Mak­ing time to sur­vive your busy life­style

Re­assess­ing pri­or­i­ties and mak­ing a time bud­get can help busy work­ers achieve life bal­ance, CareerOne Edi­tor Cara Jenkin dis­cov­ers.

The Advertiser - Careers - - Executive, Professional & Management -

WORK­ERS bat­tling work/ life bal­ance need to ad­dress their packed life­styles rather than just blame their jobs, a work­place ex­pert re­veals.

PKF Or­gan­i­sa­tion De­vel­op­ment di­rec­tor Scott Way says many work­ers strug­gle to meet their com­mit­ments at home, at work and per­son­ally be­cause they sched­ule too much into their lives.

He says the job is of­ten blamed for in­ter­fer­ing in a worker’s life but it’s not the only fac­tor caus­ing stress, tired­ness and busy days.

He sug­gests more fam­i­lies de­velop time bud­gets to­gether and de­ter­mine their pri­or­ity and dis­cre­tionary ac­tiv­i­ties in or­der to re­gain more bal­ance.

‘‘Col­lec­tively, they need to look at how they man­age their lives to achieve bal­ance,’’ he says.

‘‘It is a two-per­son equa­tion. It may be they come up with a set num­ber of hours that be­tween them they will work each week.

‘‘Be­tween them, they might not want to work more than 70 hours (for ex­am­ple) so they have time enough to do the other things.’’

Part­ners, es­pe­cially with chil­dren, are jug­gling ex­er­cise, work, house­hold chores and a de­sire to spend qual­ity time with each other with chil­dren’s ac­tiv­i­ties, out­side fam­ily needs, so­cial re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and time as a fam­ily.

Mr Way says work­ers need to ad­dress what to do in their re­main­ing hours of the day be­cause there are some things which must be done. But oth­ers are dis­cre­tionary and fam­i­lies need to ad­mit which can be al­lowed to fall by the way­side, he says.

‘‘Many peo­ple are strug­gling, not be­cause they work too much but be­cause they’re try­ing to fit too many things into one day or week,’’ he says.

Sitting down a cou­ple of times a year and de­ter­min­ing what re­spon­si­bil­i­ties are es­sen­tial and which can be put aside and set­ting up a time bud­get, with some wrig­gle room for days that go pear-shaped, can help fam­i­lies get back on track.

It may be that emails are not checked ev­ery night, cer­tain TV shows are skipped or that chil­dren do not have to be in ev­ery ex­tracur­ric­u­lar ac­tiv­ity known to man.

‘‘It will vary from fam­ily to fam­ily,’’ he says. ‘‘What’s im­por­tant for me is not im­por­tant for you and it will change over time.’’

In many jobs, work­ers also will need to in­form work col­leagues or clients about their pri­or­i­ties and that they are not avail­able 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

They should com­mu­ni­cate what times they will be avail­able to meet work de­mands, such as af­ter chil­dren go to bed.

Sitting down and mak­ing up a time bud­get to work out what’s re­ally im­por­tant, and what can slide, can help to cre­ate a life that’s not so busy.

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