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Sometimes it feels like life has become a competition of who can work harder. “Oh, you only got 6 hours of sleep last night? Well, I only got 4 hours!” The reality is that what we think will make us more productive is, well… more work. But what actually makes us more productive is plenty of rest, quality time with our friends and family, breaks to stretch our body or get out of the office, and a supportive group of friendly and understanding coworkers.
With multiple millions of Americans working more than one job to make ends meet, it can be challenging to stay productive at work and enjoy your home life. Listed below are some tips to help you find (and keep) that perfect balance.
“The grass isn’t greener on the other side. It’s greener where you water it.”
Have you ever felt like a failure because you were struggling to work 40 hours a week, while your neighbor was doing it all? Working 50 hours a week, the classroom mom, owning her own photography business on the side, and managing to bake three dozen homemade muffins for your church’s bake sale? Sometimes it can feel like you are trying your best, but it’s still not enough. When searching for a good balance in your life, remember that your life is different from everyone else’s, filled with your strengths and struggles. To be the most productive version of yourself, be realistic about your capabilities, and honor what YOU need.
Stress management is a life-saver.
Whether it’s yoga class after work, prioritizing 8 hours of sleep, or grabbing drinks after work with a few friends, figure out what makes you happy and lowers your stress, then do it! Make stress management activities a priority in your schedule and have a plan in place for how to make them happen.
Ask for help when needed.
Having a positive relationship with a direct supervisor is one of the best ways to create a positive company culture. If you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed, do not hesitate to ask for help. Perhaps if your organization is slow in another department, they could send over some assistance for the week, or they could look into funds for hiring an assistant! Help may truly be a phone call away.
Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize.
It can be overwhelming to stare at an inbox full of emails, a blinking voicemail, and a new stack of papers on your desk. When work becomes overwhelming, create a to-do list of items, and then ask for input from your superiors on their Top Three priorities. Helping not only to focus your attention on the most pressing matters, but also maintain some of the “background noise” projects to back off for a little while.
Disconnect whenever possible.
There’s nothing worse than being fully engaged in your 6th grader’s soccer game only to get called away to manage an issue at work. Recent research from UCHealth indicates how damaging our phones can be to our stress levels, sleep schedule, and overall mental health. A great way to maintain your work-life balance is to leave the work phone at work.
Take time to heal when sick.
More true now than ever! If you are showing symptoms of a cold, the flu, or any other sickness that may be contagious, stay home! It’s not worth it to come to work, possibly making other coworkers sick as well. Work will still be there when you return. Even if you’re the CEO, the show will go on without you.
Put family first.
Recognizing your employees means valuing them for their contributions to the team… and allowing them adequate time to be their best out of the office too. While work is incredibly important, our families should come first. Spend time with the ones who matter most, and you will be happier at work because of it.
Always have something to look forward to.
Hope springs eternal, and a daily dose of optimism will help to pull you through the busiest times of the year. Plan a weekend getaway, schedule some time with friends, or even make a reservation at your favorite nice restaurant as a treat at the end of the week. Having something to look forward to will keep your perspective in check during those rough patches.
What are some of your favorite work-life balance tips? Drop us a comment below, or get in touch – we’d love to chat!