Everyone’s talking about work-life balance. It’s the idea that being the best that you can is focused on finding a ‘happy medium’ between your professional life and your personal life.
And even though my work is such a big part of me, I completely agree.
Regardless of your profession or passions, you’re truthfully the best version of yourself when you’re rested, balanced and have a clear distinction/understanding between work and play. But getting to that place is harder than you think, especially if you’re trying to make a name for yourself. You want to be serious about your career. You want to be a go-getter. But the work-life balance must take priority.
Creating a line between your in and out-of-office life is important and will prevent frustration, and frankly, burnout. So whether you’re struggling with balance or just want to prevent yourself from heading into a dizzying cycle, here are eight ways you can create the peace and tranquility that you deserve:
1. Stop being the ‘yes’ person.
There is a lot to be said about saying ‘yes.’ In fact, it’s a great strategy for personal and professional growth. But it isn’t necessary to say ‘yes’ to everything. When you become a ‘yes person,’ you fall into the role of doing everything, bearing everything on your shoulders, and picking up the slack. And this isn’t healthy or realistic.
Say ‘yes’ to what excites you, and by all means, be enthusiastic! But don’t feel obligated to do everything. Take your time, think things through, be mindful of your needs, and this will naturally create a healthy balance and lower your stress.
2. When it comes to your time, be intentional.
For both work and play, be intentional. When you’re with friends and family, try to disengage from work, technology, and social media. When you’re at work, be mindful of how you react to others and give them eye contact. Show up for things (especially if you said you would!) and try to be organized, too, to keep track of your commitments (both work and social).
3. Establish boundaries for after hours.
When you’re at work, your focus should be on work. When you’re away, the opposite should happen. While this isn’t always realistic, try, as best as you can, to create boundaries. Maybe this is as simple as turning your phone on silent or ‘Do Not Disturb’ for a few hours after work. Maybe it’s setting time for answering emails right before bed.
However this looks and works for you is fine, but do make sure to implement boundaries so that you’re not pulled in two different directions at once.
4. Prioritize what matters to you without guilt.
You are entitled to prioritizing what’s meaningful to you. Regardless of what the world says, you can create a healthy work-life balance by assessing what matters to you. If you value time with family and friends, be sure to add that into your weekly schedule. If you’re passionate about a project, guiltlessly put that at the top of your to-do list.
This is your life and your process; don’t feel bad about it.
5. Pay attention to your social media usage.
Social media can be excellent! And it can also be something that pulls you away from both work and home life. Try to create structure when it comes to social media sites (especially if you’re someone who works in a marketing or online entity). As you go through your day, set aside time that’s totally technology-free (like mealtimes, for example). Or, set aside specific times for scrolling so that you’re not losing valuable work or family/friend time by getting sucked in..
6. Listen to yourself and trust your gut.
Your intuition knows more than you think. You can tell when you’re getting distracted, when you’re feeling exhausted from work, or when you need to get a project done before a social event. Rather than ignoring your gut feelings, lean into them. Your body and mind will tell you what you need, so don’t ignore the warning signs! (PS: Taking breaks is a good thing!)
7. Create a schedule.
This is a no-brainer, but creating a schedule can help you be accountable for the discrepancies between when you’re working and when you’re having fun. If you see far more work events and stress than social times, try to actively change that! A physical calendar can also force you to prioritize time with loved ones that can often be easily brushed off when you’re feeling busy.
8. Be patient with yourself.
You’re not perfect (and that’s okay). You’re going to have weeks where you work too much and weeks where you slack off too much. But this is normal. Rather than getting frustrated at yourself for every little thing, just work on improving the next day, next week, next month. Creating a healthy work-life balance isn’t easy, but it’s incredibly worth it.
You’ve got this.
Featured Image Credit: Bruce Mars