Work is an expected and compulsory thing in our society. But your career doesn’t have to be so strict and restraining. Work isn’t just a way to make money but it should serve you both financially and emotionally.
While work might be demanding at times, it should never become a priority over your well being. You need time and energy for your hobbies and interests, for your family and loved ones. Don’t neglect the things that keep your spirits high and passion fresh. Here are five ways to improve your work-life balance.
1. Know that there is no ‘perfect’ work-life balance
When you hear “work-life balance,” you probably imagine waking up easily at 5 a.m., hitting the gym, grabbing your meal- lunch and heading off to work, just to come home early, cook dinner, do some chores, and wind down with a nice book in bed by 9 p.m. But that’s often not the case.
Don’t strive for the perfect schedule; strive for a realistic one. Some days, you might focus more on work, while others you might have more time and energy to pursue your hobbies or relax on the couch with your loved ones. Balance is achieved over time, not each day.
2. Prioritize your health
Your overall health should be your main concern. If you’ve been struggling with anxiety or depression and think therapy would benefit you, fit those sessions into your schedule, even if you have to leave work early or ditch your evening spin class. If you’re battling a chronic illness, don’t be afraid to call in on rough days. You’ll only prevent yourself from getting better, possibly causing you to take more days off in the future.
“Prioritizing your health first and foremost will make you a better employee and person,” said Monahan. “You will miss less work, and when you are there, you will be happier and more productive.”
3. Make sure you like your job
If you hate what you do, you aren’t going to be happy, plain and simple. You don’t need to love every aspect of your job, but it needs to be exciting enough that you don’t dread getting out of bed every single morning.
Monahan recommended choosing a job that you’re so passionate about you’d do it for free.
“If your job is draining you and you are finding it difficult to do the things you love outside of work, something is wrong,” she said. “You may be working in a toxic environment, for a toxic person, or doing a job that you truly don’t love. If this is the case, it is time to find a new job.”
4. Make time for yourself
While your job is important, it shouldn’t be your entire life. You were an individual before taking this position, and you should prioritize the activities or hobbies that made you happy. Whether you take a walk in the park, get a massage or a hot bath, it’s important to always set aside an hour a week to do something for yourself.
Additionally, you should focus on surrounding yourself with loved ones rather than making excuses to be alone all week. Just because work keeps you busy doesn’t mean that you should neglect personal relationships.
“Realize that no one at your company is going to love you or appreciate you the way your loved ones do,” said Monahan. Don’t take your loved ones for granted just because you know they’ll always be there for you.
“Success, in my opinion, is about living life through making choices that guide toward your goals to be your best,” said Dr. Michael Tischler, founder, and CEO of Teeth Tomorrow.
Consistency in work-life balance can foster your productivity and help you achieve financial independence and retire early.
Did you maintain a work-life balance? What are your ways to maintain a work-life balance?
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