With the advent of technology this past couple of years, the line between work and personal life has become blurred. Whether it’s putting in extra hours, using the smartphone to always be on call or constantly responding to company emails, people seem to have either transferred some of their work activities home or simply started doing freelance jobs from the comfort of their living rooms.
Although the balance between work and free time is different for every individual, here are some tips you can use to help you find the right kind of balance for yourself.
1. Make a daily routine
This is one the most important and misused advice by far, as people tend to stick to their plans only for a while, before falling back to their old ways.
Setting the alarm at the exact same time or putting aside the same window of time to check the emails leads to forming good habits. Once you make something into a routine, putting yourself into work mode becomes a lot easier and the distractions become scarcer.
Whether you’ll write it down on a piece of paper or use the calendar app on your phone, make a daily plan of activities and stick to it.
2. Find time for yourself
You probably heard that old saying, “all work and no play makes jack a dull boy”. Being good and proficient at your job is fairly important, however, working all the time without setting some time aside for your hobbies and activities can actually be counter-productive in the long run.
Whether it sports activities, browsing the internet, watching your favorite TV show or simply hanging out with your friends, make sure to set aside some time to do something for yourself.
3. Disconnect from your phone
We live in a world where we’re constantly being bombarded with notifications, messages, emails and work related calls. This leads to creating expectations of constantly being available and the work day seems to stretch far beyond your normal work hours. All those phone notifications interrupt and interfere with your off time and leave you with an added level of work-related stress.
By not giving in to the temptation of reading that work email and instead focusing on some quality time for yourself and your family can actually make you more resilient and focused.
4. Try to get some exercise
Exercise is the single most effective stress reducer. That said, it’s often the first thing that gets neglected once the calendar starts filling up. This is especially true for stay-at-home and freelance jobs, such as writing, designing or editing.
Many web designers and developers are the groups that suffer the most, as they have fairly long work hours often spent sitting on a chair. Exercising at least a couple of times a week raises the endorphin levels in the body, which in turn, elevates the mood and makes us more relaxed afterward.
The key is to find something that works best for you, whether it’s walking, running, swimming, riding a bike or even doing yoga.
Bringing balance to your life doesn’t mean that you have to make drastic changes. It’s all about the small steps and things that bring you joy and make you happy. Try to add fun activities into your everyday life and schedule some alone time here and there. Take a break and do some breathing exercises, listen to your favorite music, go for a walk with a friend or take a hot bath.
Meditation is also one of the best ways to relax and wind down after a stressful day at work and it doesn’t take more than 15 to 20 minutes to do it. It’s all about finding what makes you the most relaxed and happy and setting some time aside to commit to those activities.
In this fast-paced world of today, it’s getting increasingly more difficult to maintain a good work-life balance. Excelling at your career is commendable, but overworking yourself can only have adverse effects on your physical and mental health.
It important to set boundaries between work-related commitments and personal life, not to mention relaxing from time to time. Give yourself a well-deserved break and find the things that make you calm, happy, and stress-free and try to incorporate them into your daily lifestyle.