HABITS TO ADOPT FOR A BETTER WORK-LIFE BALANCE
For all the constant talk about work-life balance, some people look at achieving this like having a happy little dream pinned up at the corner of their horizon. They wistfully hope that someday, they’ll learn how to juggle their ever-increasing work responsibilities and carve out enough time for themselves and their families to land at some ratio resembling balance. But this does not have to be a dream.
Finding your work-life balance is essential to avoiding burnout on the job, and safeguarding your physical health and wellbeing. Finding that balance can help you increase your productivity at work, and make your time off feel more rewarding. There are simple, specific habits you can adopt that will ensure your personal and professional priorities are being met. Integration of these habits into your everyday life will help you balance your work with the myriad of activities on your plate.
Finding the best job for work-life balance is a great place to start, but if you are committed to making a few purposeful changes, almost anyone’s job responsibilities can be reorganized to give you more time for yourself. Here are some tips to help you get started.
Schedule Personal Activities That are Important
So many times, it is our personal life that gets pushed to the side when our workload increases. We make plans to exercise with friends, then text an apology to cancel them. Date nights with our spouses get dropped off the calendar as the deadline for a work project creeps closer. Special one-on-one time with our children gets cut short. But this doesn’t have to be the case. By making specific personal activities a priority each week – and scheduling them just like you would any other important work appointment – you’re making a statement that your personal life is worth as much as your professional responsibilities. Start by blocking off certain hours for family time. Get time with your children and spouse on your calendar – and set reminder notifications to make sure you keep those appointments. Don’t forget to put your own self-care back on your schedule. Each week, set up times for exercise, skin care and other personal needs.
Sometimes, these windows of time can do double duty. Going for a hike or bike ride with your family allows you to spend quality time with your kids while you’re all getting exercise. Make self-care into family time by booking appointments at a spa or salon. Or enjoy pampering yourself and your family at home with products like Artistry Signature Select™ Masks, which you can mix and match for a fun skincare session. The mask formulas are all infused with Nutrilite™-sourced botanicals to enhance the look and feel of your skin.
Limit Your Screen Time
As much as our smartphones keep us connected to our families and friends, for many of us they also make us feel like we are “always on” when it comes to our jobs. This can be traced to co-workers who text and call during off-hours, or the work-related emails that land in our inboxes on weekends. Just seeing those show up has us switching back to thinking about work. Because of this, learning to limit your screen time is essential to achieving work-life balance. Practice being intentional about turning off or putting away your phones for short periods of time. It could be hard at first, but you will learn to be more present in the moment and take a break from technology. Once you’ve mastered these short breaks, try hiding your work email or chat apps in a folder when you are not at work. That way, you won’t be tempted to check them.
Make Social Activity Dates With Friends
Putting yourself back on your own schedule means making time to spend with friends. Set up a movie night, or make plans to meet someone for an after-work walk. Make work talk off-limits and enjoy just being with other people. If you have a job with an unconventional schedule and feel like you can’t do this, make a point of having a weekly lunch or dinner date with friends to help you keep your balance.
Limit Your Work Hours
Unless you have a job where you are on-call, most people have a reasonable understanding of what their work hours should be. A bigger work load or poor planning oftentimes means your work week grows beyond the balance zone. Getting your work hours back on track starts with you. Set your work hours and stick to them. It might be tough at first. If co-workers are used to you being available for an extra hour or two each day, you will need to remind people that you will be leaving work at a certain time, and won’t be handling calls or emails after that. Creating this kind of deadline each day can inspire efficiency and higher productivity on your part, and can show your colleagues what a good work-life balance looks like.
Schedule a Day Off, or a Vacation
Sometimes we get so busy at work that we forget to take a day off, let alone schedule our paid vacation time. When is the last time you made plans for a week-long trip so you could really leave work behind and feel refreshed? Americans are particularly bad at this. A recent study showed U.S. workers left 768 million vacation days unused in 2018, a 9% increase from the previous year. Making pockets of time for yourself during the week is vital to your well-being, but so are the longer breaks when you can really unplug and relax. Vow to take all your vacation days this year.
Achieving a work-life balance might seem difficult for many people, but with small changes that put your personal time on the same level of importance as your professional responsibilities, you’ll find it improves your quality of life. The bottom line is, you’re worth it.
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