Everyone knows at least one person who was brilliant and talented at what they did at work. Ambitious as they were, they worked tirelessly to succeed. They overcame obstacle after obstacle, burning the midnight oil to get the job done. Then, one day, their constant hard work comes to a screeching halt. They got sick. They became depressed. It happens, and it's a classic case of work burnout.
All those nights of constant work may have been good for their career, but they were not good for their work-life balance. Sadly, people often only realize the importance of balance when it's too late.
Are you wondering if you're working too much or if you need a better balance between your job and your home life? Use these five tips to help you find the right balance for you.
1. Look at your family life and health to determine whether you need to scale back at work.
Have your family members mentioned that they never see you? Can you recall the last time you sat down to dinner with them, sans work-related phone calls? The first thing to suffer from a bad work-life balance is your home life and your self-care routine. If you're isolating yourself from loved ones, it may be time to ask for a break.
2. Have set work hours, and stick to them.
This may be one of the hardest tips to follow, but it works. If you say you work from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., keep your hours set in stone – regardless of what your bosses may say. Anything that's pressing enough to have someone call you during non-work hours can be resolved the next day.
3. Prioritize but have deadlines.
Everything has a different priority. Paying your rent is a priority, but is getting your shoes shined a priority too? If you work in an appearance-conscious industry, it might be. Therefore, have deadlines for each task you have to accomplish. If you couldn't finish a task today, make an effort to complete it before your due date or re-evaluate the priority of that task in line with the other tasks and to-do's on your list.
4. Invest in time-tracking tools and scheduling.
The people who have a lot of work on their plate don't schedule things by saying something like, "Yeah, anytime Wednesday is fine." They plan everything down to 10-minute blocks.
5. Go ahead, take that holiday.
You're not a bad employee or a slacker for wanting to take time off every once in a while. Everyone deserves a rest from time to time, and studies show that resting is beneficial to your productivity and health. So go on, take a break – you've worked hard and deserve it.
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