Balance Work and Life with These 5 Surprisingly Easy Tips
Getting an education while working a full time or part time job and enjoying the company of family and friends, while finding hobbies to participate in, can sometimes feel overwhelming and challenging to balance. Between taking exams, submitting assignments, checking off a task your boss asked to have finished by the end of the month, to taking care of your children, finishing the household chores, and paying the bills, life gets busy. There are only twenty four hours in a day and recognizing when to commit to professional tasks and when to enjoy life is daunting and often leads to exhaustion or burnout.
Finding the perfect medium to balance all the demands of life will never be accomplished, because life brings unexpected moments. However, there’s a myriad of tools to implement to find a healthy balance between work and life.
Outlined are 5 different tips to consider when assessing your ability to control the hours of your day.
Focus On One Thing
It’s important to complete one task at a time when working on anything. Multi-tasking can leave you fumbling to remember where you left off on the five assignments on your to-do list. Intentionally focusing on one assignment will ensure your best work is presented. This tip doesn’t simply apply to your agenda but also to how each day is structured. Setting aside time to devote to one area of life is necessary so that your full attention can be given.
Professionally, when it’s time to work, focus on that. When it’s time to clock-out, shift your focus to priorities outside of work and do not bring work home. In order to be productive you need to find ways to split your time each day.
Find a Job You Enjoy
No job will be perfect, and you will eventually find aspects of the position that may not be your favorite. But overall, you should enjoy what you do! If money wasn’t a barrier or obligation, you want your job to be something you are passionate about that you would do for free. Finding a career that brings excitement will help motivate you to go to the office, whether in person or virtually, each day.
Prioritize Your Health
In order to take care of the responsibilities you have both at work and in your personal life, it’s important to be healthy—physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially.
Therefore, it is vital to allow time for exercising and eating a healthy diet. These routines will keep your body strong and scientifically proven will ensure you’re able to perform optimally.
Even getting in a 20 minute walk and eating the recommended serving of fruits and vegetables a day can make a major difference in the energy levels you have to complete tasks. It’s also important to recognize when you need to take time off work when you’re sick. It is much easier to take one or two days off than overwork yourself and discover you need more time off later.
Unplug and Rest
Don’t check your work emails after work hours or try to finish up a project. Your brain needs a mental break from those tasks in order to focus on something else. Take time to explore hobbies, visit family or friends, or try something new. In addition, if you plan ahead of time to rest by completing tasks and choosing which ones to wait to complete, you will be less likely to worry about what hasn’t gotten done. Enjoying life and shifting your mind’s focus for a while will leave you feeling rejuvenated for the next work week.
Develop Your Balance Boundaries
After work hours, it is important to limit activities such as scrolling on your phone or social media that will prevent you from the quality events in your personal life. Knowing when to commit and when to say no is necessary to ensure you have enough time to complete everything. When priorities are assessed and implemented, it alleviates the feeling of being busy without accomplishing everything on the to-do list.
When assessing how to balance pursuing an education, working a job, and enjoying personal activities, it’s beneficial to look at it from a bird’s eye view. Don’t feel overwhelmed thinking everything has to change at once in order to avoid burnout. This mentality can bring about discouragement from a lack of accomplishments. Rather, start small: choose one thing from the list above to practice and implement. It is much easier to notice success with incremental steps, one day at a time. As detailed in previous blogs, you can develop healthy habits over the course of months and years that ensure you put your best foot forward in all the tasks you’ve committed to.
Written by Laura Conaway
Laura Conaway is a middle school teacher-librarian and author who writes for a variety of publications in the educational sector and mainstream narrative writing field. She graduated with a Library Science B.S.Ed. and a Professional Writing minor from Kutztown University and enjoys learning new knowledge and staying current on educational best practices. When she’s not writing, she enjoys adventuring outdoors, serving in the community, and playing her violin and guitar.