Adulting is hard; there’s constantly a lot on your plate, especially in a world where work is so demanding. It’s a huge challenge to maintain a healthy balance between your personal life and work. However, striking that balance is essential for your mental and physical well-being, otherwise you’ll suffer from undue unhappiness, stress, and anxiety. Nobody wants that!
Here’s a list of tips to maintain a healthy work-life balance, resulting in a happier, even more productive you.
- Effective Time Management: This is one of the most important things when it comes to having a life outside of work. Time management requires organization. I’d recommend creating a routine, and planning your days out accordingly. Unless something dire comes up, stick to your plan like it’s the Bible. Block out chunks of time for X,Y, and Z, and even try timing yourself so you don’t go over on any block. This will also keep you from wandering off on social media while you’re supposed to be working on a presentation. If you can dedicate time to both pressing work priorities and personal needs, you’re well on your way to that balance.
- Embrace “Me Time”: Never let work consume you! If you feel fulfilled and enriched outside of work, you’ll definitely bring a better version of yourself to work - and it will show. So go to a spa every now and then, take that cooking class you’ve had your eye on, read a book for fun, and try unplugging once a week or so. Whatever it is (I’m a fan of adult coloring books), do something that you enjoy and that takes your mind off of work. This will do wonders for your mental and physical health, and will allow you to go to work feeling refreshed and at peace.
- Make Time for Family: Don't ditch your kids, parents, or siblings for work. Make sure you get to those soccer games, birthday parties, and date nights. If you don't, you'll regret it. And it will actually lead to more stress and unproductivity while at work, since your mind will be elsewhere.
- Take your vacations, and unplug on weekends: Take advantage of the weekend and clear your mind from work. You worked hard all week, and you earned this. Further, don’t leave vacation days unused, and don’t feel like you can’t take them. Your company will be better off if you do take time off to rejuvenate and take care of yourself. PTO policies exist for a reason, so take full advantage of your days, and try not to check email during them!
- Have a social life: Even when you’re not working, try not to become a hermit. You need social interactions and human connection to be happy. Have dinner or go to the movies with your friends, mix work and fun by attending a networking event, make your college reunion, and so on. Keep in touch with people that are important to you - it will make you feel better in more ways than one.
- Block off your calendar: Whether you’re taking a long weekend, have a hair cut appointment, or need to leave work early to make a yoga class, block it all off on your work calendar. This will prevent colleagues from throwing last-minute meetings on the calendar that could potentially mess up your plans!
- Gausepohl, Shannon. "6 Ways to Improve Your Work-Life Balance Today." Business News Daily. N.p., 19 Sept. 2016. Web. 28 Nov. 2016.
- "37 Tips for a Better Work-Life Balance." Search Jobs, Career Advice and Company Profiles at The Muse. N.p., 03 Dec. 2013. Web. 28 Nov. 2016.