Work/Life Balance … Is It Really in Your Hands?

Work/life balance means something different to everybody. Flexibility is the key to my career and personal success, as I work with people all over the world and have two very active boys in elementary school. Between work and family I’m always “on,” which also presents a challenge to finding that healthy balance. At Citrix, we spend a lot of time talking about work/life balance with our families, customers, media and amongst each other. Lately, we’ve been thinking about those who don’t have flexible work schedules or the ability to workshift.

I’ve come up with five steps you can take to gain re-gain control of your work/life balance. Here at Citrix, it is our belief that work/life balance should be in the hands of the employee and that happy, balanced people make better employees.

Maintain Control

Don’t let your calendar make you feel out of control in your day. Block time for tasks, control your workload and manage expectations with those around you. You will feel calmer, less stressed and more productive when you can concentrate on the task at hand. But don’t overdo it and become one of those people who blocks off all of their time. It’s important that people know you are available.

Get the right tools

With the right tools in place, workshifting isn’t much different from actually being at your desk. Today’s latest tech tools create an affordable, virtual office environment that makes working from home seamless. We use GoToMyPC, GoToMeeting, Podio, email and IM to keep in touch and on track. With mobile apps, I’m able to get work done from anywhere. I also have two laptops that are synced to the cloud using ShareFile – one in the kitchen and one in my home office, and my office phone auto forwards to my cell phone if I don’t answer.

Don’t feel limited by the 9-5 schedule

Need to meet with your kid’s teacher, or want to see that holiday sing that is always scheduled in the middle of the day? Do it, and don’t feel guilty about it. Plan to do a few hours of work later in the evening after the kids go to bed. Set a schedule for yourself and don’t feel like it has to be the same every single day. Your schedule should accommodate both your work and your life. When you’re focused on results, it doesn’t matter when during the day the work gets done, it just matter that it gets done.

Learn to say no

What is urgent and what can wait? Learn to recognize the difference and cut or delegate activities when you can — or share your concerns and possible solutions with your employer or others when you feel overloaded.

Be transparent

Having trust within your team is critical, and being open and honest is the best way to build this trust. Let people know if you’re busy or out of the office and when they can expect you to get back to them. If you consistently deliver quality results on time and people know that they can count on you, you’ll develop the trust needed to give you the flexibility to succeed in both work and your personal life.

Have any other tips and tricks you want to share? Feel free to post them below; we can never get enough of this topic!

Photo credit: citx