People spend a large portion of their lives at work. Career success is important for personal fulfillment, as well as to put food on the table, but it can easily take over the other realms of your life. Striking a good work-life balance won’t always happen by accident, but with these tips, and mindful planning, you can establish a daily rhythm that allows your physical, mental, social, and emotional wellbeing to take precedence.
Prioritize Your Wellness
Work stress can quickly add up, which may result in lingering feelings of anxiety or depression after hours. Above all, your health is more important than any job you have had or will have. If sleep, regular exercise, a healthful diet, and consistent self-care are all taking a backseat to work reports and tight deadlines, it may be time to reassess.
Take time to take care of yourself. Maybe that’s scheduling an extra workout class during the week, calling an old friend, or searching the web for “What is Thrive” or “sleep-promoting herbs” and adding a few beneficial supplements to your daily routine. Whatever it is, make sure it’s serving you and your wellbeing.
It’s easy to become overwhelmed by work tasks when you find it hard to leave work at work. If you’re known for your round-the-clock availability, you could benefit from setting a few limits. Let your boss and coworkers know that you will be unable to respond to messages after work hours, and stay true to your word.
Stick to a Schedule
Not all jobs work on an hourly basis, and even those that do can end up demanding more of your time than you bargained for. You may suspect you’re investing more than a reasonable amount of time in your job, so making a log of your planned tasks in a bullet journal would be helpful so you can better visualize just how many hours in a single week that you’re dedicating to work. If it’s too much, try shifting your schedule to better accommodate the other areas of your personal life.
If you’re finding it difficult to complete your workload during work hours, it’s helpful to reach out to your boss or supervisor to hand off a few tasks, get pointers on time management or talk about what you can reasonably handle when you’re on the clock. It’s better to communicate clearly, even if it’s uncomfortable than to suffer in silence.
Take Time Away
You accrued those vacation days for a reason. Make sure to use them. While weekend and day trips are valuable in their own ways, it’s important to schedule several days to a week away from your job to adequately create both physical and mental space from the daily grind.
While on vacation, try to focus on your destination as much as possible. It may be tempting to pull out your laptop to respond to all of the messages in your inbox, but let your out-of-office autoreply do its job.
Invest in Outside Relationships
You may have the best coworkers in the world, but it’s still beneficial to find and maintain relationships that exist outside of the office. Your loved ones will see you through your career no matter what, and those relationships can be a valuable place to find an escape from the stress of due dates and client meetings.
If you find yourself working overtime and missing out on important life events outside of work, it could take deliberate, firm action to better shift the balance. Put both important events and scheduled quality time on your calendar, and treat them as engagements as immovable as an important presentation.
Ultimately, a good work-life balance may come and go over time. Some seasons may find you working more than you’d like, while other seasons may have personal commitments interfering with important work tasks. Only you can determine what a good balance looks and feels like to you. As long as you feel comfortable with your lifestyle, and can remain adaptable, you can balance a successful career and a rich personal life with more ease.