Work-Life Balance Tips: There’s an App for That!

In today’s workplaces, more people have mobile devices and laptops — which offers new flexibilities, but also creates new pressures to be online 24/7. The traditional “9 to 5” workplace is quickly fading away. How can employees manage increased demands at home and at work?

Effective work-life balance is often about effective time management. We all have scheduled activities and tasks for our work life and home life. Technology tools can help bridge those two worlds.

  • Calendars: Do you keep one master calendar for work and home activities, or separate ones? If you keep separate ones, how do you cross-reference them to both avoid conflicts and manage your energy flow each day and across a week or month?There are no right answers to calendar management — but think about different ways to achieve work-life integration across work and home devices.
  • Task Lists: As with calendars, there are some tasks that demand more time, and other tasks that demand less time but more focus. If you do have the ability to take your work with you, how do you maximize your time to achieve both work and life goals?For example, we know one person who schedules a specific work task once a week when the laundry is in the washer — 25 minutes for the laundry cycle; 25 minutes to complete the task.  He never has to think about how to juggle these two activities — they just always happen together!Looking at how you manage and juggle multiple task lists may show new opportunities for work-life integration.
  • Video Apps: Every afternoon at 4 PM, Gustavo has a 15-minute meeting on his work calendar: “Renee and Tom Video Chat.”  Renee and Tom are Gustavo’s kids, and every day, Gustavo welcomes them home from school and talks to them about their day. The kids get to see him at work, and he gets to connect with them. Everyone in the office knows to avoid scheduling meetings — when possible — during that 15-minute time break.

Other great apps for work-life balance include fitness, breathing and meditation apps. One minute of breathing, 10 minutes of walking around the building or 30 minutes of meditation can help clear your mind to make better choices for balancing your day. This self-care time can be your best activity in facing the showdown between work and life.