Work-life balance is something we always hear about, but how often do we actually stop to consider it? Life happens quickly when we are living it day to day. For those of us who are particularly ambitious and career-minded, it can be difficult to determine when it’s time to kick back and relax, as there’s always some new project to complete, email to answer or report to analyze. That said, we are more than just employees, managers or entrepreneurs. And to that end, establishing an appropriate work-life balance is necessary for happiness and health.
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Schedule Your Downtime
Downtime is necessary for everyone. We need it to rest, engage in activities outside of work that help refuel our energy, and spend time with family and loved ones. Ensuring that downtime is a part of your schedule will help make sure you actually get it. And be adamant not only about scheduling this R&R, but keeping it. It can become easy to miss your scheduled downtime because life and work get busy, but be consistent and diligent. Think of this time as an appointment with yourself: a dedicated space to check in and make sure your own needs are being met. It will help make you a better employee or business owner.
Physical activity is a good way to not only ensure physical health, but mental health as well. Running or some other physical exercise is a great stress reliever, and if you ask any long-time runner why they do it, chances are they will tell you that nothing is better than coming home after a long day and experiencing the endorphin rush of a good run. And if running’s not your forte, you can try yoga, kickboxing and even walking or hiking. There are countless forms of exercise that can help reduce stress and improve physical ability.
Outsource When Necessary
Outsourcing is becoming much easier due to the Internet and increased technology. Small-to-medium-sized business owners, busy employees and even stay-at-home parents are finding themselves relying more and more on personal or virtual assistants. Hiring someone part-time or even for just a few hours a week to handle paperwork, data entry, scheduling, etc. can be a great way to free up time so you can engage in the more meaningful aspects of your work and still have time for yourself.
Change is inevitable. Maybe someone has to cancel a meeting or maybe your car doesn’t start and you get in late to work. Life happens, and being able to deal with these unexpected events speaks to your attitude on life. It is important to be flexible when necessary. There are things you will not be able to compromise on, and that is understandable. However, issues that do not violate your company policy or personal ethics may be negotiable, which may mean shifting schedules, changing team strategy, or other accommodations. Being flexible and open to change will aid in reducing stress and making for a more comfortable working experience.
We all struggle to create the perfect work-life balance when the truth is, there’s no one perfect solution. Everyone’s life, priorities and values are different: having enough time to engage in one’s favorite hobby may seem ridiculous to someone else who sees family as their number one priority. While our values are all different, though, the four above tips will help everyone begin to create the balance that is perfect for their own lives.
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