In a world where everything we need is at our fingertips, people find themselves struggling more and more with finding the perfect work/life balance. Studies have shown that more than 50% of workers are putting in 50+ hours of work a week. You can’t help but ask yourself, when is there time to do anything for me? Outside of our careers, we also have to balance relationships, personal care, and day to day tasks. This balance can be even harder for solo entrepreneurs or remote workers whose home is their office. After a while, the line between work and home seems to somewhat disappear. Everyone deserves time to take care of themselves. Well rested, happy employees will always perform better than overworked and stressed out. So what do you do about it?
On the Job:
Start each day by setting clear goals. Prioritize your tasks from most important to least important and start from there. Breaking down each task into smaller tasks will help you stay on track to reach your goal. You may also find it helpful to set a time limit for each task. Your goal should be to work smarter, not harder. Use the most of the time you’ve set aside for work by focusing strictly on what’s most important at the time.
Take a break. One good practice is to allow yourself a short 5 minute break after completing each task on your list for the day. Small breaks allow you the opportunity to clear your mind and better deal with stress when you’re back on the job. Take a walk outside, grab a snack, pretty much anything to take your mind off of work for a moment. Your brain will thank you at the end of the day.
Stop obsessing over perfection. It’s hard to not feel the pressure to be perfect at what you do, especially in the age of social media. You have to remember that we’re all humans and everyone will have an off day. Instead of dwelling on what you could have/should have done differently, focus on the positives from the situation and learn for the next time.
Get support. Everyone needs a support system. Find your person and set aside time for them as often as you can. Chatting through your problems or just venting is the quickest way to relieve stress. Find your tribe and keep them close. They’ll be your biggest fans in the end.
Don’t over commit. Over-stretching yourself outside of work ultimately ends with lack of rest. We all know that we’re far less productive when tired. You have to remember to limit your commitments and set aside for time for just yourself (even if it means missing a couple Happy Hours after work).
UNPLUG. We’ve already talked about the struggle of work constantly being at your fingertips. Now you have to overcome that by learning how to unplug. This doesn’t necessarily mean turn off all electronics and go off the grid, however, it does mean setting boundaries and no longer responding to work related alerts after a certain time. This allows you a few hours each day to not have to worry about anything work related and recharge your brain.
If you’ve been feeling overwhelmed or like you’re drowning in work 24/7, try some of these out. The New Year is right around the corner, which means it’s the perfect time for the beginning of the New You. Remember, you are your most important asset. Take care of yourself.