Achieving a Healthy Work-Life Balance

There is a lot of pressure in today’s world to spend all of our time working. Being “owned” by your boss might make you look like a good employee, but it is not healthy (or productive), especially if you spend all of that time sitting.

Here are some tips for achieving a better, healthier work-life balance:

  • Learn to prioritize, and make sure that not all of your priorities are work. Set aside time for yourself, your spouse, your kids, and even your parents. Put it on your calendar as a set commitment, and it is more likely to happen. Set goals for each day, keep them manageable and resist the temptation to add more after they are done.
  • Spend at least some time away from your computer each day. One good way to achieve this is to eat lunch away from your desk, outside if the weather allows it, and leave your phone behind. Set a cutoff time after which you will not respond to work-related email or texts. Set boundaries with your boss. Explain that you will not be checking emails or listening to voice messages on vacation, except occasionally. If your boss is particularly pushy, look for a vacation destination where cell coverage is spotty.
  • Find an exercise activity you enjoy and will stick to. If you find exercise goes by the board quickly, an exercise buddy can help. Involving another person makes you more likely to commit.
  • Find time to meditate in the morning and/or late at night before sleep. Some people find ten minutes of meditation before bed helps them sleep better.
  • If your work environment allows, listen to music while at work. Choose music without lyrics (which can be distracting). Sound CDs of things like a crackling fire or an outdoor environment can also be helpful. Listening to music makes work more relaxing.
  • Learn to say no, both to your employer and to your friends and family. If saying no to your employer is impossible, you may want to start looking for another job.
  • Ask for help. Don’t be afraid to ask your mother to watch the kids, delegate to a coworker, or ask for time management advice from somebody who always seems to get everything done.

A good work-life balance is essential for stress reduction, overall health and doing a good job at work, so do your best to achieve one with the tools you have available.

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