Once upon a time, there were boundaries between work and home. When you left the office, you left the office. Work didn’t follow you home and demand your attention all night. Somewhere along the way, however, work snuck it’s the way in and started demanding more time. People started obsessing over their desires to succeed professionally. Even if that meant setting aside their own well-being with a work-life balance.
The fear of losing your job due to restructuring, layoffs, or any other factors has caused people to panic and work overtime. And with today’s technology, you are in constant connection with your work. Therefore, making it easy for work to eat into your personal time. However, the stress from a never-ending workday can be very damaging to your relationships, health, and overall happiness.
It’s Important to Unplug
It is so easy to get pulled down by the constant accessibility of today’s technology. It’s almost a bad habit to just whip out your phone and start endlessly scrolling through emails or LinkedIn connections. Try to stop yourself and save the work-related task for the office. Those emails will still be there waiting when you go to work in the morning. If you are not careful, you may find yourself becoming burned out.
If you are self-employed or work remotely, try to make sure your work stays in one place. This is where a home office comes in handy. Make a designated room strictly for work that lets you keep that healthy work-life balance. Also, make sure you have a cut-off time. Working for yourself or remotely can give you a lot of freedom throughout the day. But, making a strict schedule for yourself will keep you on track to a happy life. Taking some time to unwind is also important for a refreshed demeanor. Make sure you take advantage of it.
Take Care of Yourself
Taking care of yourself not only means having a healthy work-life balance, but also a healthy food balance too. Many days you will be running behind or trying to catch up on some last-minute reports that will take precious time away. It is so easy to just run to the nearest convenience store or fast-food restaurant to grab a quick bite. Your body needs healthy fuel to keep going, especially during busy work hours. Choosing a healthy lunch will keep you moving in the fast lane to get everything done by quitting time.
However, not only does your body need healthy foods, but it also needs exercise. Just 30 minutes a day can make a huge difference. Exercising is a great way to unwind after a busy day and burn off some steam. Regardless of what you choose to do, just make sure you give yourself some quality time.
If you find yourself running low on energy, take a vacation day (if that is possible). If you are not feeling like yourself, or want to have a spontaneous day with your kids, use a personal day to get some quality time in. Ask a coworker to cover any last-minute calls or meetings that may pop-up while you are out so you are not disturbed on your day off. Then it’s time to relax. Remember, your work will still be there the next day.
Keep Your Goals in Sight
If you have a very busy job that has numerous tasks throughout the day, you may start to find yourself becoming overwhelmed. Managing your time well and staying organized will help you make the most out of your day and make you feel accomplished by the time to go home.
When you feel accomplished at the end of the day, you won’t have the burden hanging over you until the next day. You won’t have to go home and stress about a report you didn’t get to. You will feel accomplished and will be able to sit back and kick your feet up.
Avoid Being a Perfectionist
When creating your schedule and daily duty list, be realistic. If you start to cram too many things onto your plate, you might be in for a rude awakening at the end of the day when you haven’t even reached the middle of the list. This will once again lead to feeling unaccomplished. Thus, making you stress long after the work hours are passed. Being a perfectionist is a very fast way to get burned out.
Instead of trying to get everything done in one day, make it a point to hit deadlines and produce quality work. Setting yourself a deadline will help you keep your eye on the prize while being realistic and honest with yourself.
Give Yourself Some Space
When we finally clock out for the day, it is easy to get into the habit of just mindlessly scrolling through all of your social media feeds for hours. Yes, you are finally getting some downtime, but is it really quality time? If you are trying to make the most out of your days, try to download some apps that help track your social media use. That way you don’t waste those few hours you have before bed.
If you know you want some downtime before bed, don’t feel bad for turning down a happy hour with some coworkers, especially if you know they can talk for hours. Because before you know it, one drink turns into three hours of conversating. Then there goes your whole evening. Every once in awhile it’s fun to join, but do not feel obligated to go every single time.
Striking a healthy work-life balance isn’t a one-shot deal. This balance will continuously change as your family, interest, and career changes. Remember to just take a step back, examine your priorities, and make sure you make changes where they are needed. Staying on track to a healthy work-life balance is important in your life, make sure you remember that when prioritizing.