Sixty-six percent of Americans working full time haven’t been able to achieve a work-life balance, and twenty-two percent are not doing anything to improve it.
As a matter of fact, technology has added to the pressure most people feel by making mobile devices and other portable electronic devices available. These devices now keep us connected to our jobs all the time, making it hard to leave tasks behind in the office.
Rather, employees are now available to their employers, co-employees, and even clients almost around the clock. This is a major factor that makes balancing career and life seem less achievable.
Achieving work-life balance has to do with managing your personal and professional lives in ways that will keep you productive with your mind and body healthy and your energy flowing.
However, as explained by sociologist Christena Nippert-Eng, this depends on whether you are a segmentor (able to separate your profession and life into different sections in your mind) or an integrator (unable to draw a clear line separating your profession and life).
Giving due attention to things that will make you feel enriched and fulfilled, such as career, health, family, spirituality, passions, and recreation, may seem impossible. However, it is achievable if you follow the 5 simple rules in this article.
Here they are:
Prioritize your personal relationships above all else. You’ll need people to turn to for companionship, relaxation, and general happiness. Family and friends could come in handy when you need someone to talk to or help with a few things.
Nurturing your personal relationships will go a long way in filling a void in your life that your job can’t. Even though you may not see every day, it will be good to take time off sometimes to be around people who make you happy. When people you hold dear to your heart are happy, you’ll be more at peace, and this will reflect in your improved productivity and effectiveness in your career.
Most people only experience career-related stress while at the office. Hence, it’s easier for their brains and body to recover from this stress when they leave their offices. However, you may not make a full recovery if you keep thinking about business, even when you are at home or on a vacation.
Psychological detachment is the best way to allow your body to de-stress naturally. There are a couple of things you can do to detach yourself from business-related thoughts; however, they vary from person to person. You will need to try different activities and see the one that helps you relax or create a psychological distance from your job.
Start with simple things like going for a job, hanging out with family and friends, cooking dinner, learning a language, participating in sports, or engaging in community service. If you try one but still find yourself thinking about business, don’t be discouraged; keep searching for one that favors you. Once you find a couple of effective activities, you’ll find it easier to create your desired balance.
Sleep-hacking, the act of training your body and mind to sleep less, is not good for your mental health. An adult needs between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night to function optimally.
But with so much to do in such little time, how do you cope without sleep-hacking?
Try working smarter instead of harder or longer. It means allocating a specific amount of time to each task. This kind of tight prioritization will ensure you do not get carried away in less productive tasks that leave you with less time to do other things.
Look for easier ways to get the job done. There are tools for creating slideshows, sending out and organizing emails, holding conference meetings, and lots more. Leadar, for instance, can help you find the business contacts you need, as its rich B2B database contains phone numbers, emails, and social media handles of professionals in the United States.
Establish fair and realistic boundaries and clearly communicate them to those around you. Let your bosses or supervisors know that you may not be available at certain times of the day or week, especially if it isn’t part of your contract agreement. They should know not to reach out to you unless there is an emergency.
Apply the same at home. Let your partner, friends, or family know when you’ll need to rest or just take time off. For example, you can decide not to take office-related calls at night or read office emails on weekends.
If you are a freelancer, define your availability hours and create time for family and home-related activities. It’s also a good idea to avoid bringing your office tasks back home and vice versa.
Make your health your No. 1 priority, as your job and personal relationships will suffer if you are unhealthy. Being in good mental, emotional, and physical health will reflect positively in other areas of your life.
Here are some things you can do:
One of the best ways to care for your health is to eat healthy meals. Eat different food types that will provide your body with the right amounts of nutrients needed for optimal health.
A balanced diet contains carbohydrates, protein, fiber, vitamins, fat, water, and minerals. Fruits, dairy, protein, vegetables, and grains will provide you with all your body needs to grow and stay healthy.
Avoid junk and processed food as they usually contain chemicals and aren’t very healthy. Remember not to skip breakfast and avoid eating late into the night.
Try as much as possible to keep fit by exercising thrice each week, at least. Inasmuch as this may prove difficult in your already jam-packed schedule, you’ll reap the immense benefits in the long run.
Exercise helps you stay alert and gives your energy level a boost. A simple 30-minute stroll by sunrise or some indoor yoga exercises can greatly impact how you feel throughout the day. It will help relieve stress, increase stamina, and make you more productive.
Chronic stress, often resulting from your demanding work culture, can also increase substance abuse. In a bid to de-stress or surge through the stress, people tend to turn to tobacco, alcohol, and illegal drugs.
Smoking has been shown to increase anxiety and nicotine addiction. Whatever sense of relaxation you feel when you take in substances with nicotine is as temporary as it is immediate and can lead to serious health issues.
Sleeping pills, tranquilizers, and other prescription drugs can cause serious health issues if used consistently over an extended period. Repeated use of street drugs like cannabis also leads to cravings for increased doses.
Waking up feeling energetic and having a clear head may prove impossible if you take too much alcohol. Your health deserves a break from the hangovers, excessive spending, tension, arguments, and unhealthy eating habits associated with drinking too much.
For optimal health, it’s best to cut down your alcohol intake or give it up altogether. Some of the benefits of limiting or putting an end to your alcohol intake include:
Working around the clock will disassociate you from people you care about, stress you, cause burnout, and negatively affect your overall health.
So, while you strive to earn money to meet your needs, also take into consideration your mental and psychological health.
Fortunately, you don’t need to engage in complex activities to bring some balance to your life. We’ve provided 5 simple yet very effective rules to help you. Now that you have all you need, you can maintain the job of your dreams while leading a very happy and fulfilled life.