One of the biggest adulting challenges we face is how to address having no work-life balance. Too often we get so caught up in our jobs that we forget to make time for ourselves. We put self-care on the back burner in hopes that once we’ve reached our goals, we’ll be able to relax.
Work shouldn’t be your entire life, and if you let it, you may not be in very good shape to enjoy your retirement.
Life needs to be more than just advancing in our careers; it should be made up of all kinds of things that help us to be well-rounded people.
Having a work-life balance doesn’t mean splitting your time exactly in half with 50 percent of your time going to work and the other 50 percent going to life. You can divide your time as you chose as long as you make sure to include time to spend on work, play, relationships, and self-care.
When you become too consumed with having it all, some things are going to get neglected, overlooked, and the drive to achieve becomes everything. Most people don’t wind down when they reach their goals, they wind up. They make new goals, pursue new dreams, and get so focused that they forget about the things that give them joy or the small moments that give them peace.
No work-life balance, too much work, too much play, or too much of anything can cause you to have a chaotic lifestyle and may make you feel overwhelmed and spent.
You can’t skimp on taking care of yourself just because you want a promotion in the next five years—if you don’t put yourself on the top of your list, then you may be too stressed and exhausted to enjoy your success or continue your momentum.
10 things to do when you have no work-life balance
Remind yourself that there really is only 24-hours in a day:
The fact is that out of that 24-hours, one-third of that time is reserved for sleeping. You only have about 16 hours to work with. Don’t take away from the 16 hours even if you never get 8 or more hours of sleep. Use whatever extra time you have pre-sleep to power down and de-stress from your day. You’ll sleep and feel better.
Now that you know how much time you have to work with, you can make a plan of how you’ll going to fill it. If you need to schedule in things like catching up with friends or practicing self-care—do so. By creating a specific time for something, you up its value and importance. If you get a calender-alert that you need to do some yoga or treat yourself to the movies, you’re less likely to brush it off.
No, I’m not telling you to overschedule yourself with multiple social events, in this case when I say double-book, I mean to combine things. If you want to get in shape, try to get a friend to commit to being your workout buddy. This way you can catch-up and walk the treadmill at the same time. It’s less multi-tasking and more layering of activities.
Make sure you have a team:
Having a team isn’t only important when you’re at work; having one for the daily challenges of life can be vital. You need to know that you’ve got people who care about you and who are willing to shoulder some of your responsibilities. You’ll do better with your work-life balance knowing that you have a group of people who are your advocates, will help you when you need it, and who generally have your back.
Don’t skip your breaks:
Whether you work from home or commute to work daily, you need to take a break—it’s the law. But don’t turn your breaks into work-breaks. Get up from your desk, take a walk outside, listen to some music, and clear your head, so that when you get back to work, you’re better able to deal with the stress and you’ll make better decisions. If you work from home, incorporate your pet into your break and you’ll both reap the benefits.
Just say no:
Saying no when something is asked of you isn’t being negative or being a jerk; it’s self-care and it avoids having to spread yourself too thin. It’s understandable wanting to be the person that your co-workers can depend on, but you can’t fix everything, nor can you handle more than you can bear. You don’t have to be aggressive about it, just be choosy when it comes to extra projects or helping someone else out. You’re not only taking care of yourself, but you’re also not doing a half-assed job for them.
Leave work at work:
It can be tempting to bring work home or to try to get ahead of the next day by working at home in the evening. Try not to check work emails or handle any work issues that came up during work hours once you’ve clocked out. If something is legitimately urgent, then take care of it in the fastest most professional way you can, otherwise, forget work for a while.
Treat yourself well:
No matter how slow you try to take things, life is busy, and you’re probably already doing too much. Give yourself a break. If you mess up on something or don’t complete a task on time, don’t beat yourself up. You tried to do your best but sometimes things happen. Keep looking forward and move on.
You may wonder what moving your body has to do with a work/life balance, but you won’t have the energy to do anything if you don’t keep healthy. Working out helps to lower our stress levels and can keep you energized and in a good mood. You need to have a lot of accessible energy and a positive state of mind to make it through the day.
Don’t skip your vacation:
Life is made up of experiences and while there are a great many work experiences that can be satisfying, there’s nothing as good for you as taking some time off to have fun, relax, and spend time with the people you care about. The reality is that taking a vacation—especially one that allows time for rest and relaxation is practicing self-care.