As technology marches ever forwards, we’re more connected than ever. Wherever you are the world, whatever you’re doing, you’re never out of touch with your emails, texts and whatsapps. This means it’s increasingly hard to declare your working day over and done – the pressure is on to perform, and to log in on the train home to follow up on emails, to be present at the weekend adding value and demonstrating commitment.
If you have the energy, this can be a good way to prove yourself in a new job, or chase a promotion, but over time it gets more and more exhausting. If it becomes a habit, it can wear down your ability to relax at all, leading to stress, exhaustion, anxiety and burnout.
Today we’re taking a look at how you can maintain a healthy work/life balance, to ensure you’re able to give yourself both at work, and in your own time.
Separating Work and Relaxation
It’s important to draw a firm line between working activities and your personal life – it’s not just a matter of not working, you need to form the habit of leaving work at work mentally. One of the ways you can do this is to build simple rituals around the end of the working day, from playing music during your commute, to making a cup of tea when get home and slipping into a pair of women’s sliders when you get home. Over time, these simple, physical actions tell your body it’s time to relax and help to shift you away from the working mindset.
Scheduling Your Time
If you find that work that extends beyond your typical office hours is regularly eating into valuable time spent with your friends or partner, or indeed time you’ve earmarked for yourself, then you need to take steps to protect yourself. Work that begins to erode your important relationships is something that needs to be managed carefully, and you can do that with the same scheduling techniques you bring to your professional life.
If you have a date – romantically or with friends – treat that with the same priority as you would a work meeting or call. As you’d never cancel a meeting during office hours to go to the pub with friends (and expect to remain employed), you shouldn’t allow yourself to cancel time with friends out of office hours for work (and expect to remains either friends or happy).
Protect your social and personal time as you protect your work time and you’ll soon find yourself able to recharge a little better.