Consultants work long and varied hours, with the only constant seeming to be that free time is in short supply. It can be easy to get swept away in the rush. Alexandra Nuth writes an article with four ways to get work and life to play nicer together:
- Think of it as a game of averages.
- Pick your priorities.
- Delegate the easy stuff.
- Look for small wins.
The Practical Middle Ground
Realistically, striking a balance between work and play on a daily basis just is not possible. Ten to 15-hour days are going to happen whether you like it or not, and even on shorter days, you might have a call to take at 9:00 p.m. This means you need to think about balance on a larger scale, and weigh the averages. Nuth puts in a lot of work Monday through Thursday, but come Friday evening and Saturday, she is AFK with that computer. Another example of the greater balance is, after having completed some extremely intensive projects, to take some smaller, more relaxed projects to round out the end of the year.
Even in the best case scenario, you will still need to be smart about how you budget your time away from work. For this, Nuth says you need to prioritize what is most important to you:
Balance doesn’t necessarily mean spending an equal distribution of time across all aspects of life in general—it can be (and should be) different for everyone. For example, work is most important to me, quickly followed up by my social life and working out. This means I typically eat into more of my sleep time than most of my friends and always look for convenience in my mealtimes.
Along those same lines, you can cut out time for more important tasks at work by delegating the small stuff. If you do not have anyone working directly under you, consider a virtual personal assistant or even hiring a student to help out. And about the final point, Nuth does not mean to seek small work wins; she means just the opposite. She encourages you to carve out 15 minute breaks here and there in your workday to do something that makes you feel good—socializing, getting fresh air, eating a healthy meal, whatever. Those small breaks can make all the difference in your energy levels.
You can read the original article here: https://www.themuse.com/advice/4-worklife-balance-tips-for-people-in-workhard-cultures