Tired of having to sacrifice family time to respond to a bunch of emails from the office or a quick phone call from your colleague?
Our desire to succeed professionally can push us to set aside our own well-being. Creating a harmonious work-life balance or work-life integration is critical, though, to improve not only our physical, emotional and mental well-being, but it’s also important for our career.
Here are some tips to help you maintain a better work life balance.
These days, work-life balance can seem like an impossible feat. Technology makes workers accessible around the clock. Fears of job loss incentivize longer hours. In fact, a whopping 94% of working professionals reported working more than 50 hours per week and nearly half said they worked more than 65 hours per week in a Harvard Business School survey. Experts agree: the compounding stress from the never-ending workday is damaging. It can hurt relationships, health and overall happiness.
Accept That There Is No “Perfect” Balance.
When you hear “work-life balance,” you probably imagine having an extremely productive day at work, and leaving early to spend the other half of the day doing things you’re interested in. While this may seem ideal, it is not always possible.
Don’t strive for the perfect schedule; strive for a realistic one. Some days, you might focus more on work, while other days you might have more time and energy to pursue your hobbies or spend time with your loved ones. Balance is achieved over time, not each day.
Find a job that you love.
Although work is an expected societal norm, your career shouldn’t be restraining. If you hate what you do, you aren’t going to be happy, plain and simple. You don’t need to love every aspect of your job, but it needs to be exciting enough that you don’t dread getting out of bed every morning.
Finding a job that you are so passionate about, you would do it for free. If your job is draining you, and you are finding it difficult to do the things you love outside of work, something is wrong. You may be working in a toxic environment, for a toxic person, or doing a job that you truly don’t love. If this is the case, it is time to find a new job.
Prioritize Your Health.
Your overall physical, emotional and mental health should be your main concern. If you struggle with anxiety or depression and think therapy would benefit you, fit those sessions into your schedule, even if you have to leave work early or ditch your evening spin class. If you are battling a chronic illness, don’t be afraid to call in sick on rough days. Overworking yourself prevents you from getting better, possibly causing you to take more days off in the future.
Prioritizing your health doesn’t have to consist of radical or extreme activities. It can be as simple as daily meditation or exercise.
Don’t Be Afraid To Unplug.
Cutting ties with the outside world from time to time allows us to recover from weekly stress, and gives us space for other thoughts and ideas to emerge. Unplugging can mean something simple like practicing transit meditation on your daily commute, instead of checking work emails.
Taking time to unwind is critical to success and will help you feel more energized when you’re on the clock.
Make time for yourself and your loved ones.
While your job is important, it shouldn’t be your entire life. You were an individual before taking this position, and you should prioritize the activities or hobbies that make you happy.
If you do not firmly plan for personal time, you will never have time to do other things outside of work. No matter how hectic your schedule might be, you ultimately have control of your time and life.”
Realize that no one at your company is going to love you or appreciate you the way your loved ones do. Also remember that everyone is replaceable at work, and no matter how important you think your job is, the company will not miss a beat tomorrow if you are gone.
Set Boundaries and Work Hours.
Set boundaries for yourself and your colleagues, to avoid burnout. When you leave the office, avoid thinking about upcoming projects or answering company emails. Consider having a separate computer or phone for work, so you can shut it off when you clock out. If that isn’t possible, use separate browsers, emails or filters for your work and personal platforms.
Whether you work away from home or at home, it is important to determine when you will work and when you will stop working; otherwise, you might find yourself answering work-related emails late at night, during vacations or on weekends off.
It would be recommended to notify team members and your manager about boundaries beyond which you cannot be accessible, because you are engaged in personal activities. This will help to ensure that they understand and respect your workplace limits and expectations.
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