A balancing act: work and life

May 1, 2018

A buzz for a text, a ring for a call, a swoosh for an email and a ping for a new post. These are just some of the noises that grab our attention to say someone wants us. Some people are good about putting their devices away in the evening or not jumping at every sound, and others cannot stop.

As a contractor, someone always wants you for a bid, an update or a change. This constant race—mixed with other life challenges—can be draining. If you want to feel less rundown and more accomplished, consider creating a better work-life balance.

Less than perfect

There are a lot of perfectionists in construction, and that is understandable when you’re the one in charge. Perfect, however, becomes harder to achieve as you take on more responsibilities. One expert says to forget about perfect and think about excellent. Excellence is attainable, but trying to be 100 percent perfect could be damaging both physically and mentally.

Stop wasting time

After you read this blog, think about your top priority and then decide how you are going to align your life to make sure that priority is filled. Do you have the time to do it? The answer most likely is yes if you avoid a few time-sucking activities (maybe too much social media) and procrastinating. The same goes for starting to say no to needy people who take up too much of your time.

As an extension of this, you can have more time to reach your goals by asking for help. Consider if someone on your staff can take on more responsibilities or is ready for a promotion. This could present a growth opportunity for an employee while freeing up your time. The same rules apply at home—there is no shame in asking for help or hiring someone to help you get projects done.

Turn it off

The work day is harder to end when technology has made everyone accessible around the clock. Make it a habit to put your phone on silent during dinner or when you are spending time with your friends and family. Work emails and texts can wait until the morning, but your family should not have to wait for your attention. A Forbes writer notes, “By not reacting to the updates from work, you will develop a stronger habit of resilience. Resilient people feel a greater sense of control over their lives.”

Work is not exercise

Your doctors tell you every year—get plenty of sleep, eat right and exercise. You know what stinks about that? They’re right! A construction job is physical, but exercise should still play a role in your life. It not only changes your body, but your mind will become clearer and more focused. Go for a walk, lift weights, join a class or group at a local gym, practice yoga or play in a sports league. Do something that gets you moving beyond what you did at a jobsite (and you get the added bonus of taking time for yourself, which is important). For those sitting at a desk, it’s even more important to move.

We all start somewhere

Consider that if you want something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done. Start with something small you can change today, and build on it every week. After a few weeks, your new life will become filled with habits that stick. Enjoy the journey on the way to balance.


Tony Cobb said -

I think that these are great ideas and well worth applying. I will be rethinking them and do a better job of applying them to my daily schedule. Thank you

May 22, 2018 at 12:08 am • Reply

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