It’s been well documented that work-life can take its toll on individuals. While it doesn’t necessarily matter what you do in life, if you work long or hard enough, you are bound to feel the pressure of meeting the demands, personally and professionally, in more ways than one. In fact, a study by the BBC has shown that overworking can cause serious health consequences. S0, people should understand the importance of work-life balance.
So, when work-related stress and fatigue set in, it is vital to relax and recharge to avoid job burnout.
Resist The Temptation
Even if you have a high tolerance level when it comes to stress, overworking yourself will catch up with you eventually. Pressure mounts with continuous deadlines to meet, fulfilling the needs of others, and productivity expectations that can feel out of line with reality.
If you don’t take time to refresh and unwind at the end of each day, you won’t be ready for what’s next. And suppose you don’t practice healthy ways of balancing work with life in the long term. In that case, your mental, physical, and emotional health could suffer.
You may think you are doing yourself good by working overtime to get things done. But remember, by increasing your stress level, you are decreasing productivity. Not only is stress harmful to your mood and relationships, but it also kills your concentration.
So, stop working yourself into the ground!
Here are nine tips to help you achieve a better balance between work and everyday life
1. Know Your Stressors
It is essential that you check in with yourself to gauge how you feel about your current personal and professional situation:
- Are you feeling overwhelmed in one area more than another?
- Are you about to hit the tip of the iceberg?
- Or do you find yourself missing out on the things that you enjoy in life?
Once you have the answers to your questions, set positive goals to help you avoid these negative stressors.
2. Plan, Plan, Plan
Planning could be the key to balancing work and home life. You may already be used to planning your day or week for your job. But don’t forget to plan for other parts of your life as well.
For example, you can plan a vacation or time out with friends. It may feel awkward to schedule spending time with loved ones. However, if you’re spending more time on work-related activities than family excursions, this is a must-do.
So, bust out a calendar and book a few dinner dates, set aside time for a picnic in the park, or pencil in some snuggle time. In the end, how you made time won’t matter — just the fact that you did will.
3. Practice Self-Care Regularly
All work and no play makes ___________, well: you fill in the blank!
Taking time to care for yourself and do what you love is non-negotiable. Yes, work is vital to your way of life, but it isn’t the only thing that matters. You must take care of yourself before taking care of others at work and at home.
It is time you prioritize what makes you happy and do it regularly. So, whether you want to get a manicure or pedicure, go golfing, or take a midday nap, get comfortable putting your needs first.
Are you looking for something that boosts your mood, increases your energy, and helps you be more productive? If so, exercise will do the trick. Making your health a priority is crucial regardless of your age or line of work.
And yes, exercising will help you reduce stress, allowing you to focus better when you need to. You can go to the gym or out for a bike ride, or take a break from work and walk. If you need to, schedule it in your workday or invite a coworker to keep you accountable.
Other people find it helpful by exercising with friends or family members too, this is a great trick to stay motivated and focused. If you work from home, there are plenty of videos on YouTube to help you get moving. Alternatively, there are plenty of personal trainers that can help offer advice on workouts you can do at home.
5. Set Limits and Stick to Them
It is okay and sometimes necessary to say no. Setting boundaries is crucial to avoiding burnout. Be honest with yourself about the job duties you can handle, and don’t take on more when given a choice.
If you don’t work on the weekends, avoid checking and responding to emails during that time. Even if you are available, working after hours sends the message that you are willing to devote your personal time to the job. So go ahead and close the door on work intruding into your home life.
6. Find a Cut-Off
It is tempting to try to squeeze in one more task because you are in a groove. But, forget about the momentum and put an end to your workday when it best suits you. Stop working when your required hours are complete or the goals for the day have been met.
7. Turn Off Your Phone
We all live in a digital world and our phones are often at the center of everything we do nowadays.
If you have a working smartphone, consider not taking it home with you at the end of each workday.
When you are spending quality time with family and friends, make sure your phone is also non-existent and out of sight.
Unplugging allows you to live in the moment and recover from the stress of the week.
It helps clear your head and lets you focus on enjoying others around you. Try turning off your phone for an hour or two a few times each week.
8. Set an Away Message
If you are in a position where people reach out to you or rely on you regularly, make yourself less available.
Even if you are not stepping away from your desk, set up your email with an automatic reply stating you are unavailable. This way, you inform others that you are busy during a specific time and will respond when possible.
By setting an away message, you relieve the pressure to respond to every email immediately. So, try taking a few hours to shut your email app down and focus on tasks that require the most concentration. Chances are you’ll feel more productive without being missed.
9. Communicate How You Feel
The people in your personal and professional life cannot read your mind. Therefore, you should be open to communicating how you feel at work and at home. For example, you could talk to your boss about your workload or your partner about helping with household chores.
When they know what you need, they can better assist in taking some weight off your shoulders and help you destress.
Here’s to Better Balancing!
You no longer have to battle between being the best you at work and living your best life. Instead, use these tips and find your happy medium. And once you do, continue to work at it.
*Pro Tip – One of the most important things in maintaining a work-life balance is to ensure you don’t become complacent.