The Dog Days of Summer: Tips to enhance your Work-Life Balance

work life balanceSwimming pools, beach umbrellas, barbeques, and long-days spent soaking up the summer sun.  The Dog Days of Summer are upon us and though school is out until autumn, the learning should continue.  June, July, and August should become the months to make sure that balancing your work life and maintaining a mental equilibrium soar to the top of your to-do list.  While the effects of a high stress work environment and long hours are evident to each employee, employers are dedicating more time and energy to address employee-wellness issues.  According to a report on the importance of work-life balance by Business Improvement Architects, “Employers are becoming increasingly aware of the cost implications associated with over-worked employees such as: operating and productivity costs, absenteeism, punctuality, commitment and performance. [Consequently,] there are five main reasons why companies participate in work life balance programs: high return on investment, recruitment and retention of employees, legislation, costs, and union regulations.”

“Companies that have implemented work-life balance programs recognize that employee welfare affects the “bottom line” of the business.” – Business Improvement Architects

Here are some ways to develop your own homeostasis in your daily work-life balance:

A fresh perspective
It is human nature to veer off your chosen path, losing oneself to the many distractions of life.  We often have moments during a task or process where we stop and realize that we’ve been wasting valuable time instead of being efficient.  We also realize when we get so wrapped up in an effort that went poorly or a meeting that was far from perfect, we lose sight of the big picture.  As The Telegraph’s Hazel Davis points out, “You can’t control everything that happens in your life, so try and create processes, scheduling and timekeeping for those aspects you can control.  Then release the aspects you can’t control so they don’t make you crazy.”  Remembering to step back and objectively analyze a situation or series of events will help you maintain a clear perspective not only for yourself, but also for fellow employees.

Organize, Manage, and Prioritize
So much can be lost amongst the hustle and bustle of daily work.  What was once a tidy, well-oiled machine can quickly morph into the haystack of all haystacks.  Having a well-organized and properly maintained work area can have a positive impact on how you feel about your work place, being well structured also extends to your personal priorities.  The Mood Disorder Society of Canada suggests you “Identify your priorities and adjust your life to make time for things important to you.”  So often, we lose sight of what is important and instead of being excited for new challenges, we resent the burden of unwanted problems.

“Finding a manageable work-life balance is crucial for long-term business success.” –Hazel Davis, The Telegraph

Consider How You Spend Your Time
Ask yourself this question:  On a daily basis, how do you spend your time?  If you are putting in long hours at the office, are you giving the same focus and effort to your personal wellbeing at home?  Amy Rees  Anderson of Forbes explains that, “In all the talk about work/life balance we forget that part of balance is taking time for you.” Taking time for personal activities such as exercising, reading, or simply getting out of the house can do wonders for an overworked psyche.

Recharge
Sleep.  Sleep.  And more sleep.  As time, energy, and inevitably stress increases, the need for extended periods of sleep rises as well.  Martin Bjergegaard of The Huffington Post writes “When you’re sleep deprived, research shows that you make the wrong calls, focus on the wrong tasks and fall into the trap of working longer but less efficiently.”  Remembering that you will be a more efficient and well-balanced employee with a steady amount of sleep can help you set aside the time, regardless of work-load, to achieved a well-rested body and mind.