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Keeping your work and home life separate

When you have a demanding job, work can easily take over your life. Drawing boundaries is essential so that you don’t become a workaholic. There are a few things you can do to help prevent this from happening.

Stressed mom working

Spending more time at the office than at home, or, are you always bringing work home with you? Nip this in the bud before work overtakes your entire life. Gaining more work/life balance will take a conscious effort, but the rewards — more me-time and more time with your family — are well worth it.

Assess how you use your time

For one week, track how you spend your time — both at work and at home. Look at the results and determine what must be done, what you enjoy doing and what can be eliminated either by cutting it out completely or by delegating the responsibility to someone else. Having this clear assessment of your time will help with your next step: talking to your supervisor.

Talk to your boss

Most employers recognize that an overworked employee is not the most efficient employee. Discuss what your options are. Can you work from home one day a week, for example, or is there someone on the team who can handle a certain task so that it’s off of your plate? Perhaps flexible work hours is something your supervisor would consider.

Resist the urge to work from home

Many of us, especially with smartphones, feel the need to be regularly checking our email to stay on top of things. But the truth of the matter is, except for certain jobs and situations, we don’t need to be on call 24 hours a day. Put away your mobile phone so that you won’t be tempted to pick it up every time you hear it buzz with the arrival of a new email. And, of course, leave your files at the office; without them, you simply don’t have the option of diving into work after you’ve put the kids to bed.

Set realistic priorities

At the office, rather than blindly barrelling through the pile of work you have to complete, take some time at the beginning and end of each day to set a list of realistic priorities, and use this to guide you. The key word here is “realistic” — avoid the temptation to list more than one person might possibly complete in an average work day, or else you’ll be burning the midnight oil once again.

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