Do you go home from work every day, just to realize you brought your work home with you? You’re not the only one, especially if you’re in a position of management. If you find yourself the first one into the office in the morning, and the last one to leave, you might not be managing your time or your team correctly. And you just might have some workaholic tendencies, or just haven’t have figured out quite yet the value of a solid work-life balance and how to achieve it.
We’ve all heard the idea that most anything in moderation is okay, all the way from dessert to exercise. Even spikes of acute stress can be moderately acceptable. Stress is what helps us meet deadlines, encourages us to do well at work, and even keeps us from forgetting to pick up produce at the grocers on the way home. In small amounts, stress really is okay. In larger amounts, it can be unmanageable though. Dr. Michael Ashworth in his article “How Does Stress Affect Us?” on Pyschcentral.com notes that, “stress is linked to the six leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver, and suicide.” Did that get your attention? Okay, now let’s address how you can reduce your stress today by implementing some ideas to create a better work-life balance.
Stop saying Yes. Start saying no. Then, delegate.
If you stretch yourself thin, you have nothing left to give. It can be easy to say “yes” to everything that lands on your plate. It’s a lot more rewarding to say it to the things that you can’t delegate out while saying “no” to the things that others can do.
It’s not always possible to say no to the things you don’t want to do, but the more responsibility you give to your employees, the more they will rise to the occasion. Their work-life balance matters as well though, so be open to them saying “No” to you when they need it. Check out some ways on how to improve your management skills and continue improving your work-life balance.
Not in a position that allows you to delegate work out? Consider chatting with your boss to reduce your assignments; if your direct manager isn’t aware that you’re trying to adjust your work-life balance, he or she may assume you’re happy with your workload. Honestly goes a long way.
One major way you can improve your work-life balance is by reducing the physical amount of time that you come in contact with your phone, computer, laptop, and tablet. Set timers and boundaries, to the time of day you allow yourself to be glued to screens.
Easier said than done though, right? How do you go about actually reducing that time? Check out this blog that examines 11 different apps to help reduce your screentime.
If you find yourself looking at your work email before you close your eyes to fall asleep, it’s time to set a new nighttime routine. Purchase an alarm clock and stop using your phone as your wakeup. Now, set your phone in a place that you won’t forget it in the morning, but is far enough out of reach that you’re not looking at it right before you close your eyes. It might seem like a stretch, but reducing that nighttime stress will have you waking up fresher in the morning.
Do you use your work laptop as your home computer as well? Set up two accounts to log in to, and after your allotted screen time for work, switch over to the one that allows you to email personal emails, play games, and online shop. That way you’re not tempted to toggle between work and home life as much.
When you think of exercise do you groan at the thought? You’re not alone! Cramming in beside fifty other sweaty people to run 5 kilometers four times a week in a hot gym doesn’t sound enticing to most of us. So, find a form of exercise you do enjoy doing. Think outside the box; Physical activity is linked directly to stress reduction and can be its own form of meditation. Taking the dog for a 30-minute walk is one way to begin your evening, but if you’re looking for something to really catch your attention, check out parkour lessons, join a kickboxing club, or for the more flexible people, attend adult gymnastics. Yes, it exists. You, too, can do backflips even in your thirties and forties. Dare you to think about work while bounding about. You’ll be hardpressed to not think about how awesome it is to stay young-at-heart while keeping your cardiovascular health in prime condition.
Ultimately remember that your life is not just your job. It’s all the things that happen before and after it, and keeping it balanced is key in finding fulfillment and joy.