In this day and age everything seems to move at lightning speed. Things are changing faster than we can keep track of and we all seem to be grasping to keep up with the ever-evolving landscape of social media and everything else online. Whether we admit it or not, we all struggle to shut off the all-consuming digital world to focus on the real world in front of us. It’s no surprise that the daily hustle and the fast pace of our careers in this realm bleeds into our personal lives.
While it’s great to stay up to date in the industry and be “in the know,” there comes a time where it is just too much. Many of us struggle to unplug, shut off, and disconnect on a daily basis. While we may think we’re doing just fine and trucking along through our 12 hour days of pressing send over and over and blindly double tapping, burnout is inevitable, (but so not cool!) As we take our laptops home for the third night in a row, and find ourselves mindlessly scrolling our feeds late into the night- we must admit that there is a problem.
Our problem lies within our ability to achieve balance in our lives, between our careers, social lives, and our much-needed me time. While compartmentalizing our busy days and making time for all of the important things like friends, family, and down time is key, it is definitely easier said than done. The best approach is to be mindful of your ability to balance the different areas of your life, and to be proactive. (Don’t let it get to the point where you have no energy left for the important stuff!) So how can you get this idea of balance on your radar? Three top tips for achieving work-life balance below:
1.Change your settings
Do you really need to be getting work emails, notifications, and messages after work hours? Out of sight, out of mind- the first step is to simply switch your phone notifications off so that you’re not tempted to look and respond when you don’t need to. Of course there are exceptions, and sometimes you will need to be available for your job around the clock (we encourage hustling… to a point!) But if you can avoid having work-related things pop up when you’re making dinner or at the gym, you’ll be much better off. By changing your notifications to keep work at work, you will be able to be present at all times of day and enjoy your life outside of work just that much more. Plus- if you’re happy and relaxed outside of your 9 to 5, guarantee you’ll be 10 times more productive and successful in your daily hustle.
2. Schedule “me time”
Scheduling time for yourself is SO important. Often times people let this one fall to the bottom of their to-do list, but if you are serious about your work-life balance (and your happiness!) you truly need to carve out specific “me time.” It may sound silly, but it is honestly worth scheduling this time into your calendar. Yes, I am talking about entering things like “wine, bath & face mask” or “walk the seawall and listen to my podcast” into your agenda, calendar app, or weekly to-do list.
Making time for the things that make you happy, and help you take your mind off of work and the stress that comes with everything else in life, is crucial. You can’t master work-life balance if you don’t prioritize time for yourself to reset, decompress, and re-energize with the things that make you the best version of you.
3. Use your people
Work-life balance seems to be a challenge for all of us. In one way or another, we all seem to struggle to make time for everything in our lives. But we don’t need to struggle together. In fact, if we can support each other, hold each other accountable, and have more conversations around balance, we can all achieve it in the end.
Although it may feel uncomfortable to talk about at first, having conversations with your boss and co-workers about what is important to you outside the office is imperative. By discussing your lifestyle, what impacts your stress levels, and even your expectations with overtime, you can set boundaries and create a mutual respect around your work-life balance. Being open about when you work best (ie. coming in early vs. staying late, or how you like to spend your lunch hour) invites a better environment and understanding of your productivity overall.
Trust me, your boss wants you to have balance too. It only makes for better employees! By being open about stress, time management and balance among your whole team, you can keep each other in check and encourage one another to make the most of your time at work AND outside of work. Talking about it with your friends and family and and leaning on one another to check in is another great way to create balance. Use your people to support you in creating time for everything.
It really can be as simple as that. Make the decision to prioritize yourself and create better balance in your life. As soon as you commit to doing so, you’re 90% of the way there. Don’t let yourself down- if you want to be more effective, more energetic, and all around happier in all aspects of your life, balance is key!
*** Photo via www.careergirldaily.com