Between jobs, schoolwork, and clubs on top of having a social life, we are all busy people! Making the most out of each task may feel like our top priority, but when’s the last time you stopped or slowed down? When’s the last time you focused on your mental well-being and not just personal achievement?
We live in a hustle culture and sometimes that check in can be hard. Life moves so fast and sometimes we lose a sense of balance before we even realize. Work life balance is a constant cycle that you have to actively prioritize. It is finding a balance of energy and time spent on your work and your personal life.
High stress levels can be very detrimental to your health. It can lead to real side effects and increases the likelihood of sickness and disease. However, taking a second to tune into these feelings and practice a work life balance plan can help decrease stress while increasing energy, increasing a sense of well-being, and increasing productivity. Not only does it benefit you but also your employers, professors, friends, and family.
So where do you start? Check out these seven tips to help move towards a healthier work life balance.
1. Be Realistic
Even though balance may sound like dividing your time half and half on different commitments, that isn’t always a possibility. Instead, prioritize your task at hand with the focus on opening your time later in the day/week for personal stuff. This might mean working a little extra on Thursday to free up Friday or saying no to an extra hour of work to prioritize me-time.
2. Know Yourself
Take a second to turn inward and ask, when do I feel most stressed? What events lead up to that moment? What might help organize my thoughts into digestible bites? Maybe it’s writing a to-do list, a mind-map, marking on a calendar, etc. Invest some time into finding methods that work for you to help manage stress levels before it gets out of hand.
3. Set Goals
Split up a huge list of to-dos into priorities. Be honest with yourself about what can wait and what you can accomplish today, including a couple things just for your health/mental well-being. Plus, the act of crossing off to-dos on a concise list does wonders for feeling productive and accomplished.
4. Set Boundaries and Hours
Take some time to set boundaries and stick to them! Answer work related texts and emails within certain hours of the day. Do homework within set times you plan into your week. Consider setting timers on your laptop or phone to mark when your time on one task is up to avoid overworking yourself. Also plan out break times to decompress and do an activity you enjoy. Boundaries will help you feel accomplished AND okay with stepping away when time is up. Say no when you need to put yourself first.
5. Turn Off the Tech
Your day is done? Unplug from all thing’s tech related to force yourself to disconnect and reconnect with what your mind and body need on a personal level.
6. Be Flexible
Be open to moving things around and adjusting your day for me-time or more urgent to-dos. It’s okay to shift plans, it is expected! By practicing a flexible mindset, you can decrease stress over not adhering 100% to your schedule or day plan, and instead be able to shift when necessary.
7. Ask For Help
When it all starts to feel like too much, step back. Ask for a hand; can a friend or family member tackle a task with you? Can you vent to them to relieve some stress? Surround yourself with people who will advocate for you and who you can count on to help. Most importantly, seek out professional help when needed for more support and guidance.
Sometimes it feels like we need to do it all. But, by practicing these seven tips, we can prioritize our work-related growth as well as our personal growth. Creating a work life balance plan helps you better manage your stressors, set yourself up for success, and embrace a healthier, happier you.