Are you logging more and more hours at work every week? With the increased amount of time we work, it’s extremely challenging to carve out a healthy work-life balance. Whether you’re driven to succeed or afraid to lose your job, experts agree that we are working way too much. In fact, 94 percent of professionals reported working more than 50 hours per week. And on top of that, almost half of that group said they work over 65 hours a week!
Since today’s world of smart phones and 24/7 internet access keeps us higjly connected, many people feel the pressure to "always be on the clock." For example, simply having your work email on your phone creates a need to constantly check it—even when you’re on vacation just in case something important might happen.
Many people may think never disconnecting from work will help them perform at a higher level, but studies show the opposite occurs when we over work. Not only is our work productivity affected, but our health is as well. Many people aren't able to have an exercise schedule, or regular sleep schedule with the amount they work.
To help you avoid these pitfalls, we will discuss several tips on how you can maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Maintaining a regular exercise schedule is a great first step in creating a healthy work-life balance. For one, studies show that exercise is a very effective way to reduce stress because it pumps up your endorphins, which helps improve your mood.
Also, you can use the time you spend exercising to plan your workday or future projects. In fact, Randy Wooten, the CEO of Rocket Fuel, does just this. He uses his morning bike ride to plan out what he wants to accomplish that day or try to solve problems. This type of multitasking is not only beneficial to your health, but it's also a very productive use of your time.
Plus, exercise improves creativity. So next time you find yourself with a challenge, try taking a walk around the building to help solve it!
When it comes to the reasons why people become unmotivated in the workplace, burnout may be one of the biggest culprits. While there are many causes of burnout, overworking happens to be on at the top of the list.
While exercise improves our physical health, we also need to focus on our mental health. It’s important to make time for friends and family, as well as hobbies that you enjoy.
If all else fails, remember that all devices have an off switch. Don't be afraid of turning your phone off while at dinner or on vacation. This will help you avoid the urge to check it every time it buzzes or alerts you of a new notification.
And when it comes to your career, pacing yourself is critical. What does pacing yourself mean exactly? Basically, not biting off more than you can chew. Also, having a schedule and sticking to it. I find that setting up a daily routine helps me accomplish my tasks in an efficient manner. And if something isn’t working out, I make sure to evaluate and work on changing my unproductive habits.
At some point, you might realize that there are more tasks to get done than there is time in the day. This is the perfect opportunity to take stock and evaluate what you can do and what you need help with.
Recruiting outside help, whether it’s for mundane tasks or help in an area that may not be your strong suit, outsourcing is an excellent solution for time managementThis exercise will also help you prioritize what you think is most important in your job.
Also, don’t try to take on too much. Trust that the people around you know what they are doing, and reach out to them for help.
As we stated earlier, overworking is a detriment to your productivity. Even working 50 hours per week makes you less productive. That is why it is important to "be selfish" when it comes to your time.
Now, obviously this statement comes with an asterisk next to it because you can’t just abandon all work. You still need to be wise with your time when it comes to your work-life. But, you do need to set aside some "me-time" every week for things you enjoy. Whether that’s watching tv, playing a video game or reading a book, be sure to set aside time for your hobbies. This will not only help you avoid burnout, but could also help improve your productivity when you sit down to get work done.
A healthy work-life balance is essential to performing at the highest level in your career. It is very easy to suffer from burnout. But if you follow these tips, you can make the most out of your time at work—and your time at home.
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