If you're finding it more challenging than ever to juggle the demands of your job and the rest of your life, you're not alone.
Work life balance describes the relationship between your work and the commitments in the rest of your life, and how they impact on one another.
Employers, employees and government want to maximise participation in the workforce. However, in our demanding lives many people struggle to balance work and the responsibilities of caring for children, family members with a disability or elderly parents.
For other workers it's often difficult to find time outside work for study, volunteering, taking care of their own health or participating in sport and recreation.
There is no ideal work life balance; everyone is different and the 'right' balance may alter over time as families grow older and personal commitments change.
If you don't have much control over the hours you have to work, you can ask yourself: In what other ways am I bringing greater enjoyment into my life? Robert Brooks, PhD, co-author of The Power of Resilience: Achieving Balance, Confidence, and Personal Strength in Your Life says "Focus your time and attention on things you can control."
Here are five ways to bring a little more balance to your daily routine
When you plan your week, make it a point to schedule time with your family and friends, and activities that help you recharge.
If a date night with your spouse or a softball game with friends is on your calendar, you'll have something to look forward to and an extra incentive to manage your time well so you don't have to cancel.
"Many people waste their time on activities or people that add no value -- for example, spending too much time at work with a colleague who is constantly venting and gossiping," says Marilyn Puder-York, PhD, a psychologist and executive coach in New York and Connecticut.
Her advice: Take stock of activities that don't enhance your career or personal life, and minimize the time you spend on them.
Consider whether you can outsource any of your time-consuming household chores or errands.
Could you order your groceries online and have them delivered? Hire a kid down the street to mow your lawn? Have your dry cleaning picked up and dropped off at your home or office? Order your stamps online so you don't have to go to the post office? Even if you're on a tight budget, you may discover that the time you'll save will make it worth it.
It's hard to make time for exercise when you have a jam-packed schedule, but it may ultimately help you get more done by boosting your energy level and ability to concentrate.
"Research shows exercise can help you to be more alert," Brooks says. "And I've noticed that when I don't exercise because I'm trying to squeeze in another half hour of writing, I don't feel as alert."
Don't assume that you need to make big changes to bring more balance to your life set realistic goals, like leaving the office earlier 1 night per week.
Even during a hectic day, you can take 10 or 15 minutes to do something that will recharge your batteries. Take a bath, read a trashy novel, go for a walk, or listen to music you have to make a little time for the things that ignite your joy.
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