How to find a better work-life balance

TORONTO – Feel like your work-life balance is out of whack?  You’re not alone.

The 2011 Canadian Work Stress and Health study found roughly 1 in 3 Canadian workers feel overwhelmed by work or that the demands of their job often exceeds the time to do the work.

So what is the best way balance work and family life?

Researchers are finding it’s not necessarily about balance.  Sometimes work and family life aren’t equal.

“People call it a balancing act but in some ways there’s a movement to think about it more in terms of ‘fit’,”  Scott Schieman, a professor at the University of Toronto said.  “So how do the needs of your family fit into the tasks and responsibilities of your everyday working life and how those go together.”

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Here are some tips from the experts on how to ease the pressure of work and family life.

Tips from Scott Schieman, a professor & Canada Research Chair at the University of Toronto

  1. Talk frankly with your supervisor about family needs and how you can make them fit while not compromising work quality.
  2. Check on overwork and watch for excessive role blurring. Protect the other parts of your life from spillover.
  3. Fully disengage and recharge mentally and physically. And talk to your family about balance, fit, and their needs.

Caird Urquhart, a life coach with Newroad Coaching

  1. Carve out no phone or internet zones or times. On Sundays I go for, what I call the “freedom walk”. I leave all electronic devises at home and walk to breakfast with family. You can carve out your own freedom time to allow you to be totally present.
  2. Figure out when in the day you are most productive. Design your day, as much as possible, so that most of your work is done during that time. You’ll accomplish more which will allow for more leisure time.
  3. Learn to say “no”. Often we fill our schedules with miscellaneous stuff that we don’t really need to do.
  4. Take that four page “to do” list and shorten it to 5 or 6 things a day. Make sure that the things are bite size so you can actually achieve them.
  5. Park the quilt. You don’t need to attend every one of your children’s soccer practices or piano lessons. Having a life of your own does not make you a bad parent. It helps your kids become independent.