Hi, Kell here!
Welcome to the Work Smarter Not Harder Newsletter #31.
In the last 4 years the Center for Work Life Balance canvassed 10,000 people and found that work life balance has not improved.
Managerial and professional workers report poor work life scores and long work hours.
Managers and professional workers have a strong influence on workplace culture and their poorer work life scores do not augur well for other workers seeking better work life outcomes.
The majority of women (60%) feel pressured by a lack of time and nearly half of men surveyed report feeling the same way.
Poor work life balance can increase the risk of job burnout and rob you of quality time with friends and loved ones.
The issue of achieving the right work life balance is of considerable concern for society and our personal wellbeing.
Here we provide you with some tips to achieve better work life balance.
5 tips to achieve work life balance
- Increase your effective time at work
Often we think of the number of hours at work rather than the effective hours at work?
How many hours are you spending on your high impact activities? Those activities that really move you toward achieving your objective?
Do you spend alot of time at work but just don't get to these high impact activities?
If so, then you may benefit from increasing your number of effective hours at work.
In last month's newsletter we talked about how the average worker (according to the Wall Street Journal) can spend up to 6 weeks per year searching for documents that they already have.
One way to boost the number of effective hours is to reduce this search time. Here are a number of tips.
- Organize files. 85% of documents in the average filing cabinet are never needed. This means that you need to search through at least 4 documents to get to the document you want.
This contributes to that 6 weeks search time!
- Executives I work with report email overload. Some of the email accounts of executives I have worked with have over 8,000 emails in them!
Your email is not a task management system, a contact list, or a calendar - there are far more effective time management tools that you can use.
Use these email etiquette tips to stay on top of your Inbox.
- An organized desk is another way to reduce distractions at work and reduce the average workers 6 weeks of search time.
A messy desk means that you end up pecking at projects until you are distracted by a post-it note or other file on your desk.
This can mean that you peck at projects rather than focusing on your top priorities.
Here are some tips on how to organize your desk and increase focus.
- Effective people know how they spend their time - and they ensure they spend it on their high impact activities!
Track your time with a time management log or free time tracking software and do these time management activities.
If you can increase the time you spend on your high impact activities by 5% then you will notice a difference!.
Share with us your work life balance tips and be a source of motivation and inspiration to others.
- Set clear priorities.
People who feel like their work life balance is out of whack often feel a lack of control.
Get back in control by setting clear priorities and being proactive, rather than reactive, in your time management.
How do you do this?
Have a clear priority system!
Whatever priority system you use, whether it is the ABC method in the to do list, or the Pareto principle, make sure that you are clear on your high impact tasks.
Writing down your priorities and focusing on them throughout the day means that you are less likely to peck at unimportant tasks or leave things incomplete.
- Plan your work and work your plan.
Planning saves time!
Planning will keep you on course in achieving your goals and objectives.
Abraham Lincoln reportedly once said, “If I had 60 minutes to cut down a tree, I would spend 40 minutes sharpening the ax and 20 minutes cutting it down.”
When developing your plan consider:
- setting deadlines for projects.
- focus on tasks that move you towards your long-term goals. These family goal setting tips can be useful to clarify whats important for your family.
- gain more clarity on your career and the next steps to take then use these career goal setting strategies.
- Focus on the family.
In a study conducted by Galinskey (1999): Ask the Children: what America’s children really think about working parents, parents and children consider being un-rushed and focused as the most important aspect of the time they spend together.
Good family time management gives you tips to spend more quality time with the people who matter most to you.
Share with us your family time management ideas and be a source of motivation and inspiration to others.
- Use stress management techniques.
Inadequate work life balance creates pressure.
Pressure to get work done, pressure to spend more time with family and friends.
Stress feels like a hurricane coming at you from all directions.
Bills are piling up, pressure of deadlines at work, demanding family responsibilities....!
We have all been there!
These stress management techniques help you take control of stress.
Take our stress management poll and tell us what stress management techniques you use.
New Time Management Courses and Templates
New Work Life Balance Template
In the last month we have updated a number of templates. One such template is the work life balance template.
Other templates can be used for:
We have revamped our course on time Management for students. This is for students who juggle many demands and want to improve their student time management.
We have also created a new and improved time management course for people who want to get things done in less time.
Your feedback and requests are important to us - actually they are the driving force behind this website.
Contact us today if you have any comments, views or feedback, so that we can improve our site for YOU
Do you want to work from home?
As a registered psychologist and time management consultant, I work with elite athletes, business professionals, and students on a daily basis.
This type of work means that I travel regularly, either with national teams or to the offices of executives.
But with a family and a baby on the way I am keen to do less travel and more work from home.
To all of our subscribers, please let us know your comments, views or feedback so that we can improve our site for our most valuable resource - YOU
All the best,
Dr Kell and the team at Effective Time Management Strategies wish you all the best.