The term “work life balance” is being used more and more lately. Why? Because people recognize the importance of having a meaningful life separate from work. What are some tips for maintaining balance between your work and your life?

Be Open About Your Needs

Everyone has different needs and in order to maintain a positive work life balance some people need to leave work by 5 p.m. so they can have dinner with their families. For others, stepping out at 12 p.m. most days to attend a yoga class is what they need. Everyone has a different sweet spot of what they need, and once they find it, they need to be open and transparent about it. If leaving for a yoga class leaves someone feeling more alert and productive, that’s what they should do. By having an open dialogue between managers and employees, everyone can do what is best for themselves, ultimately leading to a better work environment.

Use the Off Button

Although we rarely use it, most pieces of technology do come with an off button. Turning off your phone, laptop and other technologies is often times the hardest part. Start in phases. First, keep your cell phone away from the dinner table. Next, take it on vacation with you but promise yourself to only check it once a day. Gradually the disconnect from work will feel more comfortable, and your work life balance will improve because of it.

Build Downtime into your Schedule

If you want to reach a good balance between your work life and personal life, you need to be proactive about your schedule. Make it a point to schedule time with family and friends, and activities that you know help you recharge. If you have a softball game on your calendar for the week or a date night, you will have something to look forward to during the week and it will provide extra incentive to manage your time well so you aren’t forced to cancel.

Drop Activities that Sap Your Energy

In order to achieve a balance between work and life, you need to take stock of the activities you participate in that don’t enhance your career or personal life, and then minimize the time you spend on them. You may even be able to leave work earlier if you make a conscious effort to limit the time you spend on the web and social media sites, making personal calls, or checking your bank balance. Every minute of your time is valuable and you need to be self-aware enough to know what is worth your time and what isn’t.

Stay tuned for part two of this series where we explore even more tips for achieving a positive work life balance.