Finding the perfect work-life balance is tricky, and there’s no exact science to it. Making sure you are contributing at work is important, but so is your physical and mental health. Here are some ways to help you navigate this tricky arena that all employees will face at some point in their careers.
Organize your time effectively
Figured out when you work best
Are you a morning person or are you more productive in the late afternoon? Do you like to be in the office when it’s busy, or do you prefer it quiet while you work? Do you need a flexible work schedule in order to leave early to take care of your kids? Ask yourself all of these questions, and whether your current position will allow you to work around your busy schedule.
Set SMART Goals
It’s easy to get distracted and spend too much time on projects that aren’t a priority. Having SMART goals can help focus your time management abilities and exert energy on tasks that are more important in helping you to reach your objectives.
Set work hour boundaries
If possible, try not to bring your work home with you, as it is both an added stress and can prevent you from taking breaks from the mental strain that comes from working. You shouldn’t be answering work emails after hours, making phone calls off the clock, or staying up late to complete assignments. Separate your work as much as possible from your private life, and try to maintain a consistent schedule in regard to your work hours.
Manage your time wisely
Don’t book a full day of meetings and projects if you know you have other responsibilities that need to be prioritized. Know your limitations, and don’t be afraid to say no to helping out a co-worker if you’re too busy. If you are constantly saying “yes” to help others, your own work can get lost in the shuffle. Keep track of your physical and mental health.
Make time for exercise
Don’t put your physical health on the back-burner simply because you are “too busy.” Make the time to get some kind of physical exercise every day. It can take on many formsー sports, running, rock-climbing, or simply taking regular walks. Physical exercise can reduce anxiety, depression, and negative moods and help you better yourself.
Schedule personal time
Making time for yourself and scheduling events to look forward to throughout the week is an important part of a healthy work-life balance. It could be something as simple as seeing friends after work or spending time with your family. Make sure you have some fun activities to make getting through your work week less stressful.
Find ways to make your job easier
Automate your daily routine
By automating repetitive tasks, you can take some of the stress out of your everyday job. Automation, in most cases, is easy to implement and easy to use, making it a simple addition to a workplace. Talk to your supervisors about the benefits automation software could have for the business, and improve the overall bottom line. You could save hours of labor that can be delegated elsewhere.
Unplug from technology
Limit distractions caused by your electronics
The large amounts of notifications from your phone or computer can cause harmful distractions, and reduce your ability to get work done on time. Distractions take you out of your train of thought and can break your focus. Put your phone away and turn on your ‘Do Not Disturb’ function to help you avoid checking it on a regular basis. Choose when and where you are going to use your technology.
Technology negatively affects your sleep
Using technology at night can reduce the quality of your sleep. Cellphones, tablets, and computers all suppress your melatonin and keep your brain alert and active when it should be winding down. Try to shut off all of your devices a half hour before bed in order to get quality sleep and arrive at the office refreshed in the morning.
Stay active outside the office
Start a new hobby
Making sure that you have hobbies outside of work can help with your work-life balance. Look inward and find what you are passionate about. If you can determine the things you truly enjoy and get involved you’ll be able to keep your mind sharp while not at work instead of just melting into a couch until the next day starts. It’s never too late to pick up an instrument, knit, start a blog or art classes. Whatever you love, find ways to get more involved.