The boundary between work and life is getting thinner every single day. Coffee shops that used to cater to individuals for a very friendly chat, offering a glimpse of each other’s life, have now become extensions of the corporate world. Even ordinary social gatherings like children’s parties and you can still some parents with their mobile devices communicating with someone in the office about some work that needs to be completed. While technology has indeed made work more productive, it has also made life unbearably complicated that you simply don’t know any more whether your priority should be work or should it be your private life. Or, is it at all possible to strike a balance?
Here are 5 steps you can observe to strike a balance between the requirements of work and the personal need for privacy in your life.
Manage Your Time Well.
The very first rule is to make very specific changes in the way you manage your time. This means that you have to clearly identify certain times of the day when you can devote yourself to some aspects of your work such as meetings as well as for answering emails. Avoid any distractions as much as possible. Remember that if you get distracted, the longer it will take you to complete a particular work activity. Hence, you will be obliged to work well beyond your regular working hours and even well into time that is supposed to be spent with your family.
Manage Your Space Effectively.
If you have to work outside your office, choose a location where you will be free from distractions. If you choose a café or a coffee shop, make sure to shield yourself from others by listening to soothing music on your headphones. Your workspace should only be filled with work essentials without any distractions. If you go to bed, make sure to leave all electronic communications devices outside or better turn them off. The bedroom is your own private personal space. Respect it and don’t make it as an extension of your office as well.
Manage Your Online Identity.
Many of today’s individuals cannot live without going online. In fact, a great majority of the daily life of an average individual is consumed on engaging friends and business contacts on social media network platforms. However, it is often very important to identify certain platforms that should be used for certain purposes. LinkedIn is definitely the platform you want to connect with business contacts, never Facebook or Twitter, especially if you are talking about big-name corporations. Reserve Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms for your friends and family.
Manage Your Data.
Data security is becoming all the more important. While it is a safe bet to have the best in quantum encryption technology, accidents do happen. And in some situations, incidents can be perpetuated by less-than-friendly souls. You may think that your company’s space-age data management system is sufficient, sometimes you simply have to have a backup plan of everything. At the very least, backup your personal files – documents, pictures, movies, contacts, and music – on at least two storage solutions. Preferably you have a backup on an external hard disk or some other form of physical storage solution and another one on the Cloud. This should give you a sense of security.
Manage Your Equipment.
You simply cannot predict the future as to how long you can stay in a particular company. As such, it is always best to be prepared. If you are using a company-provided communications equipment like a smartphone, you can sign up for a VOIP number to be used for your private personal contacts. In the event that you leave the company and have to surrender the device, then it is a lot easier to reroute calls to your new device.
Technology will continue to evolve. Unfortunately, as it does, the line between work and personal life becomes all the more thinner. Institute these steps now to strike a balance between your personal life and your work.
Credits: Mike Bonners is the content manager for Simply Plastics, a plastics provider based in the UK. In the past, Mike has had a hard balancing his work/life schedule. However, over his career, he’s improved by following the steps outlined. Today, he now lives a happier life, spending more time with his family and getting involved with many more outdoor recreational activities while working more effectively at work.