Sometimes work can take precedence over all other aspects of your life. The desire to succeed professionally can overshadow the need to take time for yourself and your loved ones. Too often, we become fixated on our projects and deadlines and we lose track of making time for our personal life.
Why is a work-life balance important?
There’s no magic formula for balancing work and life because one facet should not dominate the other. To have a healthy work-life balance means you are equally fulfilled by both your work life and your personal life. Because of this, a healthy work-life balance looks different for everyone.
A work-life balance is important for a healthy work environment. Without a work-life balance, employees may be at risk of chronic stress and eventual burnout. Chronic stress is one of the most common health issues in the workplace in the U.S and it can cause a variety of illnesses in the long run.
Without a healthy work-life balance, your health and your relationships may suffer. Moreover, you may find a decline in your productivity levels at work, and ultimately, your performance.
Here are some strategies you can use to improve your work-life balance:
Schedule volunteer time — and commit to it
Some studies show that people who volunteer regularly feel like their time is more “well-divided”. Making and keeping a volunteer commitment can make us feel a sense of accomplishment. You are taking time out of your schedule to do something meaningful for society. Additionally, when you commit to something meaningful after work, such as volunteering, you know you will be ending your workday at a predetermined time.
Use your vacation
Did you know that almost 55% of Americans don’t take all of their vacation time? Taking vacation time is important in order to reset, relax, and take a break from the constant buzz of your work life. Whether you are taking a day trip to a different part of the county or a week off to a sandy beach down south, it’s important to take time away from work to physically and mentally recharge.
Don’t skip your lunch break
Due to the increase of remote work in the last two years, research has shown that the workday has increased by 50 minutes for most U.S workers. Many of us have gotten used to the habit of eating at our computers and missing out on our lunch break. Taking a full lunch allows you to step away from tasks at-hand and refresh your mind for a set period of time. It’s important to remember that whether you are working from home or from the office, you deserve a full lunch break.
If you are struggling with taking a lunch break, try blocking out one hour from your calendar every day at the same time. This will stop colleagues from scheduling meetings during your break, and it will remind you that it’s time to step away from your computer and take some time for yourself.
Set boundaries and work hours
If you are struggling with creating a harmonious work-life balance, think about setting some boundaries between your personal life and your work life. With so many of us working from home, the blurring of the lines between work and home can make it difficult to step away from our jobs at a predetermined time. Determining your work hours, and sticking to them, will help you avoid answering work-related messages late at night, on the weekends, and during vacations.
Learning how to “say no” can be one of the hardest soft skills to learn, but it’s an important part of setting boundaries. Set your boundaries and your work hours by letting your colleagues know that you won’t be accessible past a certain time. If you are working in the office, make a habit of leaving the office at the same time every day. Establishing a firm boundary for your job will prevent it from interfering with your personal life.
Join a coworking space
Joining a coworking space may be the move you need to make if you need to improve your work life balance. By working at a place other than your home, you are creating a boundary between your home life and your work life. Working at a coworking space allows you to create a more efficient work schedule by offering a designated workspace. When your workday is over, you can leave your work behind and go home to your family.
Coworking spaces are also collaborative by nature and full of like-minded people. You may find yourself wanting to take breaks throughout the day to talk to your neighbors and make personal connections.
If you are interested in joining a coworking space, book a tour at any of our locations to see if a coworking space is what you need in order to separate your personal life from your work life.