Finding a work-life balance is tough for all of us in the 21st century, but it can be especially difficult in the tech industry. Technology does so much to make our lives easier both at work and at home, but it has also caused those two sectors of life to blend together to our detriment. On average, tech industry workers check email or instant messaging every 6 minutes at work–that habit can be hard to break after clocking out at the end of the day. Technology also makes it especially easy to multitask, reducing our ability to focus on one single task both in and out of the office. If these struggles sound familiar to you, here are a few steps to restore balance and avoid burnout at work.
Set Goals, Priorities, and Boundaries
Reaching the perfect work-life balance routine looks different for everyone–the first step is deciding what this means for you. Analyze your daily life now: how you feel about the time and energy you devote to work versus aspects of your life like family, friends, relaxation, self-care, exercise, hobbies, etc.? If you perceive an imbalance or sense of unfulfillment, decide what aspects of your personal life need more care and attention and prioritize them, just like you rank the most important/urgent projects at work. Set goals that serve these priorities. For example, if one of your priorities is to spend more quality time with family, set a goal to avoid checking work-related texts or emails after 5:30 PM. Prioritize family time by setting distinct boundaries that keep this important time separate from work. For more tips on how to make the most of your time at home, read up on Weekend Habits of Highly Successful People.
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Another important step to honor your priorities set to maintain your own version of work-life balance is to communicate your goals and priorities. Speak with your manager about your goals and discuss ways that he or she can help support your new search for balance. Make sure to cover how this endeavor will positively affect your productivity at work. Additionally, discuss strategies to help current and future employees to better achieve work-life balance, such as flex hours or an earlier start to the workday. Emphasize how seeking a balance will help the company as well as its employees.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, communicate with your team leader or your manager. Ultimately, if you are struggling to keep up with the workload, your quality of work will decline and your productivity will eventually suffer–no one wants this kind of burnout to happen. Work together to come up with solutions that allow you to be the best version of yourself at work and outside of work.