For a lot of us, finding a healthy work-life balance can seem almost impossible.
Managing work responsibilities with family responsibilities while trying to fit in a social life can make anyone feel overwhelmed and stressed.
The pressure to succeed in work can make it hard to create a balance between your work and home life.
However, creating a healthy work-life balance can increase your productivity and work performance.
Here are 4 tips for a healthier work-life balance.
4. Create a routine
It’s easy to get into a habit of letting work dictate your schedule.
I had this problem at a previous job of mine.
I would let projects sidetrack me, and it kept me working late hours.
I would let clients schedule meetings with me after regular business hours and end up working 10 hour days on top of an hour commute.
I quickly found myself feeling burnt out and depressed over never having time for my family.
That’s because I let work dictate my schedule and didn’t stick to a routine.
To ensure you don’t make the same mistake, create a scheduled routine for your time.
Be intentional about your work schedule, making sure you are have built in breaks for yourself and establishing a time for you to leave each day.
Be sure to include downtime and hobbies into your routine. While you may not get to do a hobby-related activity every day, you should give yourself at least 30 minutes of personal downtime every day.
Once you create a routine, make sure to honor it. If you say you want to attend a weekly yoga class twice a week at 5:45 pm, honor that commitment.
Unless it’s an emergency, don’t allow yourself to work through your downtime.
3. Unplug from the office
I once had a boss warn me to leave work at work. She knew the temptation of answering client calls and emails off work hours, and she warned me about making myself too accessible.
Unfortunately, I didn’t listen at first. If a client called or emailed me after work hours, I found myself answering back right then.
Clients loved this, but soon, I felt like I was always at work.
For many workers, technology has made it easier for us to take work with us.
No matter where you are, whether you are at home or at the store or even on vacation, the office can be right next to you on your phone or tablet.
In order to create a healthier work-life balance, learn to unplug from the office.
Once you are home for the day, leave work-related business alone.
This means don’t answer work-related emails or messages while you are at home, out to dinner, or on vacation.
Disconnect from the office and enjoy your life outside of work.
Unplugging from the office will allow you to fully connect with your family and friends and help you enjoy your time off.
2. Take Care of Your Health
When you are busy or overwhelmed, it can be easy to let your health take a back seat.
When I was working long hours and commuting long hours, I stopped taking care of my health.
I ate out more. I didn’t exercise as much. I didn’t sleep as much as I should.
After a while, I just felt terrible. I was tired and sick all the time, and my work suffered.
I realized that if I didn’t make time for my health, I would continue to struggle.
So, I joined a gym and went every day before work. I planned my meals carefully, and I got into a good sleep schedule.
I suddenly had more energy in the morning and was more productive at work. I was happier and able to get more done.
Taking care of your health can have a significant positive impact on your work-life balance.
Exercising can reduce your stress, lift your mood, and give you more energy.
Fueling your body with good food makes you less likely to feel drained and sick all time.
Developing a good sleep schedule makes it easier to get through your day without having to pound multiple cups of coffee.
Set time aside to make sure you are taking care of your body and your health. You will feel better, and you will take less sick days, which your employer will enjoy.
1. Be willing to express your needs.
The most significant tip I can give you for a healthier work-life balance is learn to be willing to express your needs.
A year or so ago, I went through a loss in my family. After only a few days off, I rushed back into work, trying to distract myself from my grief.
I didn’t want my employer to know that I was struggling, so I just kept working. But one day, I couldn’t do it anymore. I was miserable and in pain. I actually thought about quitting.
But instead, I went to my boss and expressed that I needed time off for my mental health. She was understanding and gave me the time off I needed.
In order to create a healthy work-life balance, you need to be aware of your needs and be able to express them.
Examine what you need to feel balanced and fulfilled and don’t be afraid to approach the subject with your employer.
If you want to leave by a specific time each day to spend time with your kids, express that. Be open and honest with your boss about your needs and see what you can work out.