Work/life balance is always hard to maintain. There’s a mountain of work to do, and you feel that pressure. At the same time, the holidays are coming up. There are so many extra tasks associated with the season that you know leaving work at 5 pm is critical to getting everything done. Plus, if you’re taking time off, there is the added stress of knowing you must get caught up at work so you can enjoy the vacation. There has to be a way to do all this, right?
Here are some tips for maintaining balance between your work and life during the holidays.
What Are Your Priorities Today?
Anytime you’re feeling overwhelmed with tasks, prioritizing what you must get done today is a good way to calm that out-of-control feeling. Try jotting down your tasks into three categories based on what you want to accomplish today. Pro tip: Try making this list the night before you come into work for more focus in the mornings. Divide your list into:
- Things you must do today.
- Things you feel obligated to do today.
- Things you want to do today.
To make your list, ask yourself what are the nearest deadlines you must hit. Prioritize your task list by those deadlines to get control of a mountain of daunting tasks.
You can use this same technique to reorder your holiday tasks, too.
Use Time Blocks
Once you’ve prioritized your tasks, it’s time to organize how you complete them. Have you heard of time blocking? It’s a great technique to get more done and achieve work/life balance in the process.
Time blocks are like a secret weapon for those organized people that seem to have it all together. No need to be jealous—you can do this, too. Time blocking divides your eight-hour work day by the priorities you’ve set. But it does this to the detriment of everything else. The idea is that you focus on that one key priority during that time block and nothing else.
Here’s another secret: Humans stink at multitasking. Only about 2.5% of the population can effectively multitask. Clinical studies show the human brain can’t take all of the context switching between tasks. Most people lose efficiency each time we stop what we’re doing to answer an instant message or shift our focus from one task at a time. It takes a huge amount of energy to constantly switch between tasks. This means it takes a lot longer to get your task list accomplished.
Setting time blocks can look something like this:
- 9-10 am answer emails and messages.
- 10-12 work on priority task 1.
- 12-1 lunch and a brief walk.
- 1-2 pm answer emails and messages.
- 2-4 work on priority task 2.
- 4-5 work on priority task 3.
- 5-6 respond to anything urgent and make a new task list for tomorrow.
- 6 pm go home and enjoy your life.
Contact Us Today
Try using this same technique on your days off during the holidays to see if you can accomplish more. But if you’re in a job where you’ve tried this technique and you still can’t find work/life balance, perhaps the issue isn’t you—but the job itself. That’s where ADD STAFF can help. We help people find the right employers. Contact us when you’re ready to change your life for the better.