Your work as an Independent Freight Agent presents a unique array of stresses.  Perhaps the most challenging of them is finding a healthy work-life balance. With only 24 hours in a day,  it often feels difficult to successfully juggle relationships, exercise, family, hobbies, and of course–work!  At Kopf, we value the well-being of our Independent Freight Agents. 

These five steps will help you achieve a better balance between work and your home life.

1. Dedicate Time to Your Relationships

What are the most important relationships in your life?  Likely, you would answer this question with your spouse,  family and friends.  Relationships take time to develop and maintain. To make these relationships functional and positive, it is essential to commit a time to each other. To help your relationship survive the hardships and stresses of your job, try to be intentional about your time outside of work.   How can you be intentional with your relationships?  Plan time for them! 

Begin with your spouse. Devote at least 15 minutes of undivided attention to each other before devoting time to anyone else.  Experts say happy couples spend at least two hours together every day. Fifteen minutes without distractions means more than an hour or two of binge-watching a show together.  In addition to daily quality time, make things fun!  Schedule a date every month and time away once a year.  The cost of a sitter is worth it!  Make dating your spouse a priority to strengthen your marriage.  

2. Plan Time for Exercise and Hobbies

In addition to dedicating time to your relationships, plan time for yourself!  Do you ever feel cooped up in the office? Take a break every once in a while to stretch your legs and refresh your mind. Don’t just limit this to work time.  A simple 30-minute workout can do wonders. You may consider joining a gym, taking up running, or going for a walk at a certain time a few days a week.  You could even combine your exercise time with a friend, your spouse, or a family member.  Strengthen your body and an important relationship!  

Taking time for your hobbies is important, too. What do you enjoy? What gives you life?  Whether it’s reading, writing, playing a sport, or listening to music, spending time on yourself will make you happier.  While you may not be able to devote hours of time each week to your hobbies, scheduling time for them as you can enhance balance. 

3. Maintain a Schedule 

Being an Independent Freight Agent can be extremely demanding. If you’re not careful, you might find yourself working over 60 hours a week!  You should do everything you can to keep and maintain a regular work schedule. It helps provide structure, builds good habits, and will increase your efficiency. There are many ways to create a schedule: on paper, in a digital calendar, or with an app.  Try a variety to find what works for you.  Be realistic with your schedule and allow time for the unexpected.  Make sure to schedule time for your priorities including your relationships, health, and the things that make you happy. 

4. Prioritize Healthy Eating and Adequate Sleep

Your diet, sleep, and exercise routines can make or break your career. Eating healthy foods, whether at work or at home, is important.  Keep water at your desk, pack nutritious snacks, and make sure to eat breakfast!  This can only make you feel better while helping you become a more disciplined person. 

While food matters, so does sleep.  Our bodies were designed to sleep at least 7 to 8 hours each day. The stress of work, lack of balance, poor diet, and electronic devices can interfere with this.  Most Freight Agents spend the majority of their time at work staring at a computer screen or talking on the phone. When you are not working, try turning off your electronic devices, especially before bed.  Checking your email before bed or reading an article on your phone only makes sleeping more difficult. Instead, practice listing gratitudes in a journal or with your spouse before bedtime.  See if it makes a difference in your sleep.  

5. Keep Your Family Close

Lastly, improve your balance by keeping your family close.  Just as it is important to dedicate time to your relationships, it is also important to maintain consistency with your family. Consider eating one meal a day together as a family.  This is an excellent way to build family culture and can only strengthen the bond between you and your loved ones.  If you have children, commit to spending at least 15 minutes of uninterrupted time with each of them each day, just as you would your spouse.  Smaller consistent chunks of quality time mean more than occasional larger chunks of time, as your consistency builds trust and love.  On days this is not possible, have grace with yourself and make a plan to try again tomorrow. 

Final Thoughts on Freight Agent Work-Life Balance

As a Freight Agent, you have a full workload.  It’s important for your social, emotional, and physical wellbeing to make time for your priorities.  Dedicate time to your relationships, make room for exercise and hobbies, maintain a schedule, prioritize healthy eating and adequate sleep, and keep your family close.  It’s up to you to build a strong balance between work and your home life. If you’re able to accomplish this, you will become happier in life and you will likely experience greater success at work. 

Are you an Independent Freight Agent interested in Kopf’s Agent Program?  CLICK HERE  – or – contact Jeanie today at 574.349.5600.

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