According to recent studies, nearly 66% of Canadians put in 45 hours of work each week—50% more people than 20 years ago.
Not only are many people putting in more hours – over 1/2 of the 25,000 Canadians who responded in the Balancing Work and Caregiving in Canada survey said they take their work home with them. Many attribute this to employer expectations and workplace culture.
The sad truth is that these long hours do not always translate into greater productivity.
Working those extra hours can leave both your mind and body vulnerable to the deteriorating effects of stress—and as we all know – stress is bad… very, very bad.Sometimes working late is an unavoidable reality—but not always. Perhaps it’s time to ask yourself: Do I have a healthy work-life balance? Even if you believe that you have a healthy balance, there is always room for improvement.Follow these five tips to further balance out your home and work lives:
- Just say no. You are only capable of completing so much in any given day, and there is a delicate balance between quality and quantity. Know what your limits are, and stick to them.
- Leave work at work. There is little point to going home at the end of the day if you still work on projects and check email after hours. Those tasks will still be waiting for you when you come in the next day, so it’s OK to let them wait.
- Forget about perfection. You need to acknowledge that not everything you do will be absolutely perfect—and that is acceptable. Focusing on perfection can lead to undue stress and anxiety. Sometimes “good enough” is sufficient.
- Do not be a martyr. You are not invincible nor are you a one-person team. You have co-workers who can help carry the load. So, work as a team, with each member sharing responsibility.
- Set your own rules. Work in a way that makes you comfortable and not according to others’ unrealistic expectations.