10 Ways To Improve Your Work-Life Balance In The New Year

Image of signs that say work, life, balance

Year end is a great time for people to reflect on what’s gone well versus what needs more attention. Nobody is a stranger to New Year’s Resolutions. Most of us at some point have made them and either succeeded or failed at the intended changes.

Managing all of life’s demands is a struggle, so when opportunities are provided to help improve our work-life balance, most of us embrace them. Here are some tips designed to help you strike a better work-life balance in the New Year:

  • Learn something new: Doing this will enhance your skill set or maybe ignite new creative thought. Whether that is reading a book or downloading an app that will help you be more efficient at something, broaden your horizon and go explore.
  • Give back to your community: There’s nothing quite like that feeling when you volunteer somewhere and give selflessly to others. Maybe organize a group to help at a local food shelter or you simply write a check to an organization doing work that you are passionate about. Remember, those that give get.
  • Make time for you: Running on empty won’t benefit anyone around you, including yourself. Be sure to regularly set time aside to recharge your battery. Maybe that is taking a yoga class or going for a walk during lunch. Set time aside on your calendar to make sure it happens.
  • Telework: Take advantage of a telework policy if your organization has one or inquire about the possibility. The ability to work from home affords employees an opportunity to better manage the demands of work and family obligations in a flexible manner. GSA was one the federal government’s telework pioneers and today about 80% are able to telework.
  • Update your workspace: A happier workspace means happier employees which means an increased bottom line. If you don’t have a permanent workspace, think about where you physically sit to work and what type of environment is going to allow you thrive that day.
  • Be considerate of others: Many people share office space now so think about forgoing that fish or broccoli for lunch. Limit your personal grooming habits to your home. Nobody wants to hear you clip your nails. It’s not fair to those around you to endure certain things so try to make 2015 great for all.
  • Don’t take yourself too seriously: Sometimes this is a tough one to tackle, especially when you are overworked. That exactly why you sometimes need to either laugh at yourself or flash those pearly whites and crack a joke now and then. Everyone benefits when the tension is brought down a notch, even for just a minute.
  • Set realistic goals: With a lot of federal agencies feeling the budget crunch, striking a balance between what’s expected and what’s possible can be challenging. Assess your situation and be sure to keep the lines of communication open with your supervisor as to avoid any unwanted surprises or unnecessary stress. Learn to prioritize and delegate, it will help your cause to stay sane.
  • Give helpful feedback: It takes time to provide thoughtful feedback. Help those around you grow and learn from your experience by making the time to give practical, concrete feedback. Who knows, maybe your actions will come full circle and you’ll be the one on the receiving end.
  • Don’t pass the buck: Good customer service includes taking ownership for things that sometimes aren’t a result of your actions. Be that person willing to listen and apologize. This is your opportunity to turn a negative situation into a positive one. What better way to develop a loyal relationship with someone than by identifying a solution and making it happen.

For more information, go to www.gsa.gov/r8.

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Last Reviewed 2016-01-13