment to encroach on what would have been your time. This engages the brain more fully and also prevents the automatic scheduling of meetings by colleagues when you should be unavailable.
How to Reinforce It
Another helpful hint is to ensure you have something planned for that personal time; cinema, theater, dinner with family or friends or even your household chores (which in themselves can be a meditative experience). Anything that will prevent your much needed down time becoming “free” to your colleagues and you when you are asked to stay late.
Again this helps to ensure that you don’t slip back in to old habits of working late routinely by having nothing planned in your off time. Even if this means booking time out to read or do whatever leisure pursuit you favor.
Remember always to switch off your work communication devices once you leave the office. Unless you are contractually obliged to be on call there is no need for this to be on. You will only be tempted to “have a quick look” and be drawn back in to whatever others are doing. Resist at all costs.
If you enjoy these tips please share and tell others. If not, tell me.
What else would you like more tips and information on to help you live a life of success without the stress? Please comment below.
As always If you’d like to discover more about how to improve your own performance, balance or reduce stress in your optimal life your way you can Book a FREE 2 Hour Coaching Discovery Call with me HERE.