The global economy is in a constant state of flux. This means that people are sometimes searching months for jobs and because of the intense amount of competition, simply can’t find what they’re looking for. So if you do find a job, you might feel the pressure to do whatever it takes to keep it.
Consequently, in order to keep your competitive edge, you might offer to take on more work assignments or projects, travel more, or simply work longer hours. This commitment to work is good, but it can go too far. When you begin sacrificing your personal life or forget how to relax outside of the workplace, you will burnout fast.
For many career-driven individuals, their professional lives consume every waking minute. So how can you regain control and make sure the balance of work and life is equal?
Don’t forget about your health: The more stress you put yourself under every day, the more likely you are to get sick. And with a schedule that is packed full of business-related appointments, it’s easy to miss or cancel routine doctor appointments. Instead of neglecting your health, use your health insurance coverage to your advantage. Schedule routine checkups and keep the appointments. If your job doesn’t offer health insurance, advocate for it. Your health is worth it!
Don’t let your job control you: Letting your job consume you day in and day out is a recipe for disaster. Instead, get away from your office or desk several times a day. Walk around the block. Grab lunch and eat it outside instead of at your desk. You control your job; your job doesn’t control you!
Take a Break
Don’t forget to take a vacation: Unplugged vacations – the kind where you don’t take your laptop, phone, or client files with you – are necessary. Take regular holidays and focus on yourself instead of your work. You’ll feel recharged and invigorated when you come back to work.
Define your hours
Set work hours and stick to them: In all actuality your client doesn’t care if you e-mail him back at midnight or the next morning. If you are up late at night working regularly, you’re setting a standard that you might not want to uphold forever. So instead, set work hours and stick to them.
Step away from the phone
Don’t let technology control you: Addiction to technology is real. If you’re sleeping with your phone next to you, if you are checking your email 40 times a day, or you’re concerned that you’re going to lose a client because you missed one phone call, it’s time to reevaluate. It’s ok to turn off your phone and e-mail once in a while. Voicemail is a beautiful tool – so use it to your benefit. Turn off your phone. Use an hour to take your kids to the park or your spouse out to dinner. Go to a movie or go workout at the gym.
Talk about it
Don’t stuff it: When something bothers you at work or at home, your first reaction may not be the most professional or the most kind. So instead, you don’t say anything at all. This isn’t the best solution in the long run, though! Instead of stuffing your feelings, take a deep breath and think about what you’d like to say. Spouting your thoughts in anger isn’t the best way to resolve conflict at work or at home. Instead, consider thoughtfully what you want to convey. This will keep your feelings and emotions in balance while keeping your co-workers, family, and friends happy, too.
Get a hobby
Learn a language. Sign up for a class on a hobby or subject that interests you. If you focus on honing a new skill and you get excited about that, you’ll naturally want to make time for it.
You don’t have to be the superhero at the office all the time. Don’t take every project or assignment upon yourself. If there is work that you can delegate, do it. And it’s even ok to delegate in your personal life! Do you hate grocery shopping or despise cleaning your house? Ask your spouse or kids to chip in. Or, consider hiring someone once a month to help take off any extra burdens at home.
Your personal time is a sacred thing that should be protected! The more you make time for yourself and your personal well-being, the better it will make your professional life. If you are refueled after some time to yourself, you’ll naturally be able to give more professionally – you’ll be bursting with more energy, creativity, and motivation to do a great job.