Everyone wants to be successful in their careers. Most people stick to the traditional rules when it comes to work-life balance, but nowadays, the fine line between the two has become blurry. Many of these rules have become myths and most people are busting them one by one. What works for someone doesn’t necessarily mean that it will work for someone else. Some of these archaic notions need to be booted and there needs to be a new way of thinking. Our personal lives do not need to come to a grinding halt to be successful.
These are a few work-life balance myths that need to be kicked to the curb.
The power of eight
One of the most common myths is that a 24-hour day should be divided into three equal parts. Eight hours for sleep, eight hours for work, and eight hours for recreational activities. With the state of the economy and the amount of debt we rack up, however, many of us can’t afford to work merely an eight-hour day. The same can be said for sleeping and socializing. Many of us don’t have the luxury of sleeping for eight solid hours, especially with young children around. If we spend eight hours enjoying recreational activities, when does the laundry ever get done?
Instead of using this compartmentalized approach, manage your time according to priorities. If work needs to take priority, devote extra time to it. When all your deadlines have been met, celebrate it with a few days off.
Work more hours
There are some days when working late is necessary, but this doesn’t mean that working 11 to 12 hours a day is productive or healthy at all. When we’re overworked our immune systems weaken and our minds start to burn out. We don’t perform as well as we should, which starts to affect our productivity. Putting extra hours in also doesn’t mean that it has been a productive day. It may have been spent reading emails, attending long meetings, or focusing on distractions. This is why you have to be selective about your time.
Eliminate distractions, archive emails that are not related to your projects, and rather focus on the important tasks at hand. This will improve your productivity and reduce the amount of time it takes you to meet pressing deadlines.
Find a balance
In a perfect world, the nine-to-five day is more than enough time to get work done and getting home for dinner on time would be a breeze. Unfortunately, this isn’t a perfect world and things just don’t work out that way. For most entrepreneurs, managers, and CEO’s, there will always be an email to respond to or an important phone call that needs to be answered on weekends. It shouldn’t be about separating work and life from each other completely, then, but rather about how you manage it. There’s nothing wrong with a quick reply to an email when you’re having a barbeque with the family, just make sure that it doesn’t take away too much of your attention. There still needs to be some limits.
Ultimately, you need to find what works best for you. There will be some days you have to work late and other days where you’ll need to skip work to take care of your family – it’s all about creating the perfect harmony.