For many, the concept of having a healthy work-life balance is just an elusive myth.
Results from a survey conducted by the Harvard Business School showed that more than 50% of the people interviewed indicated that they work more than 65 hours a week. This worryingly high number is not unexpected— with technology making employees contactable round the clock, and an ongoing pressure to climb that corporate ladder, many young professionals are choosing to forgo their personal life in lieu of their work commitments.
With only 24 hours in a day, having a successful career without compromising your personal life may seem like an impossible feat. However, here are some tips to maintain a healthy work-life balance without burning out:
Work smarter, not harder
Although this mantra may seem frustratingly ambiguous, it will start to make a lot more sense when actually put into practice. For example, you can start by jotting down a feasible to-do list at the start of each day, with the most important tasks taking priority. By breaking down your agenda for the day into bite-sized tasks, they will seem less overwhelming and you can revel in the small sense of satisfaction you get as you manage to cross these tasks off throughout the day.
Set your boundaries and Unplug
You can’t expect to be the best version of yourself if you don’t give yourself any time to recharge after a long day of work.
With technology so easily accessible, it may be tempting to stay connected 24/7. However, it is vital to set boundaries on your work communications. By making it a habit to disconnect after certain hours, not only you be able to to wind down and recharge, but giving yourself a break may also help you to refocus and look at certain problems from a new perspective.
Learn to say “No”
If you’re a people-pleaser, this may be especially difficult for you to do. However, getting comfortable with saying “no” will stop you from spreading yourself too thin.
If you already have a jam-packed schedule, adding extra tasks to your plate will not only increase your stress levels, but it will also mean that you wouldn’t be able to put your 100% into each piece of work.
Make Social Arrangements (And stick to them)
We all know the saying: all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. While the idea of mingling in a crowded bar after a long day at work may seem like the furthest thing from enticing, its important to always make time for the important people in your life.
These plans don’t always have to be grand— simple meet-ups to grab a coffee at your favourite cafe just round the corner can be just as fulfilling as splurging on an 8 course dinner. Ultimately, its about spending quality time with people whom you truly care about.
Health is Wealth
When the going gets tough, exercise is often the first thing to get culled from our busy schedule. This of course, shouldn’t be the case. After all, exercise helps to improve both your physical and mental health.
Getting sweaty and hitting the gym helps to pump feel-good endorphins through your body; and with a healthy body and a fresher mind, you will be able to smash through tasks more efficiently.
Also published on Medium.