It’s easy to become so immersed in your career that you neglect other important things in your life. It happens all the time, even if you don’t realize it, but it’s important to stop and ask yourself – do you have a healthy work-life balance?
If you find yourself overly exhausted at the end of every day, unable to encourage yourself to hit the gym or spend time with family, you probably have no such balance.
A healthy balance takes work itself – which sounds counterproductive, but in reality, you have to find your own personal balance because everyone is different. If you’re single without a family, you likely spend more time working because you can. If you have a family and spend too much time focused on your career, you can easily begin to neglect your family, and eventually yourself.
Explore your day-to-day and determine what your own balance looks like. Is it healthy? Can it use some work? Does it even exist?
If you can relate to one of the last two options, you’re going to need to put in that work to get your work-life balance back on track and keep it there. Otherwise, life will flash before your eyes, and you’ll inevitably wake up one day wishing you’d spent more time with your family and your well-being and less time at the office.
After all, you work hard so you can enjoy life, so start to enjoy your life today. Read on for five ways to achieve a work-life balance without neglecting your career, family and friends or yourself.
Manage Your Time
If you don’t yet have your priorities in order, make a list and map them out, so you can begin to properly dedicate your time to them. Sometimes a list can help you visualize what you need to focus on each week, so you can know when to act on your priorities.
Find a way to organize your time, whether it’s your phone calendar or a scheduling book. Take note of everything important for that week, like your workouts, dinner with friends, your kid’s soccer games, etc. Once you see commitments organized in front of you, you’ll know what you need to do and when.
It’s also harder to get off track if you prioritize at the beginning of each week. The head start will help you better wrap your brain around all that needs to get done, without focusing too much of your time on one thing. If you know your friend’s birthday dinner is on Friday night, you can ensure you get all of your work done beforehand so you can attend.
Learn to Say No
It’s not always easy to say no when it comes to an extra project or two. However, your boss may not understand your work-load at any given time, unless you explain that you already have too much on your plate already. There will be times when you must learn to say no.
Anyone can take on more work, but without a limit, you’ll become exhausted and less productive, which won’t get you anywhere. You can even increase your stress level so much so that you damage your heart or become depressed. If you can’t do it, say no.
Ask for Help
It’s ok to ask for help when you need it. Everyone does it, so don’t become too proud to ask. It doesn’t mean you don’t know what you’re doing or that you can’t handle your workload, it just means you could use extra support. Know when to assign certain tasks and projects to other members on your team.
If you feel like you’re drowning in your work-load, explain to your supervisor that you need help. It’s worse to not ask for help and fail than to ask for help and be successful.
This includes personal commitments as well. If you can’t pick-up your kids from school because of a meeting, ask friends and family members for help. They’ll likely be happy to support you in whatever it is.
Although it may be difficult, plug your phone in on your kitchen countertop, and keep it there so you don’t check it every five minutes. Turn the sound off and keep it in an entirely different room than the one you’re in, so you can truly unplug.
If you’re watching a movie with your family and have your phone in your lap where it beeps every time you get an email, you’ll be tempted to check it. Make your laptop and phone inaccessible, so you can live in the moment.
If you can, occasionally turn your devices off completely. You’ll be amazed at the level of relaxation you’re able to reach if you just stop checking.
Make Time for Yourself
If you neglect yourself and don’t take care of your mental and physical well-being, you’ll lose the ability to perform at your best long-term because you can become exhausted, over-worked and even sick. Make the time to exercise and eat well.
If you’re too tired at the end of the workday to exercise, do it in the morning. Whatever the case, you should be your number one priority because if you aren’t mentally and physically healthy, you won’t be as productive in your day-to-day life.
It’s great to be successful at your job, but if you’re overworked, you won’t want to socialize with friends, spend time with family or take care of yourself. You can become isolated, agitated and sick from lack of sleep, fun, and relaxation.
Take care of yourself by finding your work-life balance, so you can learn to enjoy life while still excelling at your career. You don’t have to pick one over the other, it’s possible to do both in a happy and healthy way.
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