Americans are working more than ever in 2015, and striking the perfect work-life balance feels more like a pipe dream than a real possibility as employers demand longer hours and increased productivity.
A recent study from Ernst & Young found that one in three American workers find their work-life balance increasingly difficult. But there are solutions out there, such as the following:
Talk to Your Boss
If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. Your supervisor is not a mind reader and can’t always know your tolerance for work.
If you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed at your job, sit down with your boss and talk about anything from tools to make your job easier to work-from-home policies. There’s no guarantee you can have everything you ask for, but there’s no way to know until you do ask.
Ask About Working From Home
Speaking of work from home, it’s still a practice that seems foreign and inefficient to many old school employers. The classic school of thought is that employees need to be present in the office to get real work done; however, in 2015 that is just no longer the case.
Working from home has a ton of great benefits: It gives you the chance to work at your own pace, experience a change of scenery and enjoy more privacy.
What your boss might not realize is that it can benefit them, too. For example, tech careers like developers and programmers require lots of focus and it’s hard to get into the zone in an office setting. Working from home gives you the chance to focus in a setting of your choice, and that means more productivity. Working from home also gives employers the chance to hire from different locations (a solution that might not help immediately but could go a long way for a future policy).
Realize the Importance of Downtime
You probably have enough responsibilities outside of the office, such as your home, raising a family and more. So, if you don’t make room for downtime in your life, you’re just asking for burnout and it could cost you your career. There are a few ways to create effective downtime even during a busy day:
- Get up earlier in the morning to enjoy a slow, steady routine before work
- Leave the office during lunch to get a change of scenery and enjoy some privacy
- Designate a room in your home for personal time where you can get away from your family, spouse or roommates
These solutions may seem simple and mundane, but just doing one of these can go a long way and make the workday feel less stressful.
Even though it’s such a simple concept, it’s so difficult to execute. Managing your time is a make-or-break skill in the workplace. Luckily, you already have a tool that helps you do this with ease: a smartphone. Not only does your smartphone come with a digital calendar to manage your events, appointments and alarms, but it also has a myriad of apps that break down your tasks, to-dos and anything that involves managing your time.
And smartphones that come with stylus pens, like the Galaxy Note 4, help you naturally and quickly navigate these apps. Do a search for “best time management apps” and the choices are endless. To help narrow down your choices, look for the same few apps that you see on every list.