Finding Your Work-Life Balance

on 09 | 11 | 2013

A lot of technical professions, particularly engineering are becoming increasingly demanding. Engineers, software developers and IT experts, especially at startups, are spending many hours in their offices and work stations trying to fulfill their individual professional goals. Regardless of how much time you spend working, the workload never seems to reduce. In today’s working environment, it’s becoming very easy to get caught up in to-do’s and not realize the impact that this might have on your life as time set aside for family, friends and yourself reduces.

All work and no play can decrease your efficiency at work as well. The best way to increase your alertness and rejuvenate your working energy is ensuring that you have sufficient rest and personal time. You don’t have to wait until retirement to enjoy life; it’s possible to enjoy life and still meet your professional goals. Here are some critical tips to help you maintain a healthy work/life balance:

Make Time for Your Hobby

Engineering is very challenging, especially when you are faced with an enormous workload. Consequently, it is becoming more commonplace for engineers to find themselves dropping their interests and their respective hobbies for focusing more on their professional tasks. Your activities and hobbies however, shouldn’t be considered as a hindrance to your work but rather an energizing factor. Making time for your interests is an excellent way to unwind after a hard days’ work – doing so will help you unwind and spur creativity. If you find that your hobby is too time-consuming to pursue during the week, be conscious of making time for it over the weekend instead of scavenging for available hours after work.

Cut Your Unproductive Working Hours

Marilyn Puder-York, a famous New York executive coach and PhD psychologist, says that a significant number of people waste a lot of time at work on unproductive activities. This subsequently decreases their productivity and forces them to increase the number of hours they work in a week to complete their tasks.

It’s advisable to take short resting periods at intervals throughout the day. However, the periods should not be prolonged and spent on unproductive activities. Maintaining focus during your working hours will help you complete your tasks faster and consequently minimize your office hours.

Accept New Tasks Only After Re-Assessing the Uncompleted Ones

Industrious engineers often find it hard to reject new tasks particularly when they want to prove their expertise. New tasks, however, shouldn’t be blindly accepted especially when several are yet to be completed. If you are approached with a new task, take time to assess the priority and time required for your respective tasks before making a decision. It is important to earn your place in the startup environment; under-delivering on your specific tasks because your plate is too full is a poor excuse.

Finally, ensure that you prepare a timetable for your working, resting and relaxation hours. Adhering to it will help you effectively organize your days and weeks in such a way that you have sufficient time for work and other activities.