With more and more people working from home during this time, the idea of a true work-life balance has all but disappeared. The commute from home to the office has gone from 30 minutes to 3 steps. Without the physical separation of an external office, employees are staying connected much longer. According to data from a 2019 buffer.com survey, 22% of respondents stated that unplugging was their biggest challenge.
There is good news though. By taking some proactive steps, you can significantly improve your work-life balance and increase your overall happiness and productivity.
In short, work-life balance is the separation between the demands of one’s career and the demands of their personal life. Based on a study from statista.com, 95% of respondents consider work-life balance to be very or somewhat important. However, 66% of full-time employees in the U.S. do not strongly believe that they have work-life balance.
1. Focus On Your Health:
Each of us has an internal “gas tank”. When your tank is full, you have more energy and can focus for longer periods of time. Conversely, when you work long hours and maintain a high-stress level throughout the day, your tank empties very quickly. This can lead to a variety of health problems, including high blood pressure, anxiety, and a reduced immune system.
Focusing on your health does not have to consist of making radical changes to your diet and exercise routine. It can be as simple as daily meditation or taking a walk during lunch instead of grabbing something from the kitchen and going back to work.
2 . Set Boundaries for Yourself:
We are all guilty of it. You want to finish one more project for the day. An email comes through late that you immediately respond to. You will just send one more text to your coworker about that meeting tomorrow.
As we all know, the work is never done and there is always more to do. However, we are much more productive when we are awake and full of energy. Therefore, to avoid burnout, you need to set clear boundaries. When you would normally leave the office, set up an away message on your computer and, if you are using your personal phone for work, add to your voicemail a message about what hours you are working and that you will return their message at that time.
They key to this system is to stay firm. While emergencies do happen, most are not actually emergencies at all. If you continually make exceptions for people after hours, they will continue to creep into your personal time. Learn to ignore!
3. Make Time for Yourself:
While your job is obviously important, it should not take over your entire life. One way to stay healthy is to focus on activities and hobbies that are interesting to you. This is a time for you to focus on what is important to you. For some, that is spending time with their kids in the backyard, while, for others, it is putting on a good movie that they haven’t seen in a while.
Whether it is working on that new yoga pose, taking an online class to improve your skills, sitting down and reading a good book, or relaxing in your backyard pool, it is essential that you take time to refuel your body and soul.
4. Separate your Spaces:
One of the best things you can do to improve the balance in your life is to separate your spaces. Create spaces for work and other spaces for pleasure. When you mix two colors together, they eventually become an entirely different color and cannot be separated again. The same goes for the spaces in your house.
One of the best things you can do is create a space that is only used for work. That way when you enter that space, your brain knows, it’s time to work. On the other hand, when you work in areas that should be associated with relaxation, you begin to train your brain that those areas are also for work and will make it tougher to relax.
The fact that many of us are home a significant portion of our time with no real end in sight means that we need to ensure that our home is as healthy as possible. If you’re interested in renovating your indoor or outdoor living space and don’t know where to start, contact Pittsburgh Stone & Waterscapes today!