It's a familiar story: long days, lots of emails, plenty of meetings and maybe even a conference call or two. Work has a way of filling your hours and yet at the end of the day, you feel as though you haven't crossed anything off your to-do list. Feeling a bit defeated and overwhelmed, you try to catch up but you end up distracting yourself with social media or other technological time-wasters, squandering time you could've used to recharge before another work day. In an attempt to up our productivity while maintaining a decent work/life balance, we sought the advice of workplace expert and author of "Becoming the Boss," Lindsey Pollak. Herewith, her thoughts.
"Develop good habits (cooking a healthy dinner and bringing the leftovers for lunch, going to spin class on Wednesday nights, calling your grandmother on Sunday nights at 7pm, etc.) by scheduling them into your calendar and sticking to your commitment. Believe it or not, it's often easier just to do what your calendar says you should be doing! This also helps with work/life balance because your boss and co-workers come to know what to expect from you. For instance, you might say to your manager, 'I am happy to work late on Tuesdays and Thursdays if needed, but on Wednesdays it's important to me to get to spin class at 6pm.' People appreciate consistency and predictability."
"If you struggle with something personal or professional—organization, public speaking, negotiation, fitness—take action to improve. Break up larger goals into smaller, actionable tasks, which is less overwhelming. A small investment of time or money now (even just watching a 15-minute educational YouTube video) will inevitably save you time later. And don't overlook such training opportunities with your employer. Sign up for as much training as you can. Young people seem to want such training: According to The Hartford's 2014 Millennial Leadership Survey, when asked how an employer could demonstrate its investment in a person becoming a leader, 50 percent of Millennials said 'training and development.' It was the number one answer."