Is Work-Life Balance Just a Woman’s Issue?

5136926303_a3d0bb0767_bYou are probably balancing a little work and a little life right now, correct?  You dropped a child off at daycare on the way to work, you are answering emails while pulling together breakfast, you are doing laundry in between conference calls. While we often think the work-life balance discussion is primarily about women, studies suggest that both genders are seeking a little more flexibility in their lives.

From CNN.com:
“According to a survey by the Pew Research Center, 56% of working mothers said it was very or somewhat difficult to balance the responsibilities of their jobs and their families; 50% of working fathers, nearly as many as working mothers, said the very same thing.  And when it comes to who is doing more of the telecommuting, another survey also challenges the longstanding belief that it’s mainly working moms.  By a wide margin, more men than women are working not from the office, but from home, a business center or another location, according to the national survey by Flex+Strategy Group/Work+Life Fit Inc.

“The significance of the research is that it proves that the way we think and talk about work-life flexibility doesn’t track with reality,” said Cali Yost, chief executive officer and founder of Flex+Strategy Group/Work+Life Fit Inc. in the CNN.com article.  “As a result, both business and people aren’t reaping the rewards of a more thoughtful, deliberate, strategic approach to managing work and life.”

Need a more strategic approach to managing your work and life?  Here are 4 tips:

Schedule Downtime
“When you plan your week, make it a point to schedule time with your family and friends, and activities that help you recharge,” says WebMD.com.  This will not only give you something to look forward to, but will help you truly manage the rest of your time so you get to fully participate in those things that give you energy.

Stop Multitasking
“Forget multi-tasking. It’s not possible to focus on two things at the same time. Instead, devote your full attention to the task at hand,” suggests Salary.com.  You will get more done in less time and be able to truly leave work at work and enjoy your personal time.

Keep a Note Pad Handy
“You can’t control when inspiration strikes, so if you get an amazing idea while you’re relaxing with your family, quickly jot it down on a piece of paper,” writes Kim Pisolkar for Huffington Post.  This will allow you to revisit the idea once you are back in work-mode.

Protect Your Free Time
“It’s important to remember that free time doesn’t have to be available time. In other words, just because Wednesday night is empty on your calendar, doesn’t mean you have to say “yes” when your co-worker asks you to go to an event with her,” says Erin Greenawald for Muse.com.  You don’t have to have a specific reason for saying “no”–free time can sometimes just be…free.

 

You Tell Us:  What is your best work-life balance tip?