Have you ever felt completely trapped by your work life? Do you often cancel plans to put in some extra hours? Do you wish you had more free time to pursue your passions? If you answer yes to any of these questions, you may benefit greatly from improved work life balance.
Work life balance is a popular topic and somewhat of a buzzword in the modern working environment. The interconnected nature of the internet means it is easier than ever to get sucked in by our jobs. Work life balance ensures that we are taking time out for ourselves and prioritizing our mental health. Here are some tips towards implementing better work life balance.
Exercise is important for happy, healthy people. It can also greatly improve your work life balance. How so? Exercise has been found to have a wide variety of benefits. Among these, exercise has been shown to produce better sleep and boost energy. Have you ever gone for a run and found that you are much more productive afterwards? This is because exercise is improving the delivery of oxygen – critical for energy – to your body. Exercise also improves mood, helping you feel less stressed.
Does the thought of incorporating exercise make you feel like adding yet another task in need of checking off? If this is the case, you likely have not yet found the best method of exercise for yourself yet. Exercise should be enjoyable. Try new things out until you find something you like. There are many forms including dance classes, yoga, running, volleyball, and basketball. Anything that gets you moving and is enjoyable!
Stick to a Work Schedule
There are certainly situations in jobs that require working outside of normal hours; however, these should be the exception rather than the norm. Do your best to set a typical work schedule and avoid working outside of typical hours. That e-mail from a colleague can wait until the morning usually. It is normal to feel pressure to constantly be on the clock, particularly if you enjoy your job. But doing so can have negative effects on other aspects of your life.
Additionally, there is a wealth of research that shows overextending yourself at work has a number of negative effects without creating more productivity. Additionally, overworking can cause tasks to become more difficult, serving to be counterproductive. This is a tip that can be difficult to implement but striving to protect your free time away from work is incredibly important and worth the effort.
Most of us spend our work lives in the office – or with our laptop on our bed, in the current pandemic. After a busy workday, it makes sense that most people may simply cook a meal or order in, watch some tv, check social media, and end up going to bed without having ever spent a moment outside. These habits can be easy to fall into; however, the simple act of going outside can help bring work life balance.
Research studies have noted that simply spending time outdoors can relieve cortisol levels (the stress hormone) for days. It can also strengthen your short-term memory and improve your focus. These things are positive benefits for both your home life and work life. Additionally, it is likely that some of your coliving space friends will enjoy outdoor activities. If you like to go on hikes or simply walk to the farmer’s market, invite friends along to socialize.
With many of us working from home, it is not atypical to spend hours tapping away on computer keyboards without ever getting up. This may seem like perfectly normal working behavior, but for most of us, it simply isn’t. Think about when you worked in-person in your office. How often did you get up and walk down the hallways, take a short break before a meeting, or stop in to talk to colleagues? You probably took periodic breaks during the course of the workday. These help with work life balance and are now missing for many.
It is important to take these breaks at home too. Giving your mind a brief reprieve can help to calm it and restore focus while getting up and moving around is good for your overall health. In fact, a survey found that 43% of people believe regular breaks at work improve personal happiness. Our minds were not meant to sit and stay focused incessantly in one way. Taking breaks helps keep us sharp and introduces needed variability into our day. A coliving space provides an opportunity to walk around and spend a few minutes chatting with roommates.
Use Your Vacation
If you are like me, you may be guilty of hoarding your vacation time. It is easy for us to feel like the office would come to a stop if we weren’t there. However, your vacation days are there for a reason: to give you a much-needed break from work. Vacations do not necessarily have to be a trip to the Caribbean – although that would certainly be nice. In reality, staycations can be relaxing, providing an opportunity to explore your city. It can also provide an opportunity for short day trips or just to relax and catch up on a book.
Another important value of vacation is that it greatly impacts your work performance for the better. Studies have found that people who take vacation improve their productivity and that 94% of vacations have a good return on investment in terms of your energy and outlook when you return. Vacations can be an important way of striving for improved work life balance.
Work life balance has been important for quite some time and is of growing need in the modern work environment. Failure to attain work life balance can result in strained friendships, unexpected health issues, negative impacts to mental health, and a low quality of life. If you are not happy with your current work life balance, today is the day to start putting into place techniques to improve it.
The tips discussed in this article can give you a good starting point for taking more time out of your life for you. Attaining work life balance can greatly improve your overall happiness as well as happiness with your job.