TransPerfect employees show up daily with unwavering passion for their craft, and this dedication is what makes TransPerfect the world’s largest and leading translations company. In an international organization that doesn’t sleep, there is always something that can be done. But TransPerfect employees recognize that delivering quality results in record time means managing time effectively, strategizing ahead of time, and taking breaks to recover.
Recently, Working Women, our Affinity Group dedicated to the advancement, empowerment, and leadership of women at TransPerfect, held an internal collaborative event based on sharing tips about balancing life and work. Roughly 50 employees came together to discuss their strategies, tips, and tricks for having a balanced and fruitful experience both at work and afterward.
Setting boundaries at work can be daunting, especially if you are a consistent go-getter. However, communicating capacity, taking deserved paid time off, and delegating tasks are necessary for bouncing back. We’ve selected the most practical tips so that other high achievers can develop their own strategy for maintaining work-life boundaries.
Creating Work Boundaries: At Work
1. Keep a spreadsheet of all your projects and their status.
Having an at-a-glance spreadsheet of all your projects can help you assess what needs special attention and your capacity to take on new projects. Log how many hours per week you spend on a project and use this information to effectively communicate your capacity. While it is fantastic to have an employee who is always eager to help, it is more sustainable to have an employee who knows their project capacity for producing quality work.
2. Seek and schedule opportunities to take care of physiological needs.
When you’re in the zone, it can be easy to forget about eating, stretching, and even drinking water. However, skipping meals or sitting all day can result in headaches, poor decision-making, and irritability. Try scheduling time to take care of these needs in your calendar like you would a client meeting. Although, if blocking time out of your calendar doesn’t work for you, seize opportunities to mingle work with life to your benefit. An afternoon one-on-one with your close colleague may be an appropriate time for you to not only discuss strategy but also have a snack or take a walk.
Creating Work Boundaries: After Work
After work, there are four common factors that make up the recovery experience: relaxation, psychological detachment, mastery, and control.
Relaxation is a state of calmness emerging from low activation and effort. What relaxes you? After your daily activities, schedule time to relax by reading, unwinding with family, stretching, or journaling.
2. Psychological Detachment
Psychological detachment is being able to mentally disconnect from work. This one can be a bit tricky when you’re passionate about the projects you’re working on! Fortunately, researchers from the University of Tulsa found that taking a relaxing break with Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) can help individuals psychologically detach from stressful work events. If PMR isn’t for you, another strategy to take your mind off work is to dive into mastering a hobby!
Mastery is engaging in non-work activities that provide challenging learning opportunities. Mastering something outside of work can help you develop confidence and parts of your personality unrelated to work. Take up a hobby (you don’t have to be good, just passionate!) and try to master it. Whether it be taking up a new language course or getting back into an old sport, mastering a hobby outside of work is beneficial for the mind and can make your contributions at work more creative.
Control is feeling like you have control over your non-work time. Experiencing a sense of control or feeling like you have enough time every day has been linked to happiness. There are true benefits to scheduling leisure time—it’s not lazy, it’s proactive! Be intentional with the way you approach your non-work hours. For example, be proactive about scheduling time to meet with friends (and not talking about work), planning family vacations, and finally using your paid time off without feeling guilty about it!
Engaging in these recovery experiences will not only help you feel better but also enable you to be more present and engaged at work. If you are interested in an employee culture that champions work-life balance, check out our open positions or reach out to CareersNotJobs@transperfect.com. Additionally, if you’d like to learn more about our Affinity Groups, which often hold professional development events like the one mentioned previously, reach out to email@example.com.