4 Tips to Follow for a Positive Work-Life Balance
It’s important to find a positive work-life balance early as you enter the workforce for the first time. Keeping your mind and body in-sync will lead to utmost success both inside and outside the workplace. So, when you are signing on the dotted line for a contract to a new job, here are some things to remember.
1. Leave Your Work at Work
As much as you want to impress your boss with your work ethic, it is important to separate home from work in order to achieve positive work-life balance. When you end your day at the office, make sure to end your day at the office. That is, turn off your email and don’t answer your phone unless you know are expecting something important to happen outside of normal hours. By doing so, you will allow your brain to decompress and recoup after a long day. When you do not think about work 24/7, you will be able to go to work each morning with a fresh perspective on problems. You will also be more sociable in your home life if you are not staring at your phone or laptop the whole time. In a world where we are always tethered, it is even more important that you find a way to take time away from the work tether when you are out with friends. Additionally, if your job involves you working from home, then you should try to develop a specific workspace separate from the rest of your house. Ideally, this would be an entirely separate room; but if that is not possible, dedicate a desk or table to work only; and, above all, do not work from bed.
Similarly, you should leave most of home at home. That is, when you are at your desk, whether in the office or at home, you should avoid texting outside friends or family unless for emergency purposes. Leaving social aside will allow you to be more productive and efficient during your work hours, and it will allow you to be more sociable later on in the day, when you can celebrate your achievements.
Spending time outside of work by doing something active will also lead to a positive work-life balance. This could be going for a run, doing yoga, walking the dog...anything that gets you moving. When you exercise before leaving for work in the morning or right when you get home at the end of the day, you release stress endorphins, which will bring more clarity and peace to your lifestyle. When life is moving at 900mph, finding time to dedicate to personal health is even more crucial.
3. Set a Structure
Set goals and deadlines for any work-related projects. Owning a planner will help a lot with positive work-life balance. By keeping a relatively-strict schedule, you will refrain from becoming overwhelmed to the point that you cannot leave your work at the office; and it will also allow for more opportunity for you to not think about work all the time and thus enjoy hanging out with friends and family. At the same time, a schedule will make you stay on track so that you can impress your boss with efficiency and maybe get things done ahead of time. Along with this time-management skill (which hopefully college taught you some of) for a positive work-life balance comes the idea to start small. Whether this is on the work side, or the life side, if you have something you want to change, don’t try to do it in one drastic jump. Instead, make little adjustments to your standard schedule, and once you successfully make one adjustment, start to make another. Build slowly, and you will succeed!
4. Take Breaks
When it is time for lunch at work, actually take your lunch break. Even if your bring your own food, leave your desk and find somewhere else to eat (kitchen, patio..etc). You could also go for a walk during this time or do a complete exercise regiment depending on your time schedule. Taking the time to walk away from a project, get some nourishment, and talk to other people, will allow you to come back refreshed for the second half of the day. Of course, you do not want to take too many breaks and be unproductive, as this will lead to lack of success both in and out of the workplace (i.e. your structure will be gone), but a few breaks can go a long way towards a positive work-life balance.
If nothing else from these tips, take this one to heart. If you want to have a positive work-life balance, listen to your mind and body. Your body knows what is best for you, and it will tell you when you are doing too much or too little. No one else can tell you what is best for you than you. So, when you are feeling overtired, not yourself, or lethargic, look back on your days and see how you can adjust by way of the above tips.