As much as you might love your job, you should never feel like you’re married to it. If work is your first obligation, leaving you virtually no time for anything else, you can find yourself beginning to suffer in small ways. Lack of sleep and an overabundance of stress will take their toll on your physical health. Not having time to cook nutritious meals for yourself may cause you to rely on convenient junk food, and the results will show on waistline.
For your health, peace of mind, and sanity, you need to find a work life balance that will work for you.
1. Learn to conserve your energy
This is the perfect excuse to help you stop doing the things you don’t really want to do. Stop feeling obligated to engage with draining people just to be polite, or taking on someone else’s responsibilities. You need to maximize the time you have outside of work, because you deserve to spend that time doing things you find fulfilling. You need more time to catch up on your Netflix queue, go to the apple orchard with your best friends, or study subjects that interest you. Doing things that make you happy will prevent you from burning out.
2. Get to the gym
It’s not as hard to work out as it used to be. In many areas, there are gyms that stay open 24 hours a day. Build some time into your schedule to climb on a machine or two. If you’re not into the gym scene you can always take a leisurely stroll for your morning coffee. Exercise is great for your body and mind. It improves your concentration, so you’ll be able to focus better on the task at hand. Improving your focus will make your work fly by faster. Imagine a world where you can pull fewer all-nighters, and take less of your workload home with you.
3. Find little ways to simplify your life
All those little things you need to do to keep your personal life running smoothly are chewing away your time. Shopping online or buying household staples in bulk will reduce the number of trips you’ll need to take to the store. Can you get someone else to mow the lawn? Do you know anyone who owes you a favor? Anything you can do to reduce your amount of routine responsibilities will give you more time to do the things you love.
4. Start scheduling things
You probably can’t be spontaneous. Late night phone calls inviting you out to your favorite club are most likely a thing of the past, but you can’t let that stop you from having fun. Get with your friends, and start planning things in advance. If you want to go out together a few times a month, plan out those days the month before. You’ll be able to shift your work schedule around if you know several weeks ahead of time when you’ll need to take off, or leave early.
5. Take a vacation once in a while
Whether you’re going somewhere exotic, or you plan to lounge around your house in your pajamas all day, you need to cash in those vacation days. They’re given to you for a reason, and you can’t afford to let them go to waste. They’re yours, and you’ve earned them. There are plenty of great employers who will do everything within their power to provide you with the tools to optimize your work-life balance. If you don’t already work for one, it’s going to take a little more effort on your part. Once you’re in the habit of balancing your life, you’ll be astounded by how much better you feel.
Kelly Smith works at CourseFinder. She’s interested in new online marketing and branding tools. She’s keen on work-life balance and healthy work environments.
Main photo source: Philipbloom.net