What is Work-Life Balance?
We live in a society that glorifies over-working. We “werk werk werk,” and at the end of the work day, we jump in our cars to start our “side hustles.” “Work hard, stay humble” is our mantra. Relax at the end of the day? Cook that Pinterest meal? Work-life balance is a distant ideal.
The line between work and life is becoming increasingly blurred. In a recent study, researchers found that 81% of American workers check their work e-mail outside of work hours. Work is the second highest source of stress, with 65% of polled Americans reporting work-related stress.
But having fun, pursuing your hobbies, and loving your life is possible. These changes in your routine will help you be able to manage your time at work, get along better with your coworkers, and avoid burnout so that when you come home, you can enjoy the life you’ve worked hard for!
Manage your Time
- Start your day off with the hardest tasks. You’re often more motivated in the morning. Use that energy for good.
- Create a to-do list in order of your priorities for the day. Write in breaks for yourself to make sure you take them! Break tasks down to feel more accomplished.
- Use the Pomodoro technique. Set a timer on your phone for 25 minutes, and work hard until time’s up. Then take a 5-minute break. Continue this cycle three times, and after the third time, treat yo self! Take a 15-30 minute break.
- Try the Forest app. This one works similarly to Pomodoro except you plant cute virtual trees the more productive you are. Plus, you can use your hard work to plant real trees around the world!
- Don’t work overtime! If you can’t get your work done during your shift, you have either taken on too much or you’re not managing your time appropriately.
Improve your Relationships
- Set boundaries with your coworkers. Adopt an “office hours” schedule if you can to avoid unexpected interruptions.
- Schedule time in your day to check your e-mail. Decide how many times you will check it per day. And don’t check it after you’ve left work!
- Learn how to say “no.” Learn how to advocate and negotiate. Be careful to not over-apologize!
- Get to know your coworkers. Having friends at work makes the days seem shorter.
- Say thank you! Gratitude reduces stress and improves your overall functioning.
- Pay attention to how you talk about work. Keep work complaints away from the dinner table.
- Create a morning and evening routine. Routine means one less thing to stress about because you already know what to expect!
- Eat healthy and get enough sleep. If your basic needs aren’t met, you’ll have a harder time functioning at work and home.
- Eat in the lunchroom. Use your lunch hour to do the things you don’t seem to have time to do! Catch up on your reading or take a walk. Avoid mindless activities like swiping through Facebook.
- Have a commute? Take your time to intentionally transition from work mode to life mode.
- Disconnect your work e-mail from your phone so you’re not tempted to work after hours.
- Plan to do one thing for yourself everyday, even if it’s small. Grab a coffee from Starbucks, go to the gym, or do some crafts.
How do you achieve a work-life balance? I’d love to hear from you! Leave me your best tips in the comments!