All work and no play does not help you stay happy, and neither do all rest and no job. The fine line of life is achieving a balance in everything you do, and so is the case with attaining a work-life balance. Why is it important to devote as much time to your personal life, hobbies, and recreation as it is to work? Should work be the single most productive part of your life? The answer is a resounding ‘no!’ The body and mind do not work like machines and require adequate rest and recovery to recharge and work at full capacity.
A change of scenario and resting enable you to focus better, work harder, and achieve more than working continually for long uninterrupted hours. A well-distributed work-life balance is sometimes more difficult for working women (especially mothers) to achieve with the overwhelming work demands and time pressure to get it all done. Here are 5 tips to help improve your work-life balance and make a positive change in your lifestyle:
1. Schedule Leisure Time
You probably already schedule your work hours to maximize efficiency. The key to developing a healthy work-life balance is to schedule your leisure time as well. Develop a plan to spend a designated amount of time every day with your family, pursuing your hobbies, or resting. Work is designated a fixed time and often exceeds that time at the cost of your rest and leisure. Create a determined ‘fun’ or ‘me’ schedule to ensure that you do not stretch yourself beyond the limits of work.
2. Understand That Your Time Is Precious
You only have 24 hours to work and take care of yourself and your family. That leaves very little time to spend on people or activities that make you waste time or energy. If talking to a colleague after hours makes you reach home later, make a mental note to avoid that person after work. If social media posting and surfing is your time-wasting activity, then note the time you spend each day on your laptop and phone to try and reduce it. Avoid attending social events that interfere with your leisure hours.
3. Do Not Mix Work And Leisure
When at work, try to stay focused and avoid distractions to make the most of your time spent in the office. Minimize coffee breaks and idle chit-chat so that you can complete all your work in the office and go home with a clear head leaving work stress behind. Make a few rules about your time at home such as email only work conversations that can be viewed at our convenience, or setting up a dedicated email or phone number for work to minimize work distractions and stress. If you are going on a holiday or will not be available over a weekend, inform your colleagues so that you are not interrupted during your off-hours with work messages.
4. Self Above Others
Self-care can help you restore and maintain a healthy body and mind. Simple ways to relax after a hectic day include meditation, deep breathing, and yoga. Regular exercise releases chemicals that make you feel happy and positive and recharges you for another work-filled day. Often, self-care is the first thing to be tossed out of your life when work pressures increase. Try to set out some time daily for de-stressing routines and exercise, no matter how difficult it seems at first.
5. App-ify to Simplify
There are lots of apps available that can help you streamline your day and make the most of your time at work, and home. Time-saving and productivity apps include:
• ToDoist enables you to organize your life.
• Freedom, In Moment, and Space help you regulate the time your screen time.
• Shyp.com that sends a person to ship anything you need.
• OMG I can Meditate helps you include daily meditation
• Instacart helps you shop faster
• Trello helps you manage projects at work.
Create a life for yourself that allows you to enjoy and unwind to the maximum and achieve work goals at your top potential as well. The key to a successful work-life balance is drawing the line between your work and leisure and not crossing it. Do not let work dictate how you live. Schedule your life as you want, and the world will follow.
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