work life balance http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/13772/all en-US Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Work in Your Downtime http://www.wisebread.com/here-s-why-you-shouldn-t-work-in-your-downtime <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/here-s-why-you-shouldn-t-work-in-your-downtime" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/tired_woman_in_the_office.jpg" alt="Tired woman in the office" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Americans are known workaholics. We rarely bat an eye at working more than 40 hours per week, or skipping a few vacation days for the year, or answering emails from home on a Saturday.</p> <p>Working when we should be unwinding helps us get stuff done, right? Not really. In fact, while you might feel like you&rsquo;re &ldquo;getting ahead,&rdquo; you may actually be harming yourself, your company, and the U.S. economy. And when you think of it that way, it&rsquo;s pretty much your patriotic duty to close your laptop and turn on Stranger Things, stat.</p> <p>Here are the main reasons working during your off hours is bad for you.</p> <h2>1. It can ruin your career in the long run</h2> <p>Working more than 40 hours a week can lead to burnout, pushing you to leave your job sooner than you planned. A 2017 survey by Kronos Incorporated and Future Workplace showed that human resources professionals cited burnout &mdash; with after-hours work as one of the leading causes &mdash; as the top reason for employee turnover. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-signs-youre-burned-out-and-how-to-recover?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Signs You're Burned Out (and How to Recover)</a>)</p> <h2>2. It makes you less productive</h2> <p>Many studies have shown that overtime hours are less productive than regular hours. It&rsquo;s not a new idea; Henry Ford is reported to have cut his employees&rsquo; workweek down to 40 hours in order to maximize productivity. An analysis published by the International Game Developers Association posited that &ldquo;at approximately eight 60-hour weeks, the total work done is the same as what would have been done in eight 40-hour weeks.&rdquo; They would know; the video game industry is famous for subjecting workers to endless periods of crunchtime.</p> <p>But most of those studies analyze workers clocking time at the office or in a factory. Does productivity also benefit from putting away your work email and refusing work phone calls over the weekend? Yes, according to research by a Harvard professor working with Boston Consulting Group, who forced hard-driving consultants to take &ldquo;predictable time off&rdquo; even during busy times. At the end of multiple months-long experiments, the consultants reported that they had been able to deliver a better product to their clients with regularly enforced nights off from phone calls and emails.</p> <h2>3. It can break your heart &mdash; literally</h2> <p>A recent study published in European Heart Journal found that &ldquo;compared to people who worked a normal week of between 35 to 40 hours, those who worked 55 hours or more were approximately 40 percent more likely to develop atrial fibrillation during the following 10 years.&rdquo; Researchers adjusted for factors such as age, obesity, and smoking. Atrial fibrillation contributes to both stroke and heart failure.</p> <p>A Centers for Disease Control report linked working too many hours to other physical problems, such as unhealthy weight gain, increased alcohol use, increased smoking, and overall increased mortality. That&rsquo;s right: You can literally work yourself to death, with a relatively modest amount of extra hours.</p> <h2>4. And it can break your soul</h2> <p>A 2015 study of Korean workers linked working more than 52 hours per week with an increase in suicidal thoughts.</p> <p>And it&rsquo;s not just the number of hours worked that is burning people out: A 2016 study by Lehigh University revealed that employees who are expected to answer work emails after hours experience more &ldquo;emotional exhaustion&rdquo; &mdash; caused just as much by the anticipation that email could arrive at any time as by the actual time spent answering them.</p> <h2>5. It&rsquo;s lowering your IQ</h2> <p>Believe it or not, a 2016 Australian study found that, for people over 40, cognitive ability declines after just 25 hours of work a week. That means if you&rsquo;re putting in 40 hours in the office, and another two hours in the evening, your performance should start declining sometime around Wednesday.</p> <p>Even worse, putting in extra time may actually be shrinking your brain. If answering those late-night emails is stressing you out &mdash; and why wouldn&rsquo;t it? &mdash; that chronic stress can lead to a decrease in brain volume and cognitive impairment, Yale researchers have found.</p> <h2>6. It&rsquo;s ruining your family life</h2> <p>According to a 2015 work-life balance survey, more than half of 9-to-5 workers say that answering work emails and texts has ruined their familial meals. Nearly 40 percent say poor work-life balance is completely wrecking their time with family and friends. Another 40 percent of respondents claim they've missed life events such as weddings and birthdays due to work. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-signs-your-work-life-balance-is-off?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Signs Your Work-Life Balance Is Off</a>)</p> <h2>7. It&rsquo;s also also terrible for your company&rsquo;s bottom line</h2> <p>Most workers say they work during off hours because of company expectations &mdash; but those companies may be shooting themselves in the foot. Not only are they losing out due to decreasing productivity rates and increasing turnover, they&rsquo;re also costing themselves money. Think about all of the health issues mentioned earlier that can be brought on by stress. Companies that don&rsquo;t respect their employees&rsquo; work-life balance will end up paying for it with higher health insurance premiums and more employee absences.</p> <h2>8. You need your sleep</h2> <p>Business leaders surveyed by consultancy McKinsey reported that the expectation that they&rsquo;d always be available to answer emails and phone calls prevented them from getting adequate sleep. Sleep deprivation leads to almost every problem on this list, and what&rsquo;s more, it&rsquo;s dangerous at work: The National Sleep Foundation reports that sleepy workers are 70 percent more likely to be involved in an accident. A Swedish study even found that workers with sleep problems were twice as likely to die in workplace accidents.</p> <h2>9. It takes opportunity away from others</h2> <p>Helicopter parents deny their kids the chance to develop independence by being constantly available to help. Are you a helicopter boss or coworker? If you are completely unavailable while on vacation or a day off, the staff covering for you will have to make decisions without you, giving them the chance to grow. If you make yourself constantly available, you could be stunting that growth.</p> <h2>10. It makes you gain weight</h2> <p>Anyone who ever pulled an all-nighter in college knows that when we&rsquo;re sleep deprived, we make terrible food choices. There are scientific reasons for that, but for me, I just know that if I can&rsquo;t have my cozy bed, I deserve All. The. Chocolate.</p> <p>There&rsquo;s also the decrease in physical activity. If you&rsquo;ve been sitting at your desk for eight hours, plus an hour or more in your car to get to work and back, you should be using a good chunk of your remaining waking hours to be active. If you end up sitting in front of your home computer catching up on your team&rsquo;s Slack channel, you&rsquo;re missing out on active time.</p> <p>Working during your off hours also cuts into time for preparing healthy meals. And if you find yourself actually eating your dinner in front of your computer, so much the worse. Research shows that when we are distracted by a screen while we eat, we&rsquo;re more likely to snack later.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhere-s-why-you-shouldn-t-work-in-your-downtime&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHere%25E2%2580%2599s%2520Why%2520You%2520Shouldn%25E2%2580%2599t%2520Work%2520in%2520Your%2520Downtime.jpg&amp;description=Here%E2%80%99s%20Why%20You%20Shouldn%E2%80%99t%20Work%20in%20Your%20Downtime"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Here%E2%80%99s%20Why%20You%20Shouldn%E2%80%99t%20Work%20in%20Your%20Downtime.jpg" alt="Here&rsquo;s Why You Shouldn&rsquo;t Work in Your Downtime" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/here-s-why-you-shouldn-t-work-in-your-downtime">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-signs-your-work-life-balance-is-off">9 Signs Your Work-Life Balance Is Off</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-healthy-habits-to-take-to-work">10 Healthy Habits to Take to Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-manage-two-jobs-without-burning-out">How to Manage Two Jobs (Without Burning Out)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-time-and-money-saving-apps-for-freelancers">16 Time and Money Saving Apps for Freelancers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-best-free-tools-to-improve-your-work-performance">The 7 Best Free Tools to Improve Your Work Performance</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building Health and Beauty burnout downtime health problems mental health overtime overworked productivity time off work life balance Mon, 12 Feb 2018 09:30:10 +0000 Carrie Kirby 2102252 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Ways to Balance Work and Travel While On the Road http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-balance-work-and-travel-while-on-the-road <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-ways-to-balance-work-and-travel-while-on-the-road" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young_woman_working_on_laptop.jpg" alt="Young woman working on laptop" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The concept of working from anywhere in the world, often referred to as digital nomadism, is on the rise. More staffers are looking to break free from the office cubicle, and more companies are opening up to the idea of employees working remotely. All you need is a laptop and Wi-Fi, and you can work from virtually anywhere in the world. Unfortunately, working while traveling can be more difficult than it seems.</p> <p>Unsuitable working environments, poor internet connections, and disorganization are the downfall of many a remote worker. If you're not careful, trying to balance work and travel while you're on the road can become an almighty juggling act resulting in you doing neither one effectively. But don't despair, it is possible to get the mix just right to allow you to be a productive worker and intrepid traveler at the same time. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-live-the-location-independent-lifestyle?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Live the &quot;Location Independent&quot; Lifestyle</a>)</p> <h2>1. Organize your day planner</h2> <p>Many people confuse having a to-do list with all of their daily tasks as having an organized day planner, but they're two separate things. A to-do list doesn't have time frames on it and it can end up being an overwhelming reminder of how much you have to do. An organized day planner will break your to-do list down into manageable chunks with set times in which to complete those tasks.</p> <p>Allocate each task a certain amount of time, and adjust if necessary. You can then also move these blocks around if something crops up that you don't want to miss. You can either manage your days with a handwritten planner or digitally using a task management app. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/organize-8-key-areas-of-your-life-with-these-17-smart-apps?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Organize 8 Key Areas of Your Life With These 17 Smart Apps</a>)</p> <h2>2. Establish a routine</h2> <p>Getting into a steady routine is helpful for any working environment, but it becomes crucial when you're traveling at the same time. It can be all too easy to head out and see the sights in the places you're visiting, only for work to fall by the wayside. By establishing routines, you automatically start to prioritize certain tasks and they become a normal part of your daily or weekly workflow.</p> <p>Your routine is a personal thing, but try and get into the practice of doing certain things at the same time on a regular basis so they become habits rather than chores. For example, I routinely check and reply to my emails when I get up in the morning, then I exercise, and then eat breakfast before starting my day.</p> <h2>3. Find the right accommodations</h2> <p>As appealing as a secluded beach hut on a deserted island may sound, if it has no Wi-Fi, or even electricity, it'll effectively ruin your ability to do any work. Also, accommodations with too many distractions like a buzzing bar and social pool area might be just as hard to work in, so settle for something that offers a quieter working environment. It should still be close enough to the local action that you're able to head out and explore when you want.</p> <p>In addition, a winning accommodation should have all of the conveniences that you need to feel at home and help you save time. That means a kitchen where you can prepare food if you want to, facilities to do your own laundry instead of having to find a laundromat, and above all, a speedy internet connection.</p> <p>If you want to avoid spinal injuries from working hunched over your computer on your bed all day, then you should also look for somewhere with a good workspace, preferably a desk. Airbnb is a great place to start your search for somewhere that meets your needs, because it mainly lists houses and apartments. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-vacation-rental-alternatives-to-airbnb?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Vacation Rental Alternatives to Airbnb</a>)</p> <h2>4. Plan ahead</h2> <p>I used to plan my time on a day-to-day basis around which tasks happened to be the most pressing. It didn't take me long to realize this is a chaotic way of doing things, and in fact, can't really be considered planning ahead at all. In my experience, the most effective way of working on the road is by organizing your day planner for a whole cycle. Most of my work is done on a monthly basis, so toward the end of each month, I plan out my working days for the entire following month.</p> <p>To do this, it's best to work backward, starting with all of the tasks that you have to complete for the month. Then around the larger tasks, you can start to fit in all of the smaller things you need to complete. Planning ahead for a whole month also means that you can accommodate any large events or travel activities you have planned and rearrange your work tasks before and after those activities. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-timing-is-everything-when-saving-money-on-travel?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Why Timing Is Everything When Saving Money on Travel</a>)</p> <h2>5. Use your travel time wisely</h2> <p>The time spent actually traveling from points A to B can often feel like dead time in your work schedule. Flights, train rides, bus transfers &mdash; whatever mode of transportation you take, that's time you could be spending doing something far more productive than just staring out the window. Unless the particular journey is something you want to experience, like a bus ride through a beautiful countryside, then it's time to start using your travel time to get some work done. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-free-or-almost-free-airline-tickets?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Ways to Get Free or Almost Free Airline Tickets</a>)</p> <p>Choose the tasks that you're going to be able to do most easily when you're in transit, ideally things you can do offline, so you're not relying on an internet connection that may not materialize. It takes practice to be able to work in less than ideal situations, so don't expect to immediately be at your most effective the first time you try it. However, once you get used to working with distractions around you, you'll find you can get things done virtually anywhere. <a href="http://amzn.to/2AXdjZp" target="_blank">Noise-cancelling earbuds</a> can be a big help.</p> <h2>6. Make the most of your technology</h2> <p>Technology undoubtedly has its dangers, and it's easy to fall into the trap of mindlessly scrolling through your Facebook feed and watching endless cat videos instead of knuckling down to work. But as much as it can be distracting, technology is also a powerful tool to harness for your own good.</p> <p>Upgrading your travel electronics can have a huge impact on your work efficiency. If your laptop and phone are constantly bogging down, then you're wasting time on them. You might be surprised just how much time you spend looking at that hour glass or color wheel while waiting for programs to load or perform a task. Once you make the necessary upgrades, you can cut down your work time considerably.</p> <p>Buying a local sim card can also give you both freedom and a reliable connection, and often packages are cheaper in foreign countries. This will allow you to tether your laptop from your smartphone, meaning you're not reliant on intermittent Wi-Fi or holing up in coffee shops for days on end.</p> <h2>7. Travel slowly</h2> <p>Slow travel is amazing in not just allowing you to spend more time exploring each destination, but you also spend less money on average while you're there. It's also ideal for balancing your work with travel because you don't have to rush around fitting a lot of things into a short span of time. You have enough time to focus on both your work and your travels so you don't have to sacrifice one to do the other.</p> <p>Setting yourself up in a destination for a good period of time, say a few weeks or months rather than a few days, allows you to establish routines. Being settled can provide you with the stability you need to get organized and stay focused. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/savor-your-trip-and-save-big-with-these-5-slow-travel-tips?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Savor Your Trip and Save Big With These 5 Slow Travel Tips</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-ways-to-balance-work-and-travel-while-on-the-road&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Ways%2520to%2520Balance%2520Work%2520and%2520Travel%2520While%2520On%2520the%2520Road.jpg&amp;description=7%20Ways%20to%20Balance%20Work%20and%20Travel%20While%20On%20the%20Road"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Ways%20to%20Balance%20Work%20and%20Travel%20While%20On%20the%20Road.jpg" alt="7 Ways to Balance Work and Travel While On the Road" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-balance-work-and-travel-while-on-the-road">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/working-on-the-road-a-book-review-for-professional-nomads">Working on the Road: A Book Review for Professional Nomads</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-free-or-almost-free-airline-tickets">10 Ways to Get Free (or Almost Free) Airline Tickets</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/yes-its-still-safe-to-visit-hawaii-during-the-volcanic-eruption">Yes, It&#039;s Still Safe to Visit Hawaii During the Volcanic Eruption</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-using-credit-can-help-you-enjoy-a-cheaper-safer-summer-vacation">7 Ways Using Credit Can Help You Enjoy a Cheaper, Safer Summer Vacation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-flight-booking-hacks-to-save-you-hundreds">10 Flight Booking Hacks to Save You Hundreds</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building Travel travel travel for work work and travel work life balance working on the road Thu, 11 Jan 2018 09:30:10 +0000 Nick Wharton 2077763 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Add an Extra Hour to Your Day http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-add-an-extra-hour-to-your-day <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-add-an-extra-hour-to-your-day" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-512127803.jpg" alt="how to add an extra hour to your day" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all get the same 24 hours in a day, and yet it feels like some uber-productive people are working with extra hours that you don't have access to. These time management superstars somehow work full-time, but still exercise every day, take their kids to soccer practice, and have a year-round garden that's the envy of the neighborhood. What's their secret?</p> <p>It turns out you can buy yourself more time each day if you simply treat time management the same way you treat money management. Specifically, the following healthy <em>money </em>habits can help you build some time slack so that you can finally tackle the items that always fall to the bottom of your to-do list.</p> <h2>1. Track your time spent</h2> <p>Tracking where your money goes is an integral part of budgeting, since you can't trim excess spending if you don't know about it. Tracking your time-usage can be just as important for cutting unnecessary time wasters. Knowing exactly where your hours are going can help you to reclaim some time for more important tasks than endlessly refreshing Twitter.</p> <p>There are multiple ways to track how you spend your time, from the simple paper-and-pencil logging of your time, to apps like <a href="https://toggl.com/" target="_blank">Toggl</a> and <a href="https://www.rescuetime.com/" target="_blank">RescueTime</a> that will do the tracking for you. Using any of these options to see how you spend your time can help you to figure out where to reclaim it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-a-mindfulness-journal-can-fix-your-life?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Ways a Mindfulness Journal Can Fix Your Life</a>)</p> <h2>2. Limit unnecessary spending</h2> <p>I have an app that limits my access to social media during the day because I know that I'm not capable of voluntarily limiting it on my own. Facebook and Twitter tend to suck up my time in the same way that bookstores used to suck up my money, so I need make sure I limit my exposure.</p> <p>Of course, the internet is not the only time suck you might be fighting. While there are plenty of apps and plugins available to keep you from frittering hours away on social media &mdash; <a href="http://www.stayfocusd.com/" target="_blank">StayFocused</a> is a good one &mdash; don't overlook the humble timer as a tool to limit unnecessary time spending. You can watch your favorite shows or read a novel over a cup of coffee, just set a timer that will force you to move on to the next task to keep your day from being consumed.</p> <p>These kinds of time leaks are often the culprit when you feel like there are simply not enough hours in the day. Once you start limiting your unnecessary time spending, you will often find you have much more time than you realized.</p> <h2>3. Invest in your future</h2> <p>You don't expect to have healthy finances without saving and investing your money, and healthy time management requires the same kinds of investments. What does such time investment look like? It's a matter of creating morning and evening rituals, and taking the time to go over your calendar and to-do list on a daily basis. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-essential-life-hacks-that-will-save-you-time-in-the-morning?ref=seealso" target="_blank">15 Essential Life Hacks That Will Save You Time in the Morning</a>)</p> <h3>Create daily rituals</h3> <p>Your morning and evening rituals help you to consistently transition from one task to the next. Having a morning ritual means you can give your work tasks your full attention once you have made the transition into work time. On the other end of the day, make sure you create space between work and sleep. How many times have you found yourself answering a work email at 11 p.m. when you were supposed to be in bed already? Having an evening ritual that includes shutting off screens will help you to sleep better and keep work from intruding on your time. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/change-your-life-by-changing-your-bedtime-routine?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Change Your Life by Changing Your Bedtime Routine</a>)</p> <p>Similarly, taking 15-20 minutes to review your calendar and to-do lists for the following day will help keep plans, meetings, or deadlines from slipping your mind, and allow you to be more efficient when you get to work.</p> <p>The eternally time-crunched folks may often feel like they have far too much to do to invest in rituals and 20 minutes of to-do list checking each night. However, just as you can't afford not to put money in an emergency fund, you can't afford not to plan your time. These investments will save you by preventing panic and forgotten tasks when last-minute emergencies arise.</p> <h2>4. Prioritize</h2> <p>An important part of gaining control of your finances is prioritizing specific financial goals and following through on them. You know that you only have a finite amount of money, so you recognize your need to focus on one financial goal at a time. Healthy time management requires the same kind of prioritizing, even though it can be harder to recognize that your time is finite.</p> <p>This is why it's important to identify the most important tasks you need to accomplish each day. Generally, there should be no more than <em>three </em>such most important tasks on your to-do list. Tackling these priority tasks will help you to move your big projects forward and eliminate the fatigue you feel after a day of frantic business that didn't seem to accomplish anything. The feeling of making progress can help you to jump back into work the next day, which can help eliminate time-wasting and procrastinating.</p> <h2>5. Plan for fun</h2> <p>Just as being able to treat yourself to a little indulgence while you are trying to save money can keep you motivated to stay on the straight and narrow, having little breaks in your schedule can help you stay on task while you are working. Breaks give your mind a chance to refresh and refocus, and they are an important part of a productive daily routine.</p> <p>This is also true of planning bigger fun activities. If you know that you'll be doing a pub-crawl with your friends on the weekend, you'll be less tempted to contact them via text or Facebook during the week. You can focus your attention on the work at hand, knowing that you have something great to look forward to. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-you-shouldnt-vacation-shame-your-coworkers?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Reasons You Shouldn't &quot;Vacation Shame&quot; Your Coworkers</a>)</p> <h2>Spend time mindfully</h2> <p>Mindful spending, whether the currency is money or time, is the secret to feeling like you have enough. Using the habits of good financial health can help you to become a mindful time spender &mdash; which will help to add extra hours to your day.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-add-an-extra-hour-to-your-day&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Add%2520an%2520Extra%2520Hour%2520to%2520Your%2520Day%2520%25281%2529.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Add%20an%20Extra%20Hour%20to%20Your%20Day"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Add%20an%20Extra%20Hour%20to%20Your%20Day%20%281%29.jpg" alt="How to Add an Extra Hour to Your Day" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-add-an-extra-hour-to-your-day">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-time-management-fails-and-how-to-fix-them">10 Time-Management Fails — and How to Fix Them</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-cutting-your-losses-can-save-you-more-than-money">How Cutting Your Losses Can Save You More Than Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-risky-life-decisions-that-millionaires-made-but-you-shouldnt">4 Risky Life Decisions That Millionaires Made — But You Shouldn&#039;t</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-grown-ups-can-make-new-friends-without-going-broke">7 Ways Grown-Ups Can Make New Friends Without Going Broke</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-to-get-the-most-value-from-your-all-inclusive-vacation">11 Ways to Get the Most Value From Your All-Inclusive Vacation</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle extra time free time lifestyle tips saving money time management tips work life balance Thu, 17 Aug 2017 08:00:06 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 2004469 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Signs Your Work-Life Balance Is Off http://www.wisebread.com/9-signs-your-work-life-balance-is-off <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-signs-your-work-life-balance-is-off" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-529066538.jpg" alt="Woman realizing her work-life balance is off" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For many Americans, the daily 9-to-5 is just a dream. The U.S. is renowned for having the longest work hours in the industrialized world, and our hours are only getting longer. Family, friends, personal pursuits, and general relaxation are all sacrificed.</p> <p>Too often, it's by choice. While extra toil may seem like the best way to advance your career, numerous studies &mdash; summarized in the Harvard Business Review &mdash; have shown that <a href="https://hbr.org/2015/08/the-research-is-clear-long-hours-backfire-for-people-and-for-companies" target="_blank">overworking can backfire</a> by damaging your health and <em>reducing </em>your productivity at work. One study in particular by HBR and the Boston Consulting Group found that forcing consultants to take time off at predictable periods (such as nights and weekends) improved their efficiency and effectiveness.</p> <p>Are you part of the growing, and disturbing, trend of self-sabotage through overwork? Read on, and see how many of these red flags you check off. It's possible your work-life balance is completely out of alignment.</p> <h2>1. You're working way too many hours</h2> <p>Let's start with the simplest red flag. The typical workweek is 40 hours. Some days you may work a little more, some a little less &mdash; but it should even out to around 40 hours overall. You may not have a time sheet to fill out, but you should still have a general idea of how many hours you're putting in.</p> <p>If it's consistently more than 50 per week, you are working too much. Any more than 60&ndash;70 hours a week, and you pretty much have no life outside of the office. This kind of stress can affect your health in many negative ways, including increasing your risk of <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22952309" target="_blank">heart problems</a>, <a href="http://www.thelancet.com/journals/landia/article/PIIS2213-8587%2814%2970178-0/abstract" target="_blank">type 2 diabetes</a>, and <a href="https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn26793-long-hours-make-people-more-likely-to-drink-heavily/#.VSLlF5N4r6c" target="_blank">substance abuse</a>.</p> <p>Even if you work from home, you need to delineate your time. If you have a home office, make it off limits after certain hours. If it's a laptop or computer in the corner of a room, shut it down. If you are working overtime for extra money, only do it for short periods of time.</p> <h2>2. Falling asleep (or barely staying awake) at work</h2> <p>If you're routinely having trouble staying awake on the job, you are probably putting in too many hours. It's not unusual for some professions to demand an excess of 40 hours per week. In advertising, for example, it's considered the norm to work 60 or 70 hours, which burns many people out. This burnout is not only dangerous &mdash; it's deadly. You risk having a stroke, severe anxiety, depression, and if you work more than 80 hours per week, your <a href="http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/PressRelease/pressReleaseId-112164.html" target="_blank">risk of major heart disease</a> increases by 94 percent!</p> <p>If you're sleeping at your desk, getting in early, staying late, and drinking eight cups of coffee to get through the day, you are working way too much. Slow down. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-hacks-to-avoid-burnout-at-work?ref=seealso" target="_blank">13 Hacks to Avoid Burnout at Work</a>)</p> <h2>3. You have no social life</h2> <p>Think back over the last few months. How many times did you cancel plans because your job took priority? How often did you turn down invitations to parties or get-togethers because &quot;something came up at work?&quot; Did you have to sell your tickets to a concert, or back out of a weekend trip, because the boss needed you to come in?</p> <p>These are all signs that your work-life balance is completely messed up. It's OK to work late once in awhile. Sometimes, it's unavoidable. But if your social life always takes a back seat to your career, you will suffer. And so will your work. You need down time. Take it.</p> <h2>4. Work is always on your mind</h2> <p>You muse about it at the dinner table. You think about it in bed. You lose track of the conversation because you're worried about the project you're working on. When the only thing on your mind is work, you have a serious problem.</p> <p>At work, it's great to be this focused. At home, your focus should be your family, your friends, your hobbies, and other nonwork pursuits. Thinking about the job all the time will take its toll on your mental health, and you'll eventually burn out.</p> <p>If you find yourself unable to switch off, it may be time to seek help from an occupational therapist. They will teach you coping skills that allow you to turn off the &quot;work brain&quot; and come back to reality.</p> <h2>5. You are constantly checking work emails</h2> <p>These days, we carry smartphones that put the office in our pockets. You can open emails in the checkout line at the grocery store, at the ballgame, or even on a date. And if you're doing any of those on a regular occasion, your job is taking over your life.</p> <p>You need to put hard restraints on your private time. You should not be expected to check emails all hours of the day and night. Some people even get woken up in the middle of the night by emails from an overzealous boss or coworker. Set limits. Refuse to answer emails after a certain time. It's as simple as that.</p> <h2>6. You never take a vacation or sick day</h2> <p>Americans aren't using their vacation days. As of 2015, workers only took an average of <a href="http://www.projecttimeoff.com/research/state-american-vacation-2016" target="_blank">16.2 days of vacation</a> per year &mdash; almost a week less than the average between 1978 and 2000 &mdash; and 55 percent left days unused. That's a lot of wasted opportunities for a healthier work-life balance.</p> <p>Vacation days are important. Sick days are important. Refusing to use either of them is going to have serious repercussions on your wellbeing. Even if you think you're completely fine, but haven't taken a vacation in years, you may be ready to burn out. Sadly, by the time it happens, it can take months to put right. Sick days are vital for when you are genuinely sick. Not only will showing up to work prolong your illness, but you'll also spread it to other people in the office.</p> <p>Your work suffers when you're sick, too. This is why companies want you to use your sick days when you are ill. Dedication is one thing, but letting your health suffer isn't helping you or your employer.</p> <h2>7. You crack under the slightest pressure</h2> <p>You find yourself having far less patience these days. You shout and become frazzled at the smallest provocation. You apologize often for outbursts that never should have happened. You are almost certainly showing signs of a work-life balance that is very unhealthy.</p> <p>When we have our work-life balance right, we can more easily handle problems that arise. We don't crack, and we don't fly off the handle. But the more we work, and the less time we have to relax, the quicker our patience reserves go into the red. If you're breaking easily, you need to re-evaluate the time you're spending at work.</p> <h2>8. You constantly think about quitting</h2> <p>They say that if you do something you love, you'll never work a day in your life. Most people don't have that luxury. It's a job, it pays the bills, it provides health insurance, and it serves its purpose.</p> <p>But if the job starts consuming your life, and all you can think about is quitting, then your work-life balance is way off. Yes, it may also be because the job itself is not pleasant, but when the bad job becomes the bane of your existence, it tips the scales. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-you-should-quit-your-job?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Signs You Should Quit Your Job</a>)</p> <h2>9. Your personal space is a mess</h2> <p>No time to clean. No time to organize. No time to do anything other than work &mdash; and boy, does it show. It usually starts with your desk at the office, and then it spreads. Before you know it, your home is just the place you sleep and shower. Your space is an utter mess, and you ignore it all.</p> <p>Why? Because you're never there long enough to care. And when you are home, you're exhausted. Take a look around you, right now &mdash; has your personal space gotten out of hand? Is everything a mess? Then it's time to take a much-needed break.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-signs-your-work-life-balance-is-off">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-manage-two-jobs-without-burning-out">How to Manage Two Jobs (Without Burning Out)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-hacks-to-avoid-burnout-at-work">13 Hacks to Avoid Burnout at Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-you-shouldnt-vacation-shame-your-coworkers">7 Reasons You Shouldn&#039;t &quot;Vacation Shame&quot; Your Coworkers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-a-big-paycheck-is-not-worth-staying-in-a-job-you-hate">5 Reasons a Big Paycheck Is Not Worth Staying in a Job You Hate</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/here-s-why-you-shouldn-t-work-in-your-downtime">Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Work in Your Downtime</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income burnout employment exhaustion overworked personal time stress work life balance working Tue, 16 May 2017 08:00:09 +0000 Paul Michael 1947497 at http://www.wisebread.com Your Stressful Job May Be… Making You Healthier? http://www.wisebread.com/your-stressful-job-may-be-making-you-healthier <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/your-stressful-job-may-be-making-you-healthier" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_stressed_work_85247123.jpg" alt="Woman learning her stressful job might be making her healthier" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Yes, stress has a negative effect on our health. It can raise our blood pressure, increase the risk of heart disease, and contribute to obesity and other illnesses. And that may seem like reason enough to quit your high-pressure job, but before you throw in the towel and dust off your resume, there's something you should know about job-related stress.</p> <p>As much as you'd like to banish all that frustration from your life, consider that your constant 9-to-5 headache may be making you healthier. Yep, you read that correctly. Recent research found that a moderate amount of everyday stress has a surprising positive effect on the brain and body. Now, this doesn't mean you should run out and get the most stressful job you can find, or stay in occupations that push you over the edge. There's good stress and there's bad stress, and it's important to understand how each affects the human body. Chronic stress, which lasts for weeks or months, is bad stress, and can trigger long-term problems. But considering that our bodies are wired to react to stress, the everyday pressures you deal with at work aren't necessarily a bad thing. Here's why. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-turn-your-stress-into-money?ref=seealso">8 Ways to Turn Your Stress Into Money</a>)</p> <h2>1. It Improves Brainpower</h2> <p>Whether you're facing tight deadlines or preparing for an upcoming meeting with a difficult client, these types of situations can increase your stress level and send you into panic mode. Every job has its fair share of pressure, and at times it can feel as if you have too much on your plate. These aren't the most favorable circumstances, but the upside is that manageable amounts of stress can improve your brainpower. This not only helps you perform better on the job, it also boosts cognitive function over time.</p> <p>The reason is that moderate stress encourages the production of neurotrophins, a type a brain chemical that supports the growth and survival of nerve cells. So while chronic stress slowly damages brain structure, research shows that short-term stress has the opposite effect and stimulates the growth of new brain cells. A study discovered that<a href="http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/the_surprising_benefits_of_stress">exposure to short-lived stress</a> triggered the development of new nerve cells in the brains of laboratory rats. After two weeks, the lab rats had improved mental performance. Researchers concluded that controlled, manageable stress on the job prompts a similar reaction in humans, improving our memory, concentration, and alertness.</p> <h2>2. It Boosts Your Immune System</h2> <p>Some people who battle ongoing stress notice a difference in their health because too much stress can suppress the immune system. This makes us more susceptible to illness and infections. But with regard to short-term stressors &mdash; such as those you might experience at work &mdash; these types of demands have the potential to reinforce or strengthen protective chemicals in your body, which can give your immune system a pick-me-up.</p> <p>High-tense situations set in motion a fight-or-flight response, which is a physiological reaction to a perceived threat. This is an inborn response that prepares your body to fight or flee impending danger. Your heart rate increases, your body releases adrenaline and extra sugar for energy, and you react more instinctively. According to a study by the Stanford University School of Medicine, the <a href="https://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2012/06/study-explains-how-stress-can-boost-immune-system.html">fight-or-flight response activated by short-term stress</a> not only jump-starts a spontaneous reaction from your body's resources, it also promotes stronger immune function, which makes it easier for your body to ward off and fight infections.</p> <h2>3. It Lowers Your Risk of Prolonged Stress</h2> <p>Short-term stress also increases resiliency and teaches you how to confront and tackle everyday pressures and demands. The first time you come up against a particular situation, you might crumble or think you don't have strength to handle the hurdle. But the more you face the problem and overcome the stressor, the easier it is to cope in the future.</p> <p>If you toughen up and develop positive strategies to manage your time and emotions, you're less likely to suffer from chronic stress. As a result, you decrease the risk of health problems triggered by prolonged stress, such as heart disease, cancer, and infections.</p> <h2>4. It Might Help You Live Longer</h2> <p>Do you want to live longer? Your stressful job might be the secret weapon. A study conducted by the Indiana University found that &quot;employees in stressful positions were a third <a href="http://time.com/money/4536431/stressful-job-health/">less likely to die than those with less strenuous jobs</a>.&quot; These findings might have you scratching your head, especially since we already know the negative consequences of stress, but the study also revealed that those in stressful positions who lived longer were also in control of their workflow.</p> <p>The study, which took place between 2004 and 2011 and included thousands of workers, concluded that participants who enjoyed greater flexibility in their stressful jobs were 34% less likely to have died than participants in high-pressure jobs who enjoyed little freedom. One theory is that participants with less control in their high pressure jobs were more likely to adopt unhealthy habits as a way to cope with their circumstances. These habits included overeating (which leads to obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart problems), and smoking, which increased the risk of cancer and other health problems.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-stressful-job-may-be-making-you-healthier">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-reasons-you-are-more-than-your-job">3 Reasons You Are More Than Your Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-important-reasons-to-always-call-in-sick-when-youre-sick">8 Important Reasons to Always Call In Sick When You&#039;re Sick</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-keep-anxiety-from-ruining-your-budget">5 Ways to Keep Anxiety From Ruining Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-38-ways-to-get-more-sleep-tonight">Flashback Friday: 38 Ways to Get More Sleep Tonight</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-frugal-ways-to-reduce-workplace-stress">10 Frugal Ways to Reduce Workplace Stress</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Health and Beauty anxiety depression frustration Health stress stressful job work work life balance Thu, 10 Nov 2016 10:00:07 +0000 Mikey Rox 1830273 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Signs the 9-to-5 IS Right for You http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-the-9-to-5-is-right-for-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-signs-the-9-to-5-is-right-for-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000089400227_Large.jpg" alt="the 9-to-5 is right for her" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There's so much buzz about escaping the 9-to-5 and becoming your own boss, or working from home. But&hellip; this isn't for everyone, and you may actually be cut out for the 9-to-5 grind.</p> <p>I had the experience of going back to a 9-to-5 job after running my own business for five years. After returning to my cubicle, I realized that there are some significant benefits to working for someone else at a regular job instead of starting your own business.</p> <p>Here are signs that you might be happier and more successful staying with the classic workday grind.</p> <h2>1. You Need Your Next Paycheck</h2> <p>Unlike a 9-to-5 job, owning a business often means variable income. Some months you might make a lot of money, and others not so much. Those first few months after you start a business are often months when you are not likely to make much income as you are establishing customers. Could you afford to go a few months without any income? If not, you might be better off staying with your 9-to-5 job.</p> <h2>2. You're Making More Money</h2> <p>If you are <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-money-does-buy-happiness">getting paid more</a> at your current job, working for your current employer, than you think you could make on your own, then you might be better off staying at the office.</p> <p>For one thing, some companies offer regular raises. After a few years of good performance reviews, you could find yourself with a salary that would be hard to replicate doing the same work as an independent contractor and competing with other hungry independent contractors.</p> <p>Another reason you could be paid more at a 9-to-5 job is leverage of resources. At work, you might be a small cog in a big machine, but the big machine is making a lot of money. If you strike out on your own &mdash; no longer surrounded by all of the resources of a big company &mdash; you may provide less value to your customers and get paid less as a result.</p> <h2>3. Your Hours Really Are 9-to-5</h2> <p>A lot people would be thrilled to work from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and then go home. Many positions demand working much more than 40 hours per week, plus working evenings, weekends, and sometimes holidays. If you have a regular job that gives you a full-time paycheck for working 40 hours per week or less, think twice before giving that up.</p> <p>If your current job leaves you with some spare time, consider keeping your 9-to-5 job and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-side-jobs-for-people-who-are-good-with-money">adding a side hustle</a> to bring in some extra money.</p> <h2>4. You Are a Specialist</h2> <p>When I started my business, there was a time when I was the only one working there. It was exciting to be the boss and work on technical projects, but someone needed to vacuum the floors, pay the utility bills, answer the phone, etc. Since I was the only employee, that person was me!</p> <p>Working at an office with lots of other people around allows employees to specialize. A &quot;real&quot; business might have custodians that take care of vacuuming, financial analysts that take care of paying bills, and administrative assistants that take care of answering phones.</p> <p>The job descriptions at a 9-to-5 job are typically a lot more specialized than if you work for yourself. If you have special skills and provide value by performing specialized work, you might end up doing a lot less of that specialized work and a lot more general tasks if you leave your regular job.</p> <h2>5. You Like to Finish Things</h2> <p>People have different working styles and different comfort levels with chaos and changes in direction. I know some people who work really well on a defined task and can drive away at it steadily until it is completed. At a typical 9-to-5 type job, if other demands or tasks pop up, the management will help sort out priorities. Additional staff can be pulled in to deal with new work. Most employees have a few top priorities and focus on getting those things done on time.</p> <p>Working on your own, there is no one available to help juggle the chaos of real life. If additional tasks pop up, you may need to let some balls fall to the ground in order to catch more important ones. You can often end up stopping in the middle of some tasks to take on more urgent work. If letting things go unfinished would frustrate you, then you might be more satisfied in the more stable environment of a regular job.</p> <h2>6. You Are Afraid of Financial Risks</h2> <p>Financial risk is the main reason I left my own business to go back to a 9-to-5 job. While running my own business, I would sometimes use personal credit cards to make payroll. As the business grew, I applied for small business loans to keep the business operating until we got the next big contract. It was my name signed on the two-year facility lease. Income was good at times, but not predictable. At any time, the income could stop coming in and the payroll and facility expenses would still need to be paid.</p> <p>I decided that I liked where I lived, and with kids getting to school age, I wanted a more stable source of income and to take on less financial risk. Fortunately, I was able to transition to a great career in a 9-to-5 position.</p> <p>Being your own boss has greater income potential than working for someone else, but this potential comes at the cost of greater risk. If you are already stressed out about your finances, taking on additional risk by leaving a steady income behind may not be a good move for you.</p> <h2>7. You Crave Balance</h2> <p>One reason people think about leaving their day job is to get a more flexible work schedule. It is true that working on your own can result in a more flexibility, but this schedule may include working a lot more hours! If your goal from striking out on your own is to be able to spend more time with your family, you may be disappointed.</p> <p>Many 9-to-5 jobs will allow some schedule flexibility if you work with management. If you can still get your job done, you may be able to arrange working hours that are a bit different than standard office hours or even do some of your work from home.</p> <p>Before leaving your regular job to get some schedule flexibility, see if your current employer can support this request. You might be able to get better work-life balance without the need to take on the challenges of starting your own business.</p> <h2>8. You Have Friends In the Next Cubicle</h2> <p>For many people, work is an important part of their social structure. You become friends with people at work since you spend time with them and get to know them. Your position at work facilitates meeting new people and quickly establishing relationships.</p> <p>If you leave your regular job, these friendships and connections will fade. Working at home on your own makes it harder to meet new people and keep up with old friends. If you leave your 9-to-5 job, you might be leaving more than just your old cubicle behind.</p> <p><em>Do you think working 9-to-5 or owning your own business is a better fit for you? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dr-penny-pincher">Dr Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-the-9-to-5-is-right-for-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/day-job-or-freelance-which-is-right-for-you">Day Job or Freelance: Which Is Right for You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-best-jobs-for-work-life-balance">4 Best Jobs for Work Life Balance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-smart-summer-side-jobs-for-new-grads">6 Smart Summer Side Jobs for New Grads</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-questions-to-ask-before-you-take-a-job-offer">12 Questions to Ask Before You Take a Job Offer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-signs-your-company-is-going-under">10 Signs Your Company Is Going Under</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Job Hunting 9-to-5 job search office hours office job work life balance work schedule workday Tue, 31 May 2016 10:00:06 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 1719034 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Best Jobs for Working Moms and Dads http://www.wisebread.com/6-best-jobs-for-working-moms-and-dads <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-best-jobs-for-working-moms-and-dads" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000075489143_Large.jpg" alt="working mom loving her job" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Working moms and dads seek jobs that provide a blend of good pay, flexibility, and plenty of time off. It's all about striking that ever-important work-life balance. What careers have it all? Here are just a few jobs you might consider if you're a parent and craving a change.</p> <h2>1. Web Developer</h2> <p>The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects <a href="http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/web-developers.htm">new web developer positions</a> to grow 27% by 2024. This is wonderful news if you're a mom or dad into designing and maintaining websites. The median pay for web developers is $63,490 per year or $30.52 per hour. While about one in seven in this position are self-employed, there's a lot of opportunity to work from home full- or even part-time. You just need a computer, coding experience, and a dose of creativity.</p> <h2>2. Freelancer</h2> <p>As a freelance writer, I set my own hours, choose the weight of my workload, and do it all from the comfort of my home office. I write when my daughter is at preschool, while she's sleeping, and I sneak in other bits of work when I find the time. Mustering the discipline to stay focused at home can be a challenge, and quarterly taxes are sometimes annoying. Overall, though, I feel fortunate to have discovered such a wonderful way to use my college degree in writing and pay a nice chunk of our monthly bills.</p> <p>Not great with words? According to <em>Time Magazine</em>, there are at least 17.8 million freelancers who <a href="http://time.com/money/4023097/freelance-economy-facts-stats/">work over 15 hours</a> a week in the United States. A few of the highest paying freelance positions include patent lawyers ($112 per hour), voiceover artists ($72 per hour), and programmers ($61 per hour). Even better, a whopping 2.9 million freelancers brought home over $100,000 in pay last year.</p> <h2>3. IT Data Scientist</h2> <p>What exactly does an IT data scientist do? Just solves complex problems in computing and discovers new uses for existing technology. That's all.</p> <p>The BLS explains that as a computer and information research scientist, you need some major skills and education. Many people interested in this type of work will need to hold a Ph.D. in computer science (or a related field), though some jobs in the federal government only require a bachelor's degree. IT data scientists <a href="http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-and-information-research-scientists.htm">earn high salaries</a> (median salary of over $100,000) and only one in 10 worked over 40 hours per week in 2014. If you can swing it, the job outlook is solid with 11% growth leading up to 2024.</p> <h2>4. K-12 Teacher</h2> <p>My husband is a high school English teacher. While many may argue that teachers don't get paid enough for their work, the time off, benefits, and opportunities to make extra money are excellent. He leaves for work around 7 a.m. and can be home by 3 p.m. most days of the week. He has 10 weeks off during the summer months and many more throughout the year for holidays and breaks. To supplement our income, he even took on a couple coaching gigs that have increased his salary by more than $10,000 per year.</p> <p>Many teachers also enjoy unique time off benefits, especially related to child care leaves. In New York City, for example, a teacher can apply for <a href="http://schools.nyc.gov/Offices/DHR/HealthBenefitsLeavesAbsence/NonMedicalLeave/default.htm">child care leave</a> at a maximum of four years after a birth or adoption. Though there is no pay or health insurance during this time, having the option to stay home with a job ready and waiting is certainly appealing to many parents.</p> <h2>5. Other Education</h2> <p>Online adjunct faculty get the best of both worlds with the option to work from home and set their own hours. As the site GetEducated explains, the BLS <a href="http://www.geteducated.com/career-center/detail/online-instructor-post-secondary">doesn't yet separate data</a> with traditional and online post-secondary teachers. Some estimates come in at around $1,500 and $2,500 per semester-long course, but pay varies wildly by institution and position. More and more people are choosing to continue their educations online, so job growth is expected to climb in this field.</p> <p>You'll need an advanced degree and some experience to hold a curriculum development job. Once you're in, many positions are full-time and allow you to work from home. How much will you make? About $60,000 a year. Not too shabby.</p> <h2>6. Call Center Representatives</h2> <p>You've probably been on the phone with a call center representative at one time or another. Some handle customer complaints, while others work on sales or order processing. These folks are employed in most every industry across the board. Did you know that many of them do it from home and set their own hours? It's true!</p> <p>The BLS reports that the median <a href="http://www.bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/customer-service-representatives.htm">pay for call center representatives</a> is around $30,000 but the education level required is just a high school diploma. On-the-job training is short and sweet, too. Positions are expected to grow some 10% between now and 2024.</p> <p><em>Don't see your amazing gig listed here? Feel free to share your own top picks in the comments below!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-best-jobs-for-working-moms-and-dads">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-manage-costs-while-youre-on-maternity-leave">5 Ways to Manage Costs While You&#039;re on Maternity Leave</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-part-time-jobs-to-do-while-your-kids-are-at-school">17 Part-Time Jobs to Do While Your Kids Are at School</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-jobs-for-people-who-hate-the-9-5">10 Great Jobs for People Who Hate the 9-5</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-should-you-say-no-to-those-who-want-to-borrow-money-from-you">When Should You Say No to Those Who Want to Borrow Money from You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-make-your-young-kids-pay-rent">Should You Make Your Young Kids Pay &quot;Rent?&quot;</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Family parenting work from home work life balance working dad working mom Thu, 04 Feb 2016 00:15:34 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1649807 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Best Jobs for Work Life Balance http://www.wisebread.com/4-best-jobs-for-work-life-balance <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-best-jobs-for-work-life-balance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mother_working_baby_000048338582.jpg" alt="Woman finding best jobs for work-life balance" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>More and more Americans want better work-life balance. In the U.S., <a href="http://www.ey.com/US/en/About-us/Our-people-and-culture/EY-study-highlights-dual-career-dynamics-in-the-us#.VjqfBOn8uhM">57% of full-time employees</a> indicate that their spouse or partner works 35 hours or more a week, too.</p> <p>However, no other group craves a better work-life balance more than millennials. While 78% of full-time working millennials have a spouse or partner also working full-time, only 47% of full-time working baby boomers and 68% of Gen X experience this scenario. With two full-time working parents, quality couple time, family time and &quot;me time&quot; are becoming more and more scarce.</p> <p>If your employer doesn't sympathize with your desire for a more flexible arrangement, it may be the time to switch jobs. To help you escape the rat race, here are the four best jobs for work-life balance.</p> <h2>1. Data Scientist</h2> <p>According to Glasdoor's 2015 list of <a href="http://www.glassdoor.com/blog/25-jobs-worklife-balance-2015/">best jobs for work-life balance</a>, the role of data scientist provides the best work-life balance. With an average 4.2 rating out of a possible 5.0, data scientist took the top spot in work-life balance across users of the recruiting site over the past year.</p> <p>If you keep on hearing everywhere about the &quot;power of big data,&quot; this is what it's all about. A data scientist uses the power of algorithms to process large amounts of data and use those findings to make recommendations that drive customer engagement and monetization. You'll have to be comfortable working with monster spreadsheets and databases (think millions of rows and several terabytes), develop mad SQL and SAS skills, and keep up with the latest data mining tools and techniques.</p> <p>Companies well-known for providing great perks and flexible schedules, including Facebook and Google, are hiring data scientists. With an average salary of $114,808 (according to Glassdoor), data scientist is one attractive career to look for.</p> <h2>2. Web Developer</h2> <p>U.S. News maintains a <a href="http://money.usnews.com/careers/best-jobs/rankings/the-100-best-jobs">list of 100 best jobs</a> in the nation. The list uses seven criteria, including 10-year growth volume, employment rate, and work-life balance, to rank the jobs. While U.S. News gave the dentist occupation the top spot in its list of best jobs, a closer look to the job satisfaction reviews shows that the web developer occupation provides better work-life balance.</p> <p>According to U.S. News, web developers tend to have above average upward mobility, below average stress level, and high flexibility. Interviewed employers indicate that often their web developers <a href="http://money.usnews.com/careers/best-jobs/web-developer/reviews">don't have to punch a clock</a>. &quot;We set deadlines, and as long as they get their work done, we're flexible with hours.&quot; two employers said to U.S. News.</p> <p>The median annual salary of a web developer was <a href="http://money.usnews.com/careers/best-jobs/web-developer/salary">$63,160 in 2013</a>, with individuals earning between $33,320 and $110,350.</p> <h2>3. Tutor</h2> <p>In a study from Ernst &amp; Young, respondents pointed out that the <a href="http://www.ey.com/US/en/About-us/Our-people-and-culture/EY-study-highlights-people-want-flexibility">option to telecommute</a> (working from another location other than the office or client site) is an important flexibility issue. In the same survey, millennials are more likely to say it's important to be able to telecommute one to two days a week.</p> <p>Tutoring enables individuals looking to telecommute as much as possible to really own their schedule. For example, since 2006 I have been tutoring business professionals to prepare for the GMAT, a standardized admission test used by most MBA programs around the world. I have been able to consistently tutor students first in Mexico and now in the United States. Currently, I work with Kaplan, a test prep company, and I'm able to teach students in person and online on my own schedule. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-3-best-jobs-for-expats-and-travelers">The 3 Best Jobs for Expats and Travelers</a>)</p> <p>With the advent of several online tutoring sites, such as Tutor.com, Skillshare, and Wyzant, you're not limited to your geographic area and can find students across the world. Some sites, such as Tutor.com, require you to commit to tutor at least five hours per week. However, you decide when those hours happen.</p> <p>Having the ability to do their job in any country is key for millennials as 38% of them would make the sacrifice to <a href="http://www.ey.com/US/en/About-us/Our-people-and-culture/EY-study-highlights-dual-career-dynamics-in-the-us#.VkV5zt-rSRu">move a country with better parental leave</a> benefits.</p> <h2>4. Talent Acquisition Specialist</h2> <p>Ranking third on Glassdoor's list, the talent acquisition specialist has a rating of 4.0 out of 5.0 in work-life balance satisfaction. Also known as recruiters or human resources (HR) specialists, talent acquisition specialists are in charge of finding, screening, interviewing, and recommending the best candidates for a job opening. One key requirement for talent acquisition specialists is people skills. If you can't get along with different people in different settings, then this may not be the field for you.</p> <p>While Glassdoor says that the average salary for this position is $63,504, U.S. News puts the <a href="http://money.usnews.com/careers/best-jobs/hr-specialist">median salary at $56,850</a>. One of the main advantages of this occupation is stability, given that employment in this field is expected to balloon 15.5% from 2012 to 2022.</p> <p>To some, it may come off as a surprise that respondents to the Glassdoor survey gave such a high rating to the work-life balance satisfaction of this job. However, those critics should keep in mind the following points:</p> <ul> <li>Like web developers, talent acquisition specialists have to meet deadlines and have flexibility as long as they can hit their numbers.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Like tutors, talent acquisition specialists can leverage the web and their cellphone to do the bulk of the work remotely. With cloud-based HR software becoming the industry norm, a recruiter can do her work as long as she has an Internet connection.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Depending on their field of specialization, HR specialists have different hours and hiring seasons. Many recruiters welcome the break of pace and opt to work only during hiring seasons or on a part-time basis.</li> </ul> <p><em>What are other great jobs to achieve better work-life balance?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-best-jobs-for-work-life-balance">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/day-job-or-freelance-which-is-right-for-you">Day Job or Freelance: Which Is Right for You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-bounce-back-from-job-rejection">4 Ways to Bounce Back From Job Rejection</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jumpstart-your-job-search-with-instagram">Jumpstart Your Job Search With Instagram</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-common-job-hunt-tips-you-should-ignore">8 Common Job-Hunt Tips You Should Ignore</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/escape-your-dying-industry-with-one-of-these-8-careers-instead">Escape Your Dying Industry With One of These 8 Careers, Instead</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Job Hunting career job hunting job search work life balance Mon, 23 Nov 2015 16:00:32 +0000 Damian Davila 1614975 at http://www.wisebread.com The 7 Best Employers for Single Parents http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-best-employers-for-single-parents <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-7-best-employers-for-single-parents" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/father_and_daughter_000050667160.jpg" alt="Man finding best companies for single parents" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Building a career is challenging enough. If you're a single parent? You're working even harder. It's no easy task to manage that work-life balance. How do you give both your children and your career the attention they deserve?</p> <p>You can start by working at a company that actually respects the concept of a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/7-steps-to-work-life-balance-when-working-from-home">work-life balance</a>. And if you're a single parent, it helps to work for a company that allows employees to work at least part-time from home, provides flexible scheduling, and offers on-site daycare.</p> <p>Fortunately, there are companies like this. Here is a list &mdash; in no particular order and compiled from some of the most respected work-life rankings available &mdash; of the companies that single parents should target.</p> <h2>1. IBM</h2> <p>This venerable tech company based in Armonk, New York, has been featured on Working Mother Magazine's &quot;100 Best Companies&quot; list for all 30 years that the magazine has run this feature. The company's work-life benefits &mdash; key for single parents &mdash; are a big reason.</p> <p>IBM offers parents subsidized daycare options and provides a 529 plan that parents can tap to save money for their children's college educations. IBM also offers financial counseling and college coaching to its employees, something that can help single parents trying to juggle budgeting, raising children, and furthering their education.</p> <h2>2. General Mills</h2> <p>The food-manufacturer based in Minneapolis is also a mainstay of Working Mother Magazine's list. According to the magazine's 2015 list, General Mills offers job-sharing, telecommuting, and flexible schedules to its employees. This is important to single parents hoping to work around at least some of their children's extracurricular activities or who want to drop their children off at school each morning.</p> <p>Not all employees take advantage of these flexible working hours. But Working Mother Magazine reported in its 2015 list that 63% of employees do rely on flexible scheduling and telecommuting at least some of the time.</p> <p>New parents at General Mills are given the choice to reduce their working hours for up to eight weeks as they return to work after maternity or paternity leave.</p> <h2>3. Colgate-Palmolive</h2> <p>In 2015, Forbes worked with employment site <a href="http://www.indeed.com/">Indeed</a> to create a list of the 25 best companies for work-life balance. New York City-based Colgate-Palmolive, famous for its toothpaste and dish soaps, topped the list. Benefits that appeal to single parents are a major reason why.</p> <p>The company offers tuition assistance to parents who want to earn degrees that will help them further support their children. It also offers onsite childcare and free legal and financial counseling to employees. When single parents have to move, they can ease at least some of the stress by taking advantage of Colgate-Palmolive's relocation assistance.</p> <h2>4. SAS Institute</h2> <p>You might not have heard of SAS Institute &mdash; the Cary, North Carolina company is a software analytics company, but this employer has become a favorite of workers. In 2013, Fast Company Magazine featured SAS in a story headlined &quot;How SAS Became the World's Best Place to Work,&quot; and employment site Glassdoor ranked SAS highly in its most recent &quot;Top 25 Companies for Work-Life Balance&quot; list.</p> <p>Of particular interest to single parents? SAS leaders don't focus needlessly on the amount of hours that employees spend in the office. In fact, the company operates a 35-hour work week. This doesn't mean that employees only work 35 hours. Many choose to work more. But for single parents, the option to work fewer hours is a tempting one, making it far easier to shuttle kids around and attend band concerts.</p> <p>SAS also offers discounted child care, an onsite healthcare clinic, onsite gym for parents who want a de-stressing workout, and free work-life counseling for those struggling to juggle their roles as single parents and employees.</p> <h2>5. Wegmans Food Markets</h2> <p>Supermarket chains don't always have stellar reputations when it comes to parent-friendly benefits. Wegmans Food Markets, based in Rochester, New York, is the exception.</p> <p>Fortune Magazine ranked Wegmans seventh on its 2015 list of the &quot;100 Best Companies to Work For.&quot; It's an especially good place for single parents who want to return to college to boost their earning potential. Wegmans provides tuition assistance for both its full and part-time employees, according to Fortune.</p> <p>The supermarket chain also covers 85% to 100% of the health care costs of its employees and their dependents, a huge benefit for single parents worried about covering their children's medical bills. And for those who want to spend more time at home when their children are actually awake? Wegmans offer flexible working hours.</p> <h2>6. Quicken Loans</h2> <p>ComputerWorld in 2015 ranked Detroit-based mortgage lender Quicken Loans as the best place for IT workers. That's a heady honor, but Quicken Loans is actually a great place for anyone to work, especially single parents.</p> <p>Just look at the benefits that single parents can tap: Those who have adopted will earn a $5,000 adoption benefit and 10 days of paid leave. Quicken offers all of its workers 26 days of annual paid holiday and vacation leave after one year of service, and provides 90 days of job-protected maternity leave.</p> <p>The lender also provides onsite child care, telecommuting options, and flexible scheduling.</p> <h2>7. Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts</h2> <p>The hospitality industry is another that doesn't have a reputation for providing top benefits. Toronto-based Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts is an exception, according to Fortune Magazine, which ranked the hotel chain as one of its best places to work for 2015.</p> <p>According to Fortune, Four Seasons provides 30 days of protected maternity leave for new parents and offers 19 days of holiday and vacation days each year to employees who have worked at the company for at least one year.</p> <p>For single parents who need to work flexible hours, Four Seasons offers compressed work weeks (employees can work more hours in a shorter number of days), telecommuting, and flexible work schedules. Those parents without cars can receive subsidized public transportation to and from work.</p> <p><em>Would you seek out a job that offered great work-life balance?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-best-employers-for-single-parents">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-life-skills-for-working-moms">10 Life Skills for Working Moms</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-every-single-parent-should-make">5 Money Moves Every Single Parent Should Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-good-reasons-to-become-a-contractor">8 Good Reasons to Become a Contractor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-what-to-do-if-you-dont-make-enough-money-at-your-job">Here&#039;s What to Do if You Don&#039;t Make Enough Money at Your Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-negotiate-a-raise-out-of-the-blue">How to Negotiate a Raise Out of the Blue</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building Family child care employment flexible jobs single parents work life balance Fri, 16 Oct 2015 09:00:36 +0000 Dan Rafter 1587463 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Secrets About Life and Career From "Office Space" http://www.wisebread.com/7-secrets-about-life-and-career-from-office-space <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-secrets-about-life-and-career-from-office-space" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4819651664_e083ac9013_z_0.jpg" alt="office" title="office" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Let&rsquo;s get one thing clear &mdash; I don&rsquo;t think Mike Judge wrote the movie &ldquo;Office Space&rdquo; to help people improve their career prospects or &ldquo;find themselves.&rdquo; It&rsquo;s a funny, and searing, indictment on the modern workplace (aka cubicle farms), and it did the job so well, it&rsquo;s become one of the best-selling DVDs ever.</p> <p>But when you get beneath the oft-repeated quotes (&ldquo;Hey Peter, what&rsquo;s happening,&rdquo; &ldquo;Looks like someone has a case of the Mun-days,&rdquo; and &ldquo;I believe you have my stapler&rdquo;) there&rsquo;s a lot more to &ldquo;Office Space&rdquo; than great satire.</p> <p>So let&rsquo;s look at seven work and life lessons we can all learn from the movie. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/financial-lessons-from-the-hunger-games">Financial Lessons From &quot;The Hunger Games&quot;</a>)</p> <h3>1. Life&rsquo;s Too Short to Work at a Job You Hate</h3> <p>Peter Gibbons hates his job. Every day is a prison sentence. In fact, he confesses to a shrink that every day is the worst day of his life:</p> <blockquote><p>So I was sitting in my cubicle today, and I realized, ever since I started working, every single day of my life has been worse than the day before it. So that means that every single day that you see me, that's on the worst day of my life.</p> </blockquote> <p>His best friends and co-workers Michael Bolton and Samir Nagheenanajar also dislike <em>their </em>jobs but not with the same disdain and loathing as Peter. Even the squirrelly Milton Waddams has major issues, as he is constantly moved and demoted. And across the street, Peter&rsquo;s girlfriend Joanna hates her job at Chotchkie&rsquo;s, where flair must be worn to keep the customers happy.</p> <p>In short, everybody in &ldquo;Office Space&rdquo; seems to hate their jobs.</p> <p>In a bad economy, people are thankful to have any job at all, so advising you all to quit your awful jobs and wait for something better to come along is not what I have in mind. But if you don&rsquo;t have a better job lined up, work at making your current job easier to tolerate. Many of the big problems are never going to change, but you can change your outlook on them. I&rsquo;ve done it myself, and sometimes I have to remind myself to do it or fall into the trap of whining and complaining. Don&rsquo;t let hate, anger, and apathy rule your working life.</p> <h3>2. You Have the Ability to Change Your Work Environment</h3> <p>Directly related to the point above, &quot;Office Space&quot; shows us what happens when a guy who hates his job makes it completely livable. When Peter gets hypnotized by the psychiatrist, his paradigm shifts. He decides to lay in bed all day and not go into the office on the weekend. He becomes completely honest with &ldquo;the Bobs,&rdquo; the consultants brought in to make staff cut recommendations, and it does him credit. He removes one of the walls of his cubicle to see the scenery. He changes what was seemingly unchangeable, and he becomes better for it.</p> <p>Sleeping in all day when we should be at work is probably not an option for most of us. We can&rsquo;t go hacking up the furniture and building. But we can make changes, however small, that help us out. If you really hate your work environment, see if you can change it. Maybe you can be moved to a different area. Maybe you can get a better view. Is the lighting awful? Can you have it switched off, and bring in your own ambient lighting? Can you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/finding-your-best-work-hours">work flexible hours</a>, maybe to avoid bad traffic or work around a schedule you prefer? Employers are more accommodating than you&rsquo;d think, and even the smallest changes could make a big difference to your happiness.</p> <h3>3. Your Dreams Can Come True (in the Strangest Ways)</h3> <p>Consider Tom Smykowski, the mustachioed anxiety-ridden &ldquo;people person&rdquo; who was one of the first to get axed by &ldquo;the Bobs.&rdquo; He had an idea. Not a great idea. Not even a mediocre idea. It was the &ldquo;Jump to Conclusions&rdquo; mat, and it was his version of the Pet Rock. Basically, he took the Twister mat concept and put different conclusions on it, that the user could them jump to.</p> <p>As Michael Bolton said, with a sigh, &ldquo;That&rsquo;s the worst idea I&rsquo;ve ever heard in my life...&rdquo;</p> <p>But it was Tom&rsquo;s baby. He loved it. We wanted it to happen. And when he got fired, his failed suicide attempt resulted in a bizarre accident that got him a seven-figure settlement from the auto insurance company.</p> <p>Yes, he was in a neck brace and back brace, he and broke every major bone in his body. But he was also the creator of the Jump to Conclusions mat! His dream came true, and at a time when he should have been at his lowest.</p> <p>So whether you have a terrible idea like the Jump to Conclusions mat, or something that actually has a chance of being bought and used, never give up on your dream. Life has this habit of delivering right when you least expect it.</p> <h3>4. Don&rsquo;t Be Afraid to Visit the Therapist</h3> <p>If you&rsquo;re having major problems with your job, your direction in life, or even <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mend-a-broken-heart-without-breaking-the-bank">your relationship</a>, then do not rule out therapy. Most insurance plans cover therapy with a co-pay for at least a few months of weekly sessions. And once you get over the hurdle of admitting you need help, those sessions can help you find some balance and peace.</p> <p>Peter went to an occupational therapist who tried to hypnotize him, and during the process, the therapist died and left Peter in a trance. The trance became the most significant improvement in his adult life. Or at least, it was the catalyst.</p> <p>Therapy can be a great way to help you relieve some of the burden. Talking about your problems can help you resolve them. And you could finally figure out the direction you want to take in life, if you haven&rsquo;t done so already.</p> <h3>5. Deal With Small Irritations Before They Become Big Problems</h3> <blockquote><p>Corporate accounts payable, Nina speaking. Just a moment! Corporate accounts payable, Nina speaking. Just a moment! Corporate accounts payable, Nina speaking. Just a moment! Corporate accounts payable, Nina speaking. Just a moment!</p> </blockquote> <p>If you hear that hour after hour, day after day, eventually you&rsquo;re going to snap. And you can&rsquo;t snap if you want to keep your job.</p> <p>Find a way to neutralize the little annoyances before the straw breaks the camel&rsquo;s back. Maybe it requires the wearing of headphones or moving to a different place in the building. Sometimes all it takes is a little conversation. I have heard stories at my current job of a woman who used to spray perfume and deodorant at least once an hour. There was a cloud of the stuff hanging over her cubicle. It was resolved with just a quick conversation, but not after several people went months complaining to each other but not to the person who could do something about it.</p> <h3>6. It&rsquo;s Not a Good Job If It Makes You Unhappy</h3> <p>Two people in the movie start out with what many would consider &ldquo;good jobs&rdquo; only to end up with jobs that most would consider awful. Peter goes from working an office job, with a suit, tie, and business card, to cleaning up on a construction crew. He&rsquo;s happier with his hard hat and shovel, working in the sunshine, than he ever was in his grey cubicle.</p> <p>We also meet Steve, a guy selling magazine subscriptions door-to-door. He pretends to be a former crack addict, but he&rsquo;s actually a former software engineer, just like Peter, who now makes more money selling magazines. And he likes it.</p> <p>So, don&rsquo;t think that the job you&rsquo;re in is the one you need to stay in. Don&rsquo;t even think the career you chose is set in stone. Life gives us plenty of chances to change paths. We can retrain. We can set up our own home businesses. I&rsquo;ve talked to several people this week who quit corporate jobs to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-i-still-make-money-with-ebay">start eBay businesses</a>, work their own hours, and avoid the kind of stress that comes with corporate politics.</p> <h3>7. Get Your Facts Straight Before You Act</h3> <p>There are several instances in &ldquo;Office Space&rdquo; that illustrate the dangers of hearing things second hand, or misunderstanding what you&rsquo;ve been told.</p> <p>Peter believes his girlfriend once had a relationship with his boss, Bill Lumbergh, a vile, soulless pig of a man. Turns out it was a different Lumbergh, but that didn&rsquo;t stop them almost breaking up.</p> <p>Peter assumes that the software he installed to steal fractions of pennies from his company would result in a lenient, country club prison sentence with conjugal visits. He was way off.</p> <p>Michael assumes that because he works hard, and Peter is flaky, it will be Peter that will be the one getting marching orders from the efficiency experts. Actually, both he and his friend Samir are getting the ax. Peter is getting a promotion.</p> <p>You never know what anyone&rsquo;s plans are until you see them yourself or you hear them from several legitimate sources. So, don&rsquo;t worry about rumors, and don&rsquo;t play the gossip games. They will only hurt you and your career.</p> <p><em>Can you recall any work/life lessons from &quot;Office Space&quot; I may have missed? Please share them in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-secrets-about-life-and-career-from-office-space">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-much-our-tech-necessities-wouldve-cost-in-the-80s">This Is How Much Our Tech Necessities Would&#039;ve Cost in the &#039;80s</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-great-movies-about-money">25 Great Movies About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/never-pay-for-a-redbox-dvd-rental-again">Never Pay for a RedBox DVD Rental Again</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-watch-movies-in-the-theater-for-free">How to Watch Movies in the Theater for Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-smart-ways-to-maximize-desk-space">11 Smart Ways to Maximize Desk Space</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Entertainment career changes movies Office Space work life balance Mon, 14 Jan 2013 10:48:43 +0000 Paul Michael 957045 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Tips for a Better Work-Life Balance http://www.wisebread.com/15-tips-for-a-better-work-life-balance <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-tips-for-a-better-work-life-balance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/family_time.jpg" alt="Family enjoying time together" title="Family enjoying time together" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Staying on top of your A-game and maintaining a healthy work-life balance can feel like an oxymoron. Most of us experience an uneven pull between our social lives and work commitments, which isn't surprising considering the current economy and fact that employees everywhere are working overtime to show they're an indispensable part of the team. Nevertheless, it's important to establish a healthy harmony between your job and personal life. This doesn't just mean working overtime to please your boss and boyfriend; it means creating a balance of time spent working, playing, and pleasing yourself.</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Have-Work-Life-Balance-18939472">RELATED: Work-Life Balance Tips for Newbies</a></p> <h3>Foster Healthy Weekday Habits</h3> <p>If we're not careful the weekdays can become one big work blur. Instigate healthy habits by taking a trip to the grocery store (save on groceries with <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Grocery-Store-Tips-Tricks-2011-01-06-082509-2728452">these tricks</a>) on Sunday and planning the meals you will make at home during the week, or challenge yourself to visit the gym four nights in one week. The time away from the computer and work worries will clear your mind, allow you to focus, and likely inspire you to be more productive when you are at the computer.</p> <h3>Learn the Value of Saying No</h3> <p>Most SavvySugar readers admit they have a hard time <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/2744173">saying no to work and social invitations</a>, which means many of you are getting roped into projects, parties, and events you'd rather say &quot;no way, Jose!&quot; to. Next time you are invited to something, weigh the benefit and cost before saying yes. If you think the event or project will have a positive impact on your productivity, career, and networking without disrupting your non-work schedule, go for it. If you think your personal life will suffer because of it, say no.</p> <p>Remember, <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Women-Can-Succeed-Work-17959721">don't be too &quot;nice&quot;</a> or you may not be able to get ahead at work.</p> <h3>Set Calendar Reminders</h3> <p>Set goals, appointments, lunch dates, or even eye breaks or gym appointments in your work calendar. The little office notification will pop up and force you to stop what you are doing and focus on your goal.</p> <h3>Put Family First When You're Home</h3> <p>Your family and loved ones will come to resent you if you keep your eyes on your laptop or phone every night. Make quality-time dates with your family or significant other after dinner to distract you from your workload. The work will always be there in the morning, or after <em>Glee</em>. Savor your at-home time while you can.</p> <h3>Get Your Zzzs</h3> <p>When you're running up against the clock and finishing a high priority project, it's easy to lose track of time and pull an all-nighter. But chances are you won't produce your best work at 4 a.m. after 20 hours in front of the computer. Don't compromise your sleeping schedule or ignore the power of your beauty rest. The pile will still be there in the morning, and chances are your co-workers won't respond to their email before 9 a.m. anyway.</p> <p>Having trouble waking up? Use <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Wake-Up-Fast-21385387">these tips</a> to wake up and get out of bed fast.</p> <h3>Know When to Unplug</h3> <p>While most of us can't finish all our tasks while we are in the office, it's crucial to set boundaries. If you carry your laptop home with you at night and often work on it while watching TV or hanging out at home for more than an hour, stay at work for an extra 45 minutes instead to finish critical tasks and leave your computer at the office. If you carry your BlackBerry with you everywhere and check work email every five minutes, make a rule to only check it once or twice an hour. You'll be more productive and still be able to relax and focus on your non-work life.</p> <h3>Sign Up For a Class</h3> <p>If challenging yourself to cook or visit the gym isn't doing the trick, sign up for a class you can't miss. If you pre-pay for a yoga or French pastry class you will be more likely to show up and detach from work for those few hours.</p> <h3>Take Personal Breaks During the Day</h3> <p>Unless your employer asks you to clock in and out for breaks, you should assume responsibility for your time. Make sure you've scoped out your manager's take on personal breaks and then make a schedule to give yourself 15 or 20 minutes of break time during the day. Take a walk around the block and call your mom or BFF. Make a list of errands you need to accomplish during the week and then sit outside Starbucks for 15 minutes while you make your phone calls. Your fellow employees will appreciate you not making personal calls in the office and you will feel as though you've taken a work break and taken care of your personal items.</p> <h3>Leave Work at a Decent Time</h3> <p>Employers pay attention to the time you commit on the job, but that doesn't mean you need to stay until dark every night of the week. Stay late when you need to finish a project, but don't be afraid to make plans during the week that will force you to leave the office at a decent time. Getting outside at a healthy time will boost your mood and make you happier about resuming your work in the morning.</p> <h3>Schedule &quot;Work Hours&quot; at Home</h3> <p>If you must work at home, set some time limits. Make dinner with your family, wind down with a little TV or a chapter of a book, and then work for an hour or two and return to &quot;me time.&quot; Better yet, work for an hour before dinner and then spend the rest of the night worry-free.</p> <h3>Keep Work (and Your Laptop) Out of the Bedroom</h3> <p>If you do work at home, make sure to establish &quot;no-work zones&quot; in the house. In my mind, work, laptops, and smartphones shouldn't be allowed in the bathroom or bedroom. Set up a definitive work area at the dining room table, your home office, or the coffee table.</p> <h3>Figure Out How to Be Happy at Work</h3> <p>Being happy with your work life is one of the keys to maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Make a friend at the office and invite her to lunch once a week, or grab your work BFF and the new gals from the department upstairs and indulge in an ice cream or happy hour. The better your relationships with colleagues the more likely you'll be to turn to them for project support or advice if you need it.</p> <h3>Challenge Your Partner or a Friend</h3> <p>If you have trouble detaching from work and unwinding from a stressful day at the office, challenge your partner or friend to get out of the house too! Plan weekly runs or walks through the neighborhood, a new dish you can make together, or simply commit to sitting and talking for two hours about anything but work. You'll quickly find you have a million things to talk about other than the annoying girl down the hall who keeps undermining you in meetings.</p> <h3>Drowning? Speak Up!</h3> <p>If the projects keep piling up and you're physically incapable of finishing all your assigned tasks during work hours (and all the overtime you put in!), sit down with your manager and explain the situation. Let her know how many hours you have been working overtime and discuss other team members who may be able to assist you or the possibility of hiring an intern. Chances are your manager is fully aware of how hard you have been working (or should be!) and can help you devise a better time management plan.</p> <h3>Reward Yourself</h3> <p>After challenging yourself to focus on your work-life balance, don't forget to reward yourself for making an effort to change. Send yourself flowers or treat yourself to a manicure. You'll feel proud every time you look over at the flowers or your fancy nails and be motivated to keep your new healthy habits.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Want to be happier at work AND at home? Follow these suggestions to keep yourself balanced, healthy, and joyful. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p style="text-align:center;"><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com" style="border:none;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u4/savvysugar-300-small.jpg" alt="" /></a></p> <p><em>This is a guest contribution from our friends at </em><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/"><em>SavvySugar</em></a><em>. Check out more useful articles from this partner:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Alternative-Treatments-Relaxation-18941471">4 Alternative Treatments to Uplift Your Work&nbsp;Self</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Take-Break-From-Work-18918589">Secrets to Beating Your Work&nbsp;Exhaustion</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Morning-Productivity-Tips-8112332">Make Every Morning More Productive</a></li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/popsugar-smart-living">POPSUGAR Smart Living</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-tips-for-a-better-work-life-balance">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/book-review-happier">Book review: Happier</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-feel-better-fast">25 Ways to Feel Better Fast</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-times-you-should-never-feel-guilty-at-work">8 Times You Should Never Feel Guilty at Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-the-response-you-want-with-friendly-professional-email">Get the Response You Want With Friendly, Professional Email</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-money-really-can-buy-happiness">6 Ways Money Really Can Buy Happiness</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income General Tips family time happiness how to reward myself work life balance Mon, 06 Feb 2012 11:24:22 +0000 POPSUGAR Smart Living 886206 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Work-Life Balance Blunders to Avoid http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/6-work-life-balance-blunders-to-avoid <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/articles/6-work-life-balance-blunders-to-avoid" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/articles/6-work-life-balance-blunders-to-avoid</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/6-work-life-balance-blunders-to-avoid" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000007256184Small_0.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Achieving perfect work-life balance is not easy, but you already know that. What you may not realize is that dogged pursuit of balance is not always desirable. Just as being a workaholic can wreck personal relationships, blindly adhering to a formulaic mix of career, family, and outside interests can harm both your professional and personal lives.</p> <p>Flexibility is crucial to achieving work-life rightness.</p> <p>Looking at myself and others, I have witnessed work-life balance blunders, not the one-time kind but the recurring ones. The worst offenders can lead to lagging careers, struggling families, and frazzled nerves.</p> <h3>Trying to Always Maintain Work-Life Balance</h3> <p>There will be days or weeks or even months when you&rsquo;ll need to dedicate most of your waking hours to a business initiative <i>or</i> deal with a personal issue. The scenarios may be once-in-a-decade opportunities, such as a global expansion, a new product close to market introduction, or a big push to bring together pieces of a years-long project. Or, situations may arise that require your full attention in your private life, such as a family move to a new home, personal illness, or changes in your child&rsquo;s school situation.</p> <p>All-out effort in one area of your life will be essential to success. Splitting time may result in business disaster or personal setbacks that could, ironically, upset work-life balance for years to come.</p> <p>Planning for certain activities &mdash; the big project or the family move, for example &mdash; can help minimize changes in the short term. But realizing that you may not be able to sustain perfect balance all the time is important. Adjust your expectations and modify your schedule to attend to urgent and important matters before returning to equilibrium.</p> <h3>Spending Too Much on Time-Saving Services and Products</h3> <p>Convenience items can be godsends when pressed for time. Dinners out and prepared meals from the catering company, for example, let you work straight through the afternoon and early evening to dinner time. Lawn care and handyman services give you leisure time on the weekends.</p> <p>Expenses associated with time savings, though, can crush your household budget. You may have to work longer hours to pay for these services, eventually throwing work-life balance off kilter. Measuring ROI of convenience may seem over the top but it is important to consider whether you are really getting the total time payoff you need from your expenditures.</p> <h3>Forgetting to Set and Achieve Financial Goals</h3> <p>Managing work-life balance can be all-consuming, especially if you have <a target="_blank" href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/lifestyle/article/7-steps-to-work-life-balance-when-working-at-home">children at home</a>. Day-to-day activities, such as meeting with clients or coaching your child&rsquo;s baseball team, can take precedence over longer term concerns. You can excel at generating income and enjoy a satisfying personal life but neglect building wealth.</p> <p>Set goals that cover all aspects of your finances including business profits, timelines for loan payoffs, and asset accumulation. Monitor progress and fine-tune work-life balance to reach these goals.</p> <h3>Not Devoting Time to Professional Development and Personal Enrichment</h3> <p>Just as long-term financial goals may be forgotten, professional development and personal enrichment activities may be skipped to focus on the present. Engineered schedules may not allow large chunks of time dedicated to making major life improvements.</p> <p>Consider long-term goals when mapping out your schedule. Reaching the next level of work and life success may require many hours each week for an extended period of time (several months of study in preparation for an exam to earn a professional designation or fitness training in preparation for a <a target="_blank" href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/innovation/article/business-lessons-from-a-triathlon-julie-rains">triathlon</a>, for example). Devise plans and negotiate temporarily-altered schedules that allow you to complete a program before returning to a more equitable work-life balance.</p> <h3>Attending Every Event in which Your Child Participates</h3> <p>Being there for special moments is wonderful when your children are young and just as great when they are older. But it&rsquo;s easy to become overbooked with commitments when your kids have weekly sporting events and academic competitions, monthly parent meetings, seasonal recognition ceremonies, etc.</p> <p>Accept that you may not be able to make every event and activity. Determine what is truly important to you and your child, and commit to these events.</p> <h3>Missing Changes in the World and Your Life</h3> <p>Work-life balance allows you to enjoy what is happening right now. But holding tightly to the present can be seductive, preventing you from noticing and dealing with changes in economic conditions, competitive forces, children&rsquo;s development, and family needs.</p> <p>Accept that your work and life will change during the course of your career, leading to a shift in priorities and blur in focus for certain periods. Be patient with yourself during times of readjustment. Commit to periodic evaluations of professional and personal goals, and plan on emphasizing one or two areas of your life as needed. Aim for work-life balance for the long haul, not a short time horizon.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/6-work-life-balance-blunders-to-avoid">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-to-fund-your-business-without-touching-savings">3 Ways to Fund Your Business Without Touching Savings</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-get-a-small-business-loan">10 Smart Ways to Get a Small Business Loan</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-business-travel-credit-cards">Best Business Travel Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Small Business Resource Center family career balance small business work life balance workaholism Wed, 25 May 2011 20:05:20 +0000 Julie Rains 541640 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Steps to Work-Life Balance When Working from Home http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/7-steps-to-work-life-balance-when-working-from-home <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/lifestyle/article/7-steps-to-work-life-balance-when-working-at-home" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/lifestyle/article/7-steps-to-work-life-...</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/7-steps-to-work-life-balance-when-working-from-home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000009115427Small.jpg" alt="Work at home mom" title="Work at home mom" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Working from home can be challenging.</p> <p>If you have a family, you know exactly what I&rsquo;m talking about. Kids get underfoot, spouses interrupt, telephone calls disturb, and friends stop by at the worst possible moments. It seems like you&rsquo;re always playing catch up to get work done or feeling guilty that you&rsquo;re not spending enough time with your loved ones.</p> <p>Even if you&rsquo;ve trained your loved ones to respect your work hours, there&rsquo;s still the challenge of maintaining good work-life balance. You set your own hours and there isn&rsquo;t anyone to tell you when to punch your time card for the day...or when to get back to work because you&rsquo;ve been goofing off.</p> <p>With good organization, however, you can have the best of all worlds: a healthy work-life balance that fits everyone&rsquo;s needs and a smart schedule that gives you the right amount of office time &mdash; and some playtime, too.</p> <h3>Step One: Start Scheduling</h3> <p>Grab a blank weekly calendar (or use Google&rsquo;s free calendar feature) and start penciling in family activities and obligations, from school drop-offs to lacrosse practice to mealtime to laundry. Beginning with these gives you the opportunity to work around your life &mdash; and avoid feeling that life revolves around work!</p> <p>As you start building your schedule, be realistic and honest about how much time each activity takes from your day. Many people forget to factor in the time it takes to drive to activities or settle the kids in before starting to work, which means they have to work extra hours to catch up, always feel rushed or working late into the night to meet deadlines.</p> <h3>Step Two: See What&rsquo;s Left</h3> <p>Once you&rsquo;ve scheduled your life activities into your calendar, look over it and see where the empty blocks appear. These blocks are where you can fit in work time. Here&rsquo;s where you can see whether you have enough time to get all your work done or need to rearrange life activities to give yourself enough room.</p> <p>Remember that you can also hire help to free up some work hours &mdash; get a babysitter for the kids a few hours a week, recruit your spouse for driving duties, or arrange for someone to help with meals, laundry, and housecleaning. You don&rsquo;t have to do it all (none of us are superheroes!), and it&rsquo;s often well worth it to pay someone else for certain tasks so you can free up time to earn income.</p> <p>Watch for patterns in your days, too. You may notice that you&rsquo;re a productive bunny in the mornings but a sloth in the afternoons &mdash; so use the morning time to get work out of the way and take care of less strenuous tasks in the afternoon.</p> <h3>Step Three: Expect the Unexpected</h3> <p>When adding to your calendar, it&rsquo;s a good idea to book in an hour of &ldquo;unexpected&rdquo; time every day. This block of time is a free hour that lets you deal with any unexpected delays, events, or interruptions that might arise unexpectedly.</p> <p>And if nothing occurs in your day that you need to dip into that hour of &ldquo;unexpected&rdquo; time... well, you just gained an hour to do whatever you&rsquo;d like! You can put in an extra hour to finish up that project, work on a new task, or send out some sales pitches to potential new customers.</p> <h3>Step Four: Be Your Own Bulldog</h3> <p>Once your work hours have been set into your calendar, guard them like a bulldog. Those hours are your office hours, and your family and friends need to know about them so that they can avoid disturbing you. You&rsquo;ve already planned your life activities and know that you&rsquo;ll be there for them, so respect your work time in the same way.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s best to set regular work hours people can rely on so they can easily remember when you&rsquo;re &ldquo;in&rdquo; the office and when you&rsquo;re free. Post your office hours everywhere &mdash; on your website, your blog, your contact page, your email signature, and even on your office door for your family to see. This shows people that you&rsquo;re serious about your work.</p> <p>Setting regular office hours for yourself is also great for customers &mdash; they know exactly when you&rsquo;re available and can get in touch with you easily during that time, and you won&rsquo;t feel pressured to check your email every 15 minutes when you&rsquo;re off duty.</p> <p>Help family and friends respect your work hours, too. Don&rsquo;t get up for every interruption, especially if the person knows that you&rsquo;re working. With a smile, cheerfully remind them of your work hours and tell them you&rsquo;ll come to see them as soon as work&rsquo;s over. They may not like it at first, but your family will soon come to respect your work time because YOU respect it. The interruptions slow and then stop completely if you stick to your guns.</p> <h3>Step Five: Get Focused</h3> <p>Treat your work hours as sacred (barring family emergencies, of course). Let phone calls go to voice mail, close your email and for heaven&rsquo;s sake, stop Twittering and Facebooking when your time&rsquo;s up.</p> <p>Balancing work and life means being effective with the time you have to work, so don&rsquo;t waste it on distractions and interruptions. If family and friends show up, politely tell them you&rsquo;re busy but would love to catch up later &mdash; or even better, just don&rsquo;t go to the door.</p> <p>Of course, working with young children at home is more challenging. So be creative and try to make your office hours fun for them so that you can focus on what you need to do. Set an egg timer for 30 minutes and then find a fun activity that will keep kids busy. Let them take the contents of your shredder to use as nesting material for their stuffed animals, set them up to color, paint, read a book ,or (gasp) let them watch their favorite TV show.</p> <p>Then get ready to get to work!</p> <h3>Step Six: Break It Down</h3> <p>Before you begin working, start by breaking down your time into small chunks of tasks. By planning bite-sized tasks for your work hours, you can maximize your time and get a lot more done. Believe me, sitting down without a plan and saying, &ldquo;Well, I should do really some work...&rdquo; usually results in you spending your time picking away at a bunch of things that don&rsquo;t really get you anywhere.</p> <p>Get focused. For example, if you have an hour of time to work, use the first 30 minutes to clean up 10 emails. Use the next 20 minutes for social media networking. Take 10 minutes to call a client. And use the last 30 minutes to write a draft blog post.</p> <h3>Step Seven: Take Care of You</h3> <p>When you made your schedule, did you remember to pencil in free hours and playtime? Probably not &mdash; you were probably busy writing in your obligations and trying to fit work around them.</p> <p>But all work and no play makes for fast burnout, and that means you absolutely need to give yourself time off and consider it sacrosanct.</p> <p>So book an hour each week for a long bath and a good book. Block out 30 minutes each evening to read a story to your kids. Schedule a movie night with your partner. Reserve 45 minutes every morning for a walk. Oh, and don&rsquo;t forget to schedule in a good eight hours of sleep every day. Shortcutting on sleep can have detrimental effects on your work productivity.</p> <p>Make time for you, your loved ones and your friends. It&rsquo;s important to make sure you feel balanced and healthy... not burned out and resentful!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heather-allard">Heather Allard</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/7-steps-to-work-life-balance-when-working-from-home">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-work-from-home-jobs-for-people-who-hate-talking-on-the-phone">7 Work-From-Home Jobs for People Who Hate Talking on the Phone</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-all-successful-freelancers-do">10 Things All Successful Freelancers Do</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-paid-real-money-from-virtual-work">Get Paid Real Money From Virtual Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-live-a-retired-life-before-retirement">How to Live a Retired Life Before Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Small Business Resource Center small business telecommuting time management work from home work life balance Thu, 05 May 2011 21:18:37 +0000 Heather Allard 532481 at http://www.wisebread.com