A Look at the Work-Life Balance

In the United States, the average person works about 1,700 hours per year. Across the Atlantic, the French work an average of 1,475, and Germans put in just over 1,400 hours every year. Overall, Americans receive less vacation time and typically work longer hours. With our “workaholic” culture, it can be extremely challenging to attain a healthy work-life balance and still feel competitive professionally. Here are two ways to create more balance in your life:

—Prioritize. Begin by envisioning how you would like to spend your time. Consider the amount of time you would ideally devote to work, friends/family, and personal pursuits. Once you have a goal in mind, you can start creating more structure in your days. During work time, be sure to list tasks according to their importance, and make sure that you don’t fill your days with low-priority items, especially when they could be delegated to others.

—Focus. Eliminating distractions makes a huge difference in the overall quality of your work. When you can focus all your attention on a high-priority task, you will likely complete it faster and produce better a better result. Similarly, turning off your phone for an evening with your family leads to higher-quality time. Completely disconnecting from work will also make you feel like you have the “life” part of the work-life balance more in control, and you will return to the office more refreshed.