Seven steps to achieving balance between professional and private life

Achieving a proper balance between private and professional life should be a priority to every person. Unfortunately, many of us fail in the attempt to combine these two realities. This results in the lack of time for family and poor performance when it c

Achieving a proper balance between private and professional life should be a priority to every person. Unfortunately, many of us fail in the attempt to combine these two realities. This results in the lack of time for family and poor performance when it comes to work. There are many methods that make it possible to achieve harmony in this field. We just have to learn how to make that happen. The balance between job and home is very important for every man because it is a way to achieve psychological comfort. This is the reason why everyone should pursue this harmony.

A good organization of professional work makes it possible to draw pleasure from social life and, at the same time, helps find the necessary hours for family duties. If we are unable to achieve good level of organization, life becomes full of quarrels and torment. Now, in the time of economic crisis, many employees of various companies have been assigned additional tasks because some members of the staff lost their jobs. The amount of work has resulted in the lack of time for family and private life, not to mention pleasures and hobbies.

How to achieve the previously mentioned balance between professional and private life? Though not easy, it is possible to reach this goal if we follow a number of valuable rules. It is worth mentioning that in order to apply them in practice, we have to show much self-discipline and determination.

Step one

The first step on the way to achieving the aforementioned harmony between professional and private life is the establishment of good communication. We should inform our coworkers and superiors about personal matters that we have to deal with during a given day. We should be open about it even if these matters are scheduled for the time after we finish work because some of us have superiors and workmates who call us even after we leave our office. If we have important family related tasks to complete, we should inform our company and then switch off the phone. Our coworkers should respect the fact that we are no longer at work and do not have to answer their questions. Generally speaking, we should focus on doing one thing at a time; after all, we are not robots – we do not have the ability to complete several tasks simultaneously. If we follow this rule, we will gain more time.

Step two

If used correctly, widespread state-of-the-art electronic tools with innovative technologies help optimally organize our time. We cannot allow for modern technologies to disorganize our professional or family life. We should not be afraid to make use of such tools, however, we should not, e.g., answer e-mails from our company while sitting at home; we should not even check our company’s mailbox. Let us separate all the things that are related to our work from what we have at home. If we do that, we make a step in the right direction. A popular mistake that many people make is taking work home. Even a single e-mail, the sending of an offer, or a business conversation on the phone at home can destroy the balance between personal and professional life. Such a situation happens very often, unfortunately. If we are at home or simply away from work, we should not be occupied with professional duties, unless there is a very important reason, something crucial for our project or the company as such. However, such a situation must not repeat often. We have to learn to identify our priorities in order to recognize what needs to be done immediately and what can wait till the next day at work.

Step three

Working at home can have a positive effect. In fact, it can help achieve the balance between professional and family life. Thanks to remote work, we can save time and money which we would otherwise spend on reaching our workplace. What is more, working at home makes it possible to combine household duties with job requirements. Unfortunately, not everyone is suitable for remote work. It is difficult in many ways. In reality, the model situation described above – simultaneously doing our home and professional tasks while still having time for our own pleasures – is very hard to achieve. Most of all, we have to show much discipline and consistency in action. We have to establish working hours and breaks and stick to the boundaries. Otherwise, the time we spend at work will stretch from 6 or 8 hours to 12 or 14 because in the meantime we will cook dinner, do the ironing, wash clothes, or take care of our children. It is indeed possible to achieve harmony between professional duties and private matters while working at home, however, this will prove to be a difficult path to follow for many people. What is more, other people who live with us have to understand that, though we are present at home, we have to focus on professional duties and we should not be disturbed during our working hours.

Step four

Assertiveness is a quality which is very important for the aforementioned harmony. It is very good if we are not afraid to say no. If we accept everything that our superiors, workmates, partner, children, or anybody else say, we are unable to find time just for ourselves. The number of things to do greatly increases and we have problems to complete them. We have every right to reject a post in the parents committee at our child’s school if we are aware that we will not be able to find the time to engage in this kind of activity. If we take up that post however, under such unfavorable circumstances, we will soon discover that we disturb the balance we wanted to achieve, and that we lack the necessary time to accomplish our professional tasks, or simply that we left no room for relaxation which is so important to regain our strength. If we stop doing things which we are asked (not ordered) to do and which we should do, but do not have to do, we will find spare time and energy to do things that simply bring us pleasure. If we always say yes and never even try to say no, the people around us, be it at work or at home, get into the habit of overburdening us with tasks up to the point in which we stop doing what we truly have to do. We get stressed because we are unable to finish important things on time. This is why assertiveness proves to be an invaluable character quality.

Step five

The feeling of guilt can totally devastate a person. It often appears when we are unable to cope with all the tasks that lie before us. Unfortunately, every day lasts for a limited period of time, and we cannot work constantly for 24 hours. We have to find time for relaxation, our children, and some small pleasures. Life is not just about work; household duties should not absorb us totally as well. We do not have the necessary strength and talent to do everything perfectly. Some things will be done well, some a bit worse – it is perfectly natural. Let us not even try to pretend to be superheroes because such characters exist only in movies and comic books. Real life can truly be hard, that is why we have to distance ourselves from daily challenges. If we are unable to cope with something, we should accept this fact and search for different solutions. If we do not have time to prepare dinner for our partner and children, we should take them to a restaurant or order a pizza. Nothing bad will happen if we eat outside home from time to time. We can find similar solutions to many different situations, also in relation to our professional life.

Step six

Paying too much heed to small matters can lead to a state of paranoia. There are people who are obsessed with perfection. They pursue it even if it means sacrificing their health or personal happiness. Such a situation must never appear. Nothing bad will happen if our business offer does not have its pages numerated. It would be much worse if it was not sent to our contractor on time because such a situation could result in the loss of a lucrative assignment. It is no different when it comes to household duties. We have no doubt that many people simply hate untidiness, however, a layer of dust on a bookshelf or some clothes hanging on a chair are not harbingers of the end of the world. If we stop paying attention to such insignificant details, we will find pleasure resulting from different things. Let us not be worried about mess at home or some other petty issues – let us rejoice with what we have. We admit that it could always be better, but let us not forget that it could always be worse as well. Once again, the balance between what is and what could be appears.

Step seven

Free time should be something sacred to us all. We must not sacrifice it in order to tidy up the house or to fulfill some additional job related tasks. It is worth to appreciate every free moment and do what pleases us most in that spare time. Therefore, let us not do non-obligatory professional tasks at home. If we learn to do that, it will quickly turn out that we are able to draw pleasure from life and not worry about exhaustion or job burnout.

The balance between private and professional life is difficult to achieve, however, if we follow the steps we mentioned earlier in this article, we will be able to achieve success in this field. We should treat this as a kind of challenge – a challenge which should become our priority. If we start perceiving this problem in such a way, even perfectionists who have to be nothing short of perfect at home and at their job will find some spare time and will finally be able to truly rest. The most difficult thing to cope with is a situation in which we fail to reach a deadline. If we learn to remain calm under such circumstances, nothing will be able to force us to put professional duties above the time devoted to our family. Everything should have its place; it is no different when it comes to work. Once again – life is not only about work. We should establish priorities in both our professional and family life. We have to pursue them, and, at the same time, we have to work on our character, and our actions.