There’s something deeply wrong with the system that sees over a quarter—26%—of work performed outside of working hours. Still, according to a report on work-life balance published by RescueTime, that’s a reality for most workers. Of that extra work, 71% of it happens before or after work hours, while 29% is done over the weekend.
The report shows loads of other problems that point toward a work-life dynamic that’s heavily tilted in favor of the former. Workplaces are littered with distractions, superfluous communication, and constant expectations of multitasking.
Then, there’s the culture of always striving for more—the same culture that will lionize people who pull 80-hour weeks without asking whether they’re necessary. It’s possible to be successful, work hard, and still have a balanced life. Dylan Suitor, a real estate investor and head of Elevation Realty Network, is a great example.
“I certainly work hard when I work, and I’m sure I can be even better at it,” Dylan Suitor says. “But recently, I’ve spent more time on all aspects of myself, not just the financial position, and the results have been a game-changer.” A game-changer, indeed; in June 2021 alone, Dylan Suitor closed a total of five apartment buildings for clients, two for himself, and a couple of dozen single-family homes and duplexes with his partner.
For Dylan Suitor, the counterweight to all the work that went into those achievements came in the form of valuable experiences, time spent reading, and a general focus on his well-being and personal growth. In other words, he switched gears, reframed the situation, and focused on things that mattered to him besides the work. Dylan Suitor then got back into the game to reap the benefits.
While this kind of approach might not be applicable across all industries, the methods used in it are universal. Managing one’s time, learning to detach from work and set healthy boundaries, and rethinking priorities are things everyone could at least try to do. Finding ways to relax and devote some time to loved ones or those in need could have extremely beneficial effects on health and well-being.
At work, the focus could be on implementing changes that prevent work from spilling over into private life. The goal is to work efficiently and make every hour spent working count. The first step to achieving that would be to identify the trouble areas that slow the pace of work down, break concentration, or require attention while having little consequence. It could be an overactive Slack channel, too much email, or pressure to multitask.
The next step would be to find ways to deal with those disruptions. It’s possible to set communication channels to smart notifications or to notify people only when they’re mentioned. It’s also possible to set a specific time of the day when all of these messages will be looked over—once or twice a day, not more than that. Resisting the pressures to multitask might prove difficult, but if sticking to a workflow that focuses on one task at a time delivers better results, the benefits should be evident.
People from all walks of life and in all types of careers can find themselves needing a little more life and a little less work. It’s a common problem for knowledge workers, entrepreneurs, or even real estate investors. So when the need for more balance comes, it’s important to address it. It might lead to big things like it does for Dylan Suitor. “I want to continue to add more value than I receive wherever possible and develop those who want to grow and improve their life and business,” he says. “I can give more to more people while maintaining a work-life balance.”