Juggling time spent working with your personal life has always been a challenge. But nowadays, many people are connected to their jobs 24-7 through smartphones and laptops, which has blurred the line between on-the-clock and be-back-tomorrow even more.
So let’s face it, when work is always “on”, it is up to each individual to decide when and where to “sign off.” Nobody wants to appear less dedicated to their job than their co-workers, but time for our families, our friends, our hobbies--in short, our lives--is crucial for personal wellbeing.
With that in mind, we’ve assembled five tips that might give you a little help balancing work and life.
1. Own Your Schedule
One way to help ensure that you are getting enough time with the people and activities you love is to schedule them. Think about what your ideal (but reasonable) week or month looks like outside of work, and pencil it in. Now try and develop ways to knock out your work around the schedule that you have created. Schedule in trips to the park, time for exercise, happy hour with friends, date nights and free time to pursue your passions. Even if every week doesn’t work out just like you planned, you’ll probably still find yourself doing more and feeling more fulfilled.
2. Get Moving
Finding time and motivation for exercising is often difficult. Between work, family, friends and what ever else pops up along the way, it is easy to push that trip to the gym back just one more day. Fortunately, regular exercise can provide two additional benefits that will improve all aspects of your busy life: you’ll probably have more energy and sleep better. And hey, who of us can actually say they wouldn’t like to feel more rested and energetic? Now that’s some motivation!
3. Don’t Be Afraid To Say “No”
We all have obligations and tasks in life that eat up a good portion of our time without offering much fulfillment. It may be someone else placing unrealistic demands on your time or your own commitments that are stretching you thin. Either way, learning not to say “yes” to everything that comes along will help you focus on what is truly important to you. Plus, you won’t have to keep coming up with excuses as to why you are putting off these less desirable tasks.
4. Unplug and Unwind
The occasional respite from technology can allow you to escape from work emails, calls and texts, not to mention those insanely cute, but super-distracting, cat videos. We probably all spend more time in front of screens than we’d like. Deciding to turn them all off for selected times throughout the week (meals, family time, working on a project, etc.) allows you to enjoy your surroundings and let your mind wander--an ideal space for creative thinking, or simply relaxing.
5. Hello Holidays
I know what you’re thinking: vacations are expensive, and I don’t have the time! But taking a vacation doesn’t have to mean an all-inclusive, two-week stay at a Tahitian resort. Sometimes just giving yourself a long weekend with the family by taking off a Friday or Monday can work wonders. And if you are able to get a few days off and plan a fun trip, you’ll have something exciting to look forward to for weeks beforehand--the light at the end of the work tunnel!
Finding a work-life harmony will never be a breeze, but hopefully employing these tips can make it a little easier for you to live every day to the fullest!