By Jessica Santini
In a society where cellphones, emails, texts, and social media provide a 24/7 connection, it can be a challenge to peel yourself away from your job.
It’s harder still to “leave work at the office” if like many modern-day employees, you don’t work in an office. Telecommuting has become very normal, and when you work from home it’s hard to separate work and home.
Work/Life balance is essential if you want to maintain your sanity. Without it, you’re only a hop, skip, and a jump away from burning out and becoming unmotivated or even depressed.
According to a study issued by Ernst & Young, one in three full-time employees across the globe feel that maintaining a healthy work/life balance has become increasingly more difficult in the last 5 years. We all know that rejuvenated, happy employees are the most productive, so how do you achieve the elusive work/life balance?
Stay Organized In Your Commitment to Balance
You can use the same tools to stay organized in your personal life as you do in your professional life. Input yoga classes or birthday dinners into your calendar alongside business meetings and to-do lists. Treat personal commitments with the same respect that you would professional commitments. Try logging your daily activities in a journal for a week to see how well you’re spending your time, and adjust accordingly.
Unplug and Be Present
Turn off your phone notifications and make an effort not to check emails during non-work hours. By not reacting to work updates, you’ll be more present in your everyday life. And don’t stress. If someone really needs to get in touch with you, they’ll pick up the phone and give you a call.
Take Off The Time You Deserve
While it’s okay to work the odd late evening or Saturday morning, do not make a habit out of it. If you’re not required to work weekends, spend those 2 days a week focusing on your personal life. Go grocery shopping, clean your apartment, or simply catch up on some rest. Remember also to take advantage of your vacation days. They’re there for a reason!
Prioritize Your Health
It’s important to take care of your mind and your body. Commit to at least 30 minutes of exercise or meditation 3 times a week. Sign up for Yoga, Spin, or Barre classes. Join your local CrossFit team or organize a casual basketball game with your friends. Go for a weekly mani/pedi or get a monthly massage. Whatever makes you happy: put it in your calendar and commit to it as you would an important business meeting.
Prioritize Your Relationships
Between family, friends, and a significant other, building and maintaining relationships is a job in itself. Become a “yes” person when you receive an invitation to a social event, and commit to a daily dose of mingling. This can be anything from an evening cuddle session with your partner to a happy hour with the boys. Nurturing relationships will keep you happy and healthy.
Ultimately, you need to accept the natural ebb and flow to balancing your personal and professional life. Sometimes work will take precedence, and other times you will need to focus on yourself and your relationships. True balance means considering your workload, family, hobbies, health, and career goals.