Are you feeling stressed? That doesn’t come as a surprise given that the economy is still in the doldrums and businesses are trying to do more with less. Bloomberg reports that productivity levels in the United States remain quite high, but all of that is coming at a price: people are finding it difficult to cope.
While analysts believe that high productivity levels cannot be sustained for the long term, that doesn’t mean you are stuck until then. Indeed, if you find yourself at the breaking point, then you MUST take action now.
Let’s take a look at some of your options:
1. Talk with your boss. If you are a valued employee, then your supervisor will respect your desire to put some balance back into your life. That could mean that if your job is adversely affecting your family, then asking for flexible hours or to ability to work at home at least one day of the week is a reasonable request.
2. Manage your time better. The information age means so much stuff is thrown at us throughout the day. Those “things” can eat at your time and increase your stress level. Benjamin Franklin said, “Lost time is never found again.” Limit your email checking, Facebook and Twitter activities and other modern ways of communicating. You’ll dial down the stress level a notch or two.
3. Set your priorities. Going hand-in-hand with time management is setting your priorities. Sometimes it is too easy to give equal importance to differing tasks. Assess what you do, how you do it and what can be turned over to someone else. Chances are some of the work you are doing just doesn’t have to get done. At least right now.
4. Get outside help. Talk with your spouse about how you want to manage your life better. He or she will understand especially if those changes benefit your relationship and your family. Hire a sitter for your children so that you can have date time with your spouse, ask older children to take on chores such as cutting the lawn and consider speaking to a spiritual adviser if you’re just weighted down by everything.
5. Look for new work. Let’s face it: not every change made will solve every problem including your desire to do something else. Days give way to weeks and then months and years fly by. If you are stuck in a miserable situation, then actively work on finding a new job, perhaps even making a career change.
Not sure if your work/life balance is off? Then take this quiz to find out where you stand.
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