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Experts on Creating a Work-Life Balance


Article by Hayley Hyer

Photography by Stock Images

If you have been working from home and are now transitioning back to your office, you may find it a bit hard to adjust. You probably had gotten settled into your routine at home and found a nice rhythm for getting your work done while also managing whatever was going on at your house at the same time with pets or family members.

Here are some experts' advice on returning to the office while maintaining a healthy, balanced lifestyle.

3 Tips from The Muse

1. Instead of multi-tasking, I look for ways to overlap things. Best example: When my kids were little, I had no time for hobbies, but I was dying to try birdwatching. So I introduced it to my seven-year old son, thinking he might like it, too. He was hooked, and so we started doing birdwatching together. It became the perfect overlap of time together with a hobby for me.

2. Schedule recurring social activities, like a monthly book club or weekly dinner with your best friends. By having regular activities like this written into your calendar, you'll be able to plan around them (instead of planning your social life around work).

3. If you start telling people you need to leave at a certain time, you’ll be much more likely to do so. Make the commitment to yourself, and then share it with others: As you discuss plans and assignments throughout the day, tell your colleagues, “I’ve got to be out of here on time tonight, so if you need something, let me know by 3 PM.” Try this method one day, then another, and then the next. Eventually, you’ll retrain your colleagues to expect you to leave on time every day.

READ MORE: 37 Tips for a Better Work-Life Balance

6 Tips from Deborah Jian Lee at Forbes

1. Let go of perfectionism

2. Unplug

3. Exercise and meditate

4. Limit time-wasting activities and people

5. Change the structure of your life

6. Start small. Build from there.

READ MORE: 6 Tips for Better Work-Life Balance

3 Tips from Mental Health America

1. Set manageable goals each day. Being able to meet priorities helps us feel a sense of accomplishment and control. The latest research shows that the more control we have over our work, the less stressed we get. So be realistic about workloads and deadlines. Make a “to do” list, and take care of important tasks first and eliminate unessential ones. Ask for help when necessary.

2. Be efficient with your time at work. When we procrastinate, the task often grows in our minds until it seems insurmountable. So when you face a big project at work or home, start by dividing it into smaller tasks. Complete the first one before moving on to the next. Give yourself small rewards upon each completion, whether it’s a five minute break or a walk to the coffee shop. If you feel overwhelmed by routines that seem unnecessary, tell your boss. The less time you spend doing busy work or procrastinating, the more time you can spend productively, or with friends or family.

3. Ask for flexibility. Flex time and telecommuting are quickly becoming established as necessities in today’s business world, and many companies are drafting work/life policies. If you ask, they might allow you to work flexible hours or from home a day a week. Research shows that employees who work flexible schedules are more productive and loyal to their employers.

READ MORE: Work Life Balance