5 Steps to Keep Work From Invading Your Home Life

Married to your job? It comes at a cost.

It can be tempting to stay late and get in early, especially if you’re looking to move up the ladder, manage an increasing workload or just trying to stay above water. When you spend all your time working your home life, health and even your work may take a hit. Poor work-life balance leads to fatigue, poor health and lost time with family and friends.

You can’t add more hours to the day but you can create more time for yourself. Consider these ideas to help you keep work at the office and enjoy more free time with the ones you love.

Delegate the tasks you can hand off or cut out the activities that produce no value. For one week track where your time goes at work and see where you can cut back.

A tough one to follow but when you’re plate is already full taking on more work isn’t helpful for anyone. When someone asks you to help out on that extra task, remember it’s alright to respectfully say no. When you stop taking on tasks out of guilt or a false sense of obligation you’ll find more free time for work and activities.

The expectation in today’s world is that you’re always available. Once you step out that door you’re on your own time. Even if the trip home is short, think of that period as a transition from work life to home life. Cranking out those last few emails, reading that last memo or making that final phone call on the way home robs yourself of that needed time to decompress from work.

Turn off the phone when you arrive home. Best way to leave work behind is to cut the virtual string by turning your phone off. If you don’t feel that adventurous set your phone to Do Not Disturb mode. This will allow people on your contact list to ring through but otherwise will not ring, vibrate or display notifications while locked. Learn how to set this up for both iPhones and Androids.

Stopping at the gym on your way home is good for your body and soul. If that’s not possible once you get home grab the dog, kids, spouse and head outside for a walk (weather permitting). Fresh air will feel good and with the technology distractions left at home you’ll have a chance to really connect.

Everyone needs some time to themselves. Walking away from work for a few hours each night will help you gain new perspective and you’ll find complete work faster. Finding the work-life balance isn’t an overnight event … it’ll take some time and it’s a continuous process as work, family and interests change. If you find yourself stuck late at the office again go back to these 5 simple steps to help get your balance back.