Creating a work-life balance has long been a hot topic in the business world, and for a good reason. Those who have a solid handle on their work and personal lives are generally happier, more productive employees. If you’re looking to level out that raging seesaw that is currently your life, it might be easier than you think.
Technology can be both a blessing and a curse when it comes to work-life balance. Waiting for an important email but need to get home for dinner? No problem – just keep your phone on once you’re home. Want to finish up editing that report and send it off to your boss? Super – just login from your home office. Except … now you’re keeping your phone on and logging into work. From home.
While having access to work from home can be great, it also creates unrealistic expectations of accessibility, not to mention the grey area that is compensation for work done outside of regular hours (and who wants to tackle that headache? No one). Unplugging from technology allows you to develop a consistent start and end time for work and personal time, allowing you to have a clearer vision of your time and priorities for both. In other words, the next time you have an overwhelming urge to check your phone while having dinner with your family – resist. Your stress levels – not to mention your family – will thank you for it.
Get a Hobby
As we age and delve deeper into adulthood, our passions and creative outlets that kept us running as kids often take a back seat – or are pushed out onto the side of the road and sped away from entirely. Picking up a hobby you once loved or pursuing something new that has always been on your To Try list is a good way to balance (and destress) your life. Picking up a hobby is a form of self-care, something that can really benefit your mental well-being. When you’re less stressed, you’re more productive and focused at work. Plus, if you’ve got an indoor bocce ball game every Wednesday night, you have something fun to look forward to each week. Whether it’s social or individual, such as learning the ukulele, a hobby does the body – and mind – good.
Leave Work AT Work
This is a big one, so it bears repeating. Bringing work home with you is a sure-fire way to dissolve any kind of work-life boundaries you’ve fought so hard to set up for yourself. While it can be easier said than done, the benefits of leaving your work at work are undeniable. By choosing to leave unfinished tasks for the next work day and not bring them home with you to finish (or stay at the office late, for that matter), you increase your productivity, work quality and self-discipline, plus improve the quality of your relationships with family, friends and yourself. Even if you work from home full time, doing things like setting up a dedicated work space and mapping out the hours you’ll spend there can improve your time management and productivity, and decrease your stress when you’re not “at work.”
To no one’s surprise, caring for yourself in the form of eating properly, exercising and getting an adequate amount of sleep will help you create the kind of work-life balance you’ve been hoping for. How? By making you more alert and giving you more energy to take on your daily tasks, both at home and at the office. It helps you to feel more confident and sure of yourself, and eating well, exercising and sleeping more are proven stress reducers, all while increasing your endorphins (the “feel-good” chemicals in your body).
As the rather new saying now goes, “adulting is hard.” And it is! But by paying attention to your work-life balance, you’ll be the one kicking adulting in the arse instead of the other way around.
Written by Jess Campbell