With emails in the palm of your hand, constant notifications, and working from home, the line between work and personal life can become blurred. Neglecting a healthy work-life balance can lead to increased stress, decreased productivity and engagement, and burnout. To ensure you maintain a healthy work-life balance, we’re sharing five tips you should be practicing.
Manage Your Free Time
Free time doesn’t mean available time. Just because you have an empty slot on your calendar doesn’t mean you must fill it with some type of activity – work or personal related. To achieve a healthy work-life balance, it’s crucial to manage your free time.
To effectively manage your free time, you must first identify what’s most important in your life. This list will be different for everyone, so make sure you’re really reflecting on your priorities and goals. Second, you must set firm boundaries so you can devote quality time to these priorities and goals.
Unplug & Set Boundaries
One of the biggest things you can do to help improve your work-life balance is to unplug and set boundaries. The pressure to be “always-on” is very real but leads to burnout faster than almost anything else. It’s crucial to unplug and set away from your work at the end of the day. If you’re working remotely, try leaving your computer in a different room or turning your phone email notifications on “do not disturb.” Taking time to unplug and recharge your batteries will help you be more productive and engaged when you go back to work.
Taking care of your body and mind are also vital to maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Consider meditation, exercise, or doing something you enjoy just for you, like activities that encourage you to practice self-care.
Meditation is a great way to practice mindfulness and reduce stress, even if you’re only able to do 5-10 minutes of meditation at a time. Exercise is also a great way to practice self-care. Moving your body and getting your blood pumping releases endorphins, which help you feel happier and refreshed. Finally, but certainly not limited to, is to do something you enjoy just because you like it. This could be artwork, reading, journaling, hiking, really anything that brings you enjoyment.
Audit Your Habits
What habits do you need to start, and which ones do you need to stop? Audit your habits to identify areas where you have “time sucks” or “energy givers.” When you take the time to evaluate and audit your current habits, you’ll know which ones you should start or stop to help you achieve a healthy work-life balance.
We all have a lot on our plates, and the responsibilities, duties, and obligations are only going to increase. It’s important to stop believing the lie that we’re all capable of multitasking. We can’t. When you’re constantly bouncing from task to task, you’re not giving anything one hundred percent—leading to you feeling like you have been busy but haven’t been productive, further leading to burnout.
Be intentional about how you spend your time doing tasks. If you’re working on a big project, consider turning off your email for an hour or two. If you’re taking care of children after working hours, don’t continue checking emails. When you intentionally focus on the task at hand, you’ll find your time management and productivity increases.
Work-life balance is more than just a “nice notion” or something that makes employees “soft.” It’s an essential piece of employee engagement. When you take the time to ensure you have a healthy work-life balance, you’ll be happier, more productive, and avoid burnout.
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