Work and life balance can feel elusive in today’s constantly connected world. When you feel pulled in several directions at once, it creates a constant state of stress that can be difficult to break. While at work, it’s easy to worry you’re neglecting family responsibilities, and guilt can also creep in when you’re focused on family and aren’t on the job. It can feel like there aren’t enough hours in a week to give everyone and everything necessary attention. Use these strategies to build better balance in your career.
Set and Stick to Clear Boundaries
Many professional engineers fall into the trap of thinking just because they can access their work from home they should be doing so. They also feel they must respond to emails or answer phone calls after hours. The fact is, we “train” our colleagues to reaching us in our off hours. The first few times you reply to an email after 9 p.m. or answer your phone during dinner, you’ve set the expectation you always will.
While you will obviously have to respond to actual emergencies, start retraining your colleagues to understand you won’t be replying to them after hours. You can read emails, but mark them for response when you get back into work in the morning. Don’t answer the phone or check the voice messages, and only reply if it’s necessary.
Pick One Day to Unplug
Stress contributes to a host of illnesses, and it can lead to serious burnout in your career. Pick one full day on the weekend to completely unplug and focus on things you enjoy. Whether it’s spending time with your family, golfing, gardening or just sitting under a blanket and catching up on your favorite shows, don’t let work creep in. Everybody needs time to recharge their batteries, and giving your undivided attention to the people and things you love can do wonders for your stress level.
Delegate, Delegate, Delegate
Everybody has too much to do both at work and at home. Think about some of the work tasks you have that you could delegate to your supervisees. You probably have people on your team who are dying to learn new skills or take on more responsibility, so it ends up a win-win for everyone. You can remove tasks from your plate and help members of your team grow and develop.
Rethink Your Position
If you’ve tried strategies like these and you still can’t seem to achieve stronger work-life balance, it might be time to think about making a switch. If you are an engineer seeking new opportunities to grow your career and you want an expert in your corner, contact the Atlanta engineering recruiters at Selectek today.