Mosttt people have been there, you respect and appreciate your job, some may even love it, but the hours consume our weeks before we know it, and sometimes eating dinner at 8:45 is usually when we ask “where did the day go”?
My job has “busy” seasons. We work 50 hours and 6 days a week about 5 months out of the year. During those months we don’t get the typical holidays off (luckily not the major holidays) and 4 days of the week I eat dinner at the office.
I have been in that position where my friends and even my family, just don’t get it. You miss out on some things or you show up late/leave early. The lucky times when you do get to go, you’re yawning at 9:45 p.m.. I haven’t mastered it, I’m one of those people that believes in growth and that there is always room for improvement, but here are my top 10 ways I keep my work life balance.
- Go out for lunch with a coworker. I know some of you are going to not be into this, but let me tell you… having a friend where you spend 80% of your waking hours at makes a world of a difference. Go out and get some fresh air and bond with the coworker over anything! Find a new restaurant that you guys will both love. It brings something to look forward to during the work day.
- Have a happy hour or Friday night dinner planned. This can be with your hot date or even your coworkers. When you finally are done with that hectic week we often want to just go home and decompress (binge on Netflix) but that is time when you’re missing out on experiences.
- Take work e-mail off of your cell phone. This might not be allowed for some people in some positions, however, my rule of thumb is if they need you, they’ll call. Those e-mail notifications popping up outside of work is going to give you anxiety. It’s something that can wait until the next morning and it’s taking you away from being in the present moment.
- Multi-tasking hang-outs. I am an avid gym person during the week, it’s my time to de-stress, get my body moving after sitting all day, and have my me time. I’ve been guilty of skipping out on a taco Tuesday with friends, to gym it alone. But that’s not how it has to be every week. It’s also so fun to work out with someone. Ask your friend to go with you to the gym, get your workout in AND catch up with your loved ones!
- Communication. This is what is hard for a lot of people. If you’re effective at time management, you take 5 minutes walking in the hall or on your bathroom break to check in with people. Work-life balance is NOT leaving the people in your life on READ. If you are not making a few minutes here or there to send a quick, “Busy with work, check in with me later” , you need to re-evaluate what you are doing with your time. As corny as it sounds… communication is key to healthy relationships inside and outside of work. No one will value your time if you claim your are too busy for theirs.
- Work is Work, Home is Home. For the sake of your sanity, when you leave work, your are physically and mentally leaving work. This goes back to being in the present moment. There are weeks when there is going to be a crazy deadline and something will pop up in your mind when your relaxing (it happens). But when you go and meet with your family or roommates, ask them about their day, cook dinner, watch your favorite show, take your dog for a walk. Enjoy the other parts of your day.
- Have a stress reliever. This will help de-compress you from your work day. If you don’t get a chance to do your favorite activity, then go for a 20 minute walk when you get home. My stress reliever is a great gym session and sometimes cleaning. Maybe cooking or just talking to a loved one is yours. Find what it is and involve it in your week at least twice.
- Surround your remaining time with quality people. I think this speaks for its self, but when someone makes your laugh, feel happy, or just plan comfortable to spend life with, spend some time with those people.
- Have another responsibility. This might sound counter-productive to the title but hear me out. Work is not your life. I repeat, work is not your life. For some of you, your other responsibility will be your children or even a pet. Mine is my plants. Not as high of a responsibility as the first two, but it’s something I enjoy and I wake up and have to care to before I rush off to work.
- Put your health first. This includes your physical and mental health. You will be way more efficient at your job, on top of your tasks, and keep the ball rolling when your not groggy, moody, or lethargic. We are normalizing having mental health days and it’s so important. Some days you get bad news or you slept terrible and just running behind on life and if you don’t attend to what your body needs, you will not be able to attend to what your coworkers need. Try the 9 steps above to NOT burnout. Do not eat take out everyday, those high sodium/ high saturate fat meals are not fueling your body or mind. Drink your water, because your brain functions at a higher frequency when your hydrated. Go to bed at a good time, because you deserve to be ready and aware for your next day!
I hope you enjoyed my 10 tips on how to maintain a work life balance! Give them a try and live your best balanced !