For many people pursuing a career, there comes a time when they face an all too familiar dilemma: there just doesn’t seem to be any time left for a personal life. Does that sound familiar? Do you find yourself putting in extra hours at work, taking work calls after hours at home, and having that nagging feeling that your life is missing something?
The problem here is that you, like many other career-driven people, can’t strike that precious balance between your work and family life. Dr. Jeffrey Morgan, a well-known cardiothoracic surgeon knows firsthand the responsibilities of a busy person juggling work and family life. Dr. Morgan, who is married and has four children, is quite familiar with the need for a balance that prevents burning out and losing the connection to one’s family life at the same time.
Work-Life Balance Keeps You Healthy and Productive
A recent report by Randstad Employer Brand Research found that most employees prefer working for companies that offer a good work-life balance. This report becomes even more important in light of recent studies that show that fewer and fewer workers are using their vacation days. Jeffrey Morgan MD says this can lead to burnout and diminished productivity as well as raising the risk for a heart attack and stroke. As it turns out, the quality of your work goes down the more hours you put in the office. In addition, working hard usually comes at the cost of your physical and mental well being. You neglect to exercise, eat a healthy diet, and have a good quality sleep. Not only does your family life suffer because of a lack of work-life balance, but your health takes a beating as well.
Make your Work more Manageable
When it comes to work, most people feel they simply must attend all the events, take on every project thrown their way, and be there for their co-workers all the time. Either out of an exaggerated sense of duty or for just being driven, it’s hard to say no at work. Dr. Jeffrey Morgan explains that it’s important to say no to stress and having too much on your plate is adding extra pressure and stress. You can start every morning by breaking your workload into manageable tasks. With every task finished you get a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment that gives you the motivation to tackle the next goal on the list. Make sure to take breaks whenever work becomes overwhelming, and after you finish a task, reward yourself. You’ve earned it.
Me Time and Family Time
Home is a place to relax, spend time with family, and just shed off the stress of work and be yourself. This calls for some ‘me time’. Jeffrey Morgan MD likes to unplug as soon as he leaves work and prefers to spend as much of his free time with his family. “It’s important to create boundaries,” Dr. Morgan says, “This means not getting into bed with the laptop or work material.” Of course, family life has its demands and responsibilities. And once again you’ll find yourself resorting to compartmentalizing, distributing responsibilities and setting priorities. If you over commit or get talked into attending too many social events, you’re simply adding to your stress. Remember to unplug and take advantage of this opportunity to rest, treat your body right, and enjoy quality time with your family.