As technology continues to become an integrated part of our lives, work follows us in the car, traveling, and especially now it follows us home. Traditionally, people are expected to answer calls and emails during the workday – but as more and more people utilize their personal cellphones for such tasks, they have started to feel that they must answer them off the clock as well due to the many notifications and increasing pressure to always be “reachable.” When employees start to feel that they are never able to truly get away from their work, it can cause burnout and home life issues.
Just like how it is important to balance the food you eat for your health, it’s crucial to create a work-life balance. When people are able to coordinate different aspects of their life they will find that they are happier, less stressed, and more creative.
It’s important to have the correct understanding of what are the most important things in your life. When you are able to prioritize you will feel more relaxed and better able to schedule around them. Without your mental, physical, and emotional health prioritized, you will continue to overwork yourself at your job and you will never properly heal. You can practice prioritization of your health while at work. Instead of walking into work and immediately throwing yourself into your workload on a Monday, start your week at your desk by planning out your weekly activities. This simple scheduling trick will allow your brain to relax and reset from the typical stress of the job.
Your earned vacation days are truly yours – so don’t waste them! Whether you take a couple of days here and there to hang out with your kids or a full-on sabbatical to the Philippines, use your vacation days to unwind. Continuously working with no breaks will quickly burn out even the most dedicated employee. When you take those vacation days, practice “unplugging.” Turn off your work email notifications and ensure all of your coworkers and any clients that you will be out of town and unavailable to reach. This way, you won’t be tempted to work at all.
Without a structure in place, the lines between work and home life could lead to issues. To nip this in the bud, setting up some boundaries on when you will work and when you will only focus on your family or yourself is crucial to your work-life balance. Even if you aren’t required to, setting office hours is another great way to get in the mindset of when you should be working and when you shouldn’t.
Unfortunately, there is no perfect work-life balance. However, by simply paying attention and making a concerted effort to create a balance, you will be well on your way to a happier and healthier life.