At this time of year I often find myself thinking that I didn’t spend as much time with my family and friends as I would have liked. It’s just so easy to get caught up in the day to day hustle of things that need to be done. You may be feeling the same way: you were so busy with meetings, email, voice mail, and reports that some of the more important things in life got put on the back burner – often with a promise that you would get to it tomorrow, or next week.
Well now is your chance, as you’re setting your goals for the upcoming year, to bring focus to developing greater balance in your life. Smart Phones, laptops, and PDAs are getting more affordable; Fast internet access is pervasive, along with great tools and online services that make it easier then ever to work productively from anywhere.
Avoiding a daily commute and gaining more control over your work schedule can not only make you more productive, it can help you achieve the balance you have been longing for in your life.
If you currently work remotely, and it has been working well for you and your organization, try to increase the amount of time you spend working from home or outside the office.
If you don’t work remotely, then consider approaching your organization about the possibility. In light of many things that happened this past year, including a sluggish economy and political tumult, many organizations are reconsidering some of their earlier fears about distributed work and realizing it makes sound business sense.
Distributed work provides a win-win situation for both an organization and its employees. Companies can save money on real estate, improve employee morale and efficiency, and be better prepared to handle disasters and interruptions; employees can work when they work best, without common office distractions, and gain both time and more control over their schedules.
In fact, depending on where you live, some new bills being passed may provide tax credits and incentives for you and your organization, making a telework plan even more attractive.
We all waste precious time sitting in traffic, commuting back and forth to the office and traveling around for meetings that often could just as easily have been held on the phone or online.
So as you spend time with family and friends, reflect on how valuable and enjoyable this time is and how it enhances everything you do.
Make a commitment to do the things necessary to achieve more work/life balance. Whether it is finding a way to work outside the office, learning new time management and technology skills, or exploring ways to improve your meetings, striving for balance can improve every aspect of your life.