Almost everyone I know could benefit from a little more work-life balance. Usually the scale is tipped too far to the “work” side, and although it’s great to flourish in your work, it’s not so ideal to let your career run you down.
My happiest and most fulfilling weeks are those when I’m productive with work, but also take time to have brunch with friends, go to my favourite fitness classes, hang out with my family and get in some relaxing “me” time. But as someone who’s working on building my blog and writing career, and just launched a media company, I also know how tempting it can be to keep churning out work long after the work day is over.
The accessibility of technology, mixed with our addiction to social media and being constantly connected, it’s easy to let work take over. And as an online entrepreneur, it’s almost impossible to NOT feel like you should be working at every waking hour.
But this leaves us with little time to ourselves, throwing off a healthy lifestyle balance. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or work for someone else, it can be tempting to devote all your time to your business; but when you start to feel drained, and like you haven’t had any time to yourself for a while, it’s time to take a step back and rejig!
If you’ve been finding it tough to achieve better balance between your life and career, you’re definitely not alone. Here are 6 simple steps help you out!
1. Create and stick to a daily routine
Having a daily routine is helpful when maintaining a work-life balance. It doesn’t necessarily have to be an hour by hour, day by day schedule, but implementing strong habits such as avoiding checking your emails/social media for the first and last hour of the day, getting 8 hours of sleep, taking time to make meals, and getting outside daily, will help you lead a healthier, happier lifestyle.
Do you have a fitness class you love to go to each week? Make sure to schedule it in and get your butt to the gym! Do you work for home but feel the need to socialize with others? Carve out an hour to have lunch or catch up with a friend. Have you found taking a walk at lunch time helps with your productivity and creativity? Make it part of your daily routine.
2. Schedule time for yourself
If you don’t schedule time for yourself it just might not happen. It’s become more common to put ourselves second when it comes to cranking out work, but if we’re not properly taking care of ourselves our work will eventually suffer too. Plan time to go to your favourite yoga class, try a new restaurant with a friend or soak in a bubble bath. Whatever it is, write it down in your calendar and follow through!
Unfortunately health and exercise are often the first to be put on the back burner when our calendars fill up. We eat out because it’s convenient and we skip our trips to the gym entirely. But maintaining a proper exercise routine is so important for both our bodies and minds. Exercise boosts our mood, creativity and productivity, so skipping out on it does much more harm than good. It’s okay if you can’t go everyday, but at least schedule in a few times each week to get physical!
I constantly find myself checking my emails and social media accounts, which are all related to my work. With everything so easily accessible, it becomes second nature, but I have to admit it doesn’t feel healthy. Along with giving off the impression that you’re always available to respond to work-related matters, it can be a huge time suck. Add scrolling social media for pleasure purposes, and you’ve probably racked up a good couple hours of wasted time.
Set aside some time to disconnect from the world of technology. Leave your phone, iPad, and laptop alone and focus your attention on a good book, time with family or some much-needed relaxation.
5. Cut yourself slack
I love the quote “we can do anything, but we can’t do everything.” It’s so true – we can do anything we set our minds to but we can’t do everything all at once. Don’t overbook and overwhelm yourself, and don’t take on too many projects or meetings if it’s going to exhaust you. Recognize your limits and listen to yourself when you feel like you have too much going on. It’s okay to say no.
6. Leave work at work
This is the most obvious tip and it’s easier said than done, but implementing all of the above tips will help you leave your work at work. Set a time each day you consider your “turn-off” time. I know I know, this probably isn’t going to be possible every day, but you can at least try. “Turning off” at a certain time each night will eventually become habitual and you can start to fill your time with other things that make you happy.
If you are an entrepreneur, try adding work hours to your emails! This will let people know when they can expect to hear back from you and ensure people don’t expect you to be “on” at every waking hour.
Do you feel as though your work-life balance is tipped to one side over the other? What are some of your tips to balance it out? Let me know in the comments below!