The term work–life balance can be a tricky one. Chances are you're not oblivious to the dream of concurring a work-life balance mindset and the ability of living such a lifestyle. To put it more simply, work-life balance equals the time an individual needs between the time allocated for work and other aspects of life.
We're not telling you to quit your job and become a glob trotter, or not give it your all daily grind, but we will tell you a few ways to improve the balance on the regular.
1. Set aside designated time for yourself
I know, it's harder then it sounds. But in all seriousness, cherish your nights and weekends. Whether this means hiking a mountain on a Sunday, taking a barre or cycling class every Tuesday or marathoning a Netflix series, do at least one thing for yourself every night and every weekend. No, running errands doesn’t count.
Even if you can only set aside one hour per weekday for yourself, make sure it’s about you - not about catching up on all the personal emails, texts and app notifications you missed while at work.
If the thought of going a day without a phone is almost incomprehensible, start small. Unplug in the easiest way possible: don’t take your work home with you. Turn off your computer and don’t forward your work inbox to your personal one. After you leave work, don’t even peek - save tomorrow’s work for tomorrow.
Entrepreneurial spirit? Well you're not alone. Burnout is real my friends. According to Forbes Magazine, many entrepreneurs said that, while counterintuitive, working less actually improves their productivity and can prevent burn out. So there you go!
If you’re ready for a mini-tech cleanse, start off by unplugging one day a week. Pick one app or account to delete, one tech device to sell or some meaningful activity to keep you away from your email and virtual network when you’re out of the work space.
Chances are, there’s an app or network you rarely use or dread checking - you truly don’t need it.
3. Get organized
Create a calm and coordinated space for yourself at work. Get your inbox in order, clean up your desk, have a daily lunch and snacks prepared and, most importantly, maintain a planner. Keep it next to you as you work. Having everything written out helps you see what you’re facing - what needs to happen today and what can wait until tomorrow. It’ll help you feel less overwhelmed.
If you’re struggling to find time to do everything after work, write out a list of your goals and plans, then pick just a few of them. Once you realize your priorities, you won’t place as much pressure on yourself to do it all.
4. Say no sometimes
You have to say “no” sometimes — and it doesn’t always require an explanation. Just say it nicely.
It may feel daunting to even consider saying no to a higher-up in the workplace, but if you have a valid excuse - even if it’s something you think only may be valid to you, express it. If you hit a wall and are feeling overwhelmed, you may be doing more harm than good by doing a task that you just can’t take on right now.
When it comes to your personal life, don’t be afraid to turn down a night out with friends for fear of missing out, or just letting them down. It’s OK if you want to stay in and watch Hulu - you don’t have to rally and go, and you don’t have to fib to get out of it. Coming up with fictional excuses leads to even more stress and guilt. Be honest with yourself and others about your limits - it’ll help you be the best version of yourself.
5. Find things or people that make you laugh
“Laughter is the best medicine” isn’t just a saying - it’s medical advice. According to the Mayo Clinic, laughing stimulates your heart, releases endorphins, relieves stress, soothes tension, limits pain, improves mood and lessens anxiety.
If you’re having a particularly difficult day at work, take 15 minutes for yourself to walk around the block and call a friend that makes you laugh or just look up some hilarious memes online. After work, flop down on the couch and put on a hilarious movie or TV show. It may actually melt your worries away.