A job that can leave you trying to remember which airport you’re at isn’t exactly the kind of job that comes with a solid work/life balance. Many people may find themselves struggling with the loss of work/life balance in a position like the MSL role, especially when they’re first getting the hang of it.
But we need to remember, you only get one life, don’t work it away! Here are a few reminders for how to keep your head above water.
1. Stop trying to multi-task
The dangers of multi-tasking are pretty well documented at this point. Try doing two things at once and you likely won’t do either well. Trying to multi-task also leads to us forgetting things and missing details. Imagine getting to the end of your day and realizing you forgot to do something or that you didn’t complete one of your tasks appropriately. Now you have to derail your downtime to go back and finish it up. This can multiply and lead to stress, which can then lead to a lack of sleep and health problems.
2. Set stop-times for yourself
I would love to say that the best tip for maintaining work/life balance is to set a schedule and just stick to it. But I think most would agree that having a static schedule every day just isn’t realistic in an MSL career. So if we whittle this exercise down to what we can control, we can at least aim to set a stop time for yourself. Figure out how much time you want to allot to yourself to get some sleep, how much downtime you want to give yourself before you head to bed, and then set a hard stop on your work and hold yourself to it. Otherwise, you’ll just be setting yourself up to fall into a vicious cycle, still scrambling to find downtime for yourself through the following day.
3. Use technology to your advantage
Perhaps the biggest drawback of having a job like the MSL role is being away from your loved ones. While it’s not as good as the real thing, luckily it’s the 21st century and we can use video calls to help us feel connected and not so isolated from family. Additionally, use the heck out of your Outlook calendar on your phone! It’s tough to remember every appointment while you’re on the road, especially while changing time zones. Rely on your brain for one less thing and set a reminder for everything!
4. Take time off
Possibly the most self-explanatory tip of the day. If you have vacation time to use, use it. The benefits of taking time off and disconnecting are well-known to increase productivity and improve health. Don’t rob yourself of these perks!
5. Plan your fun
It might sound silly, but if you’re the kind of person that stays on task with your appointments, sometimes you just have to schedule your own downtime! Schedule it at the end of your day. Load your weekends up with it. Schedule it before a work event so your mind is clear and your energy is reserved. Or maybe you’ve got the kind of attention span that demands that you sprinkle it throughout your day.
Questions or comments? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Author: Lawrence Beck, CPC