Balancing work and life expectations is difficult, even for the most experienced of professionals. For those entering the workforce, it can be difficult to adjust to a work schedule and all of your other life responsibilities.
However, for you to be the best worker you can be, it’s important to be able to maintain a healthy work-life balance. You’re no good to anyone as a walking zombie, barely able to function even though you’ve gulped down six cups of coffee.
Here are six great tips for maintaining a healthy work-life balance to make you the best employee and person you can be.
Plan Out Your Time
When you were younger, your school probably forced you to use a planner to keep your classes and homework organized. Not only was a planner important because your mind was more focused on pizza and being with friends, but it helped you remember your math test next Tuesday.
Having a planner is maybe not essential, but quite useful. Having your schedule laid out, both at work and after work, is a way to minimize stress and stay effective. You won’t be quite as overwhelmed with projects or activities because you’ve known about them coming for quite some time.
No matter how hard you try, you probably will eventually fall short of being a super person. It’s important to learn to manage expectations early on, so you’re not punishing yourself later.
This is incredibly important for those that are in the job hunt. It’s easy to feel like you’re going to receive your dream job at the first application, but not putting all your eggs in one basket and managing your expectations is key.
Realize that you may not be able to make every social event or hit a homerun with every work project. Cut yourself some slack.
Take Breaks and Vacation
During the day, you might be working so hard that you forget to eat lunch. It happens, but you don’t want to make it a habit. Make sure you’re taking breaks to give your mind a quick rest before hopping back in it. It also helps if you get up and walk around, stretching your legs out a bit before getting back to work.
When it comes to your vacation days, make sure you are using them! So many people don’t use their vacation days, which is counterproductive. It will make you a more stressed-out person and less valuable worker.
Turn it Off
At the end of the day, it’s time to head home and focus on life activities. This means you should turn off your email, put away your work phone, and leave the laptop charging.
Not being able to unplug is tough for some, as they feel they’ll fall behind by doing so. It’s important for your brain that you have that shutoff time in order to focus on other needs and occurrences in your life.
If work is still on your mind, try and find a place on the way home where you can turn it off. It can be while crossing a bridge or once you get to a certain landmark. Have a physical location to switching off your work brain.
Move Your Body
Exercise provides loads of benefits. It keeps you in shape, helps you sleep better, and helps relieve stress.
It’s important that you find an exercise routine and stick to it. That could be yoga before work, hitting the gym during your lunch hour, or joining that evening racquetball league. If you’re not the most active person, don’t worry. Find time to walk for an hour every day. As long as your body is moving, it will help your physical and mental health.
Build Your Way Up
Finding the perfect balance is not going to be an overnight thing. It’s going to take time to find your rhythm, potentially ditch old habits and start new ones. Give yourself a break if you forget to write something down in your planner or miss a yoga class.
Don’t try and move too quickly either, but cutting your work week in half or suddenly running 10 miles a day. It’s just going to cause frustration and you’ll likely end up back where you started. Take the time and realize it’s a long process.