There are countless studies that show the benefits of being able to separate one’s work life from one’s personal life, but it might be easier said than done. The ubiquity of smartphones has made completely detaching from work an almost herculean feat.
In a new piece from Fast Company, writer Laura Vanderkam found that the average workweek in a demanding job totals 56 hours. Since there are 168 total hours in a week and 56 hours of sleep a week (assuming you get the suggested eight hours of sleep a night), that leaves you with 56 hours to pursue non-work -related activities. To help you in that noble pursuit, Vanderkam has compiled multiple tips on how to achieve the perfect work/life balance.
Perhaps the most important thing you can do is keep track of how you spend your time. According to Paula Plant of the Afford Anything blog and podcast, you’ll be amazed at how much time you devote to things that don’t really matter to you. This also goes for time spent while you’re at work. Plant suggests spending your breaks doing things that are meaningful to you. “I could either click on BuzzFeed articles, or get up and do a quick 10–15 minutes of yoga,” she says.
Another way to maintain that finite balance between work and life is by doing something you actually enjoy for a living. According to Thomas Gaynor, the office managing partner of law firm Nixon Peabody’s San Francisco location, your can enhance your personal life by being satisfied with your professional one. “I love what I do and have been lucky to be able to work with terrific clients for a long time,” he says. “So when I come home and I’m excited and invigorated by something that happened at the office or by a win for a client, I share that with my partner, and that, too, is part of life.”
Last but certainly not least, Vanderkam recommends making the most out of your weekends. “Make at least a loose plan of activities you’d genuinely enjoy, and that dose of anticipation can help you power through a long Thursday and Friday.”
See you at the beach!
For more tips on how to achieve that delicate balance between work and life, head on over to Fast Company.
Pick up a copy of Leading the Life You Want for more ways to balance your hectic work schedule, and let us know if you have any tips we may have missed.