Do you ever feel as though you are constantly running behind? As if it is impossible to maintain a balance between your career and the rest of your life? I do. Often, in fact. Feeling like this is a sign that you might be a bit too consumed with work. Your work-life balance is off, and you need to fix it.
Now, let me be clear: this doesn’t mean that you should spend equal amounts of time working and not working. Some days (or weeks) you need to put more into your career in order to get what you want out of it.
Rather, think of a healthy work-life balance as you making everything fit in a way that doesn’t leave you completely exhausted, frustrated, or anxious. When you do this, you leave yourself open to greater mental and physical health. Who wouldn’t want that, right?
On that note, I am sharing with you 6 tips for achieving a proper work-life balance. I hope they lead to a more peaceful life that leaves you feeling more focused, energetic, and satisfied.
1. Turn off your electronic devices.
There’s no doubt that modern technology has been a blessing in so many ways. But the bigger picture reveals that it has also caused a great deal of anxiety by making us obsessed with staying connected. Nowhere is this more evident than in the workplace. Bosses can get a hold of you whenever they want. Learn to leave your work at work. Establish a norm that it is unacceptable for bosses and fellow employees to contact you after work hours. Again, it is vitally important that you turn off your availability once you’ve left work.
2. Establish a set time to leave work.
I highly recommend telling people at work that you need to leave at a certain time. This will make it much more likely that you actually do it. First make the commitment to yourself, and then share it with your co-workers and bosses. Something like this ought to work: “I’ve got to be out of here on time tonight, so if you need something, let me know by 4:00.” Before you know it, everyone involved (including you) will learn to work around your schedule.
3. Build downtime into your weekly schedule.
One of the most important things I’ve learned over the past few years is that finding time to relax and enjoy myself is absolutely essential to finding a healthy balance between life and work. Recharging your batteries typically doesn’t happen by accident, so plan on it. Build into your weekly schedule specific times and events that will allow you to leave work behind. Trust me on this one: the benefits are plenty.
4. Ditch the habits that steal your energy.
It is so easy to spend time aimlessly staring at a computer screen or fiddling on a smartphone. It all seems to easy and, therefore, harmless. The truth, though, is that every minute you waste on social media and the like is time not spent being productive in the areas you need to be. If it’s something you don’t really need to be doing or it doesn’t significantly improve your physical or mental health, your best bet is probably to ditch it.
5. Make time for exercise.
Contrary to what you might think, engaging in some form of exercise will actually give you more energy. It might be difficult to get started, but once you do, you’ll find yourself getting tired much less often during the day. Even a few minutes of exercise a day will be enough to kickstart your body and give you the energy you need in order to achieve everything on your agenda, be it work-related or not.
If you feel as though you are hitting the proverbial wall, don’t be afraid to communicate that to those around you. And yes, this includes your boss. In fact, your boss is probably the one person who really needs to know it. They want you to be refreshed so that you can maximize your performance, so you should feel confident in letting them know when you need to adjust your schedule. Since you’ve proven your worth, they’ll likely be much more accommodating than you’d imagine.