Nowadays the Work-Life Balance is a topic that is broadly discussed. More and more people will get burn-outs and even at a younger age. A way to prevent this is creating and more important supporting a healthy Work-Life environment. This environment should be simulated by the employers but the main factor lies within you. Your work and career is also a social activity, it doesn’t have to be so restraining and strict. Working will provide you with money but also social contacts and appreciation.
Work could be hard and busy sometimes, keep in mind that it should never become the main priority of your life and wellbeing. You need energy and time for sport, hobbies, family, friends and/or other interests. Those activities will give you more energy to get up and get back to work again with a fresh start.
Here some tips how I deal with my Work-Life Balance that could help you:
Make Time for Yourself and Friends
I take my job very seriously and work hard to do what I’m asked to do and even more than that. But my work is not affecting my entire life. I make time to go out with friends and practice my hobbies (like in the picture lettering, see the blog) and sports. I do this very consciously; work can never replace my family and friends!
Tip: Make appointments with friend or sports, this way you have an excuse to let go of the work and hang out with them.
Relax and Unplug
In the almost 24 hours economy nowadays it is very difficult to put your mind at ease. Mobile phones with emails keep coming in. I noticed myself that I get addicted watching my phone; checking my social media, WhatsApp, email and for example the weather forecasts…… During my holiday I spend less time on the phone. Why? Because I’m more distracted by; the surroundings, people I run into, surf in the water instead of web, no reception, listen to music or read a book. I show less addictive behavior; which is relaxing and it sets my mind at ease.
Tip: Let’s try to use the phone like we do on holiday but than in our daily life. Hmm difficult challenge or do you use the phone as much on your holiday as in your daily life…?
Enjoy your Work
If you are not happy at work and hate what you do, you can never be happy in general. Work is still work and you don’t need to love everything of course, but it needs to be exciting and give you appreciation in order get you out of bed every morning. When your job is draining your energy you are not in the right place. To enjoy your work is important, most of the time during the week (4-5 days) you spend at this place with your colleagues, so you have to make the best out of it!
Tip: Try to do things at work that gives you more energy, temporary project or side projects can help you to create more drive in your daily work.
The most important thing is to stay healthy. Taking a break for a smoke is not the break I am talking about of course, but taking a break to do at least a 10 minutes meditation (even when it is on the toilet…) is healthier. Focus on your breathing is important to stay calm and give your body a rest and focus; you can practice this before an important meeting or presentation you have to give. If you struggle with depression or anxiety and you have to leave the office early for a consult, don’t feel ashamed to do so. The longer you wait the stronger and tougher the illness will become, so don’t hesitate to take action. For me coaching helped me a lot to find the rest within myself to stop my mind going everywhere. I can recommend mindful classes too.
Tip: Get enough sleep! Go to bed in time, stop working, watching Netflix and watching your phone. I make 7-8 hours a day, this resets me. I really notice when I had less sleep; get more irritated and can handle less pressure during the day.
Put health in the first place; that will make you a better and happier person and a more productive employee!
Look for the Right Balance
To find the right balance is different for each person of course, so I don’t tell you how to do it. One recommendation; don’t be too strict on yourself getting the perfect work-life balance, but strive for a realistic balance. Some days the focus is more on work than others where you find more energy to go the gym or crash on the couch. Important is to find priorities in your needs.
Tip: Try to find a job with less travel time, this saves a lot of travel stress (traffic jams & train hassle) and you are left with more free time! I know easier said than done….
For me traveling is important, I come back fresh, full of energy and happy, but I work hard in the periods in between. Find that right balance: Work hard but Play hard too!!
How is your Work-Life Balance?