People across the globe are struggling to disconnect from work after hours to find a healthy balance between work and play. Today one in four UK workers overworks by 10 hours a week or more while 11 percent of Americans work 50 hours or more per week. There are numerous reasons why overcoming this challenge is important for both your health and wellbeing. Here we’re taking a look at what some of those reasons are and how you can master the art of a healthy work- life balance.
The idea of work-life balance when you’re just starting out in your professional career seems like a simple and highly attainable lifestyle we all expect we’ll live out. As you grow in your career and the world of business continues to accelerate with the rapid advancement of technology, balancing work and a fulfilling personal life becomes increasingly more difficult.
In recent years our world has become hyper-connected through the
progression of technology. While this has proven incredibly beneficial in some aspects of our life, when it comes to switching from work-mode to home-mode, your constant accessibility can prove a problem. Your smartphone not only keeps you available for calls and texts but also emails, work chats and calendar updates, at all hours of the day.
These technological innovations have been recognised as a significant factor in employee’s feelings of round the clock availability and therefore a disrupted work-life balance While it’s normal, and admirable, to want to grow and succeed at work, it’s important to take every new opportunity or assignment with regard to how it will impact your current schedule. When you consider that 50 percent of millennials and Gen X employees have seen their responsibilities at work increase over the last five years, and more than 40 percent’s obligations at home also increase, the fact that you can’t say yes to everything becomes abundantly clear.
Learn To Say No
Learning how and when to say no in professional settings is an incredibly
powerful quality to possess. This not only helps you take control of your own life but keeps others from taking advantage of your willingness or overloading you. Another great way to level out your work-life versus your personal life is to unplug from technology now and again. Between social media, work, TV and more, the average person spends an enormous portion of their day staring at a screen. And while you may not notice it at first, this much stimulation can have negative impacts on your mentality, sleep and stress levels.
Learn To Unplug
There’s no question about it, removing yourself from technology is hard, so start slow. Dedicate the first three hours after work to be totally unplugged. Freeing yourself from your phone or laptop allows you the opportunity to decompress and focus back on what it is that brings you joy, such as taking a walk, reading or spending quality time with a loved one. Aside from simply removing yourself from work’s reach after hours, it’s helpful
to spend your free time participating in self-satisfying activities. A few
recommendations we suggest are:
Take Time Offline
- Work out: Exercise produces endorphins which can help put you in a positive mood and feel more relaxed. Whatever your exercise of choice may be, running, yoga, or even meditation, can be great “me time”.
- Cooking: Preparing a meal for yourself can be a relaxing and enjoyable way to nourish both your mind and body. Double points if you cook something healthy.
- Date night: People who spend too much time at work often unknowingly neglect their loved ones which can lead to further problems down the road. Take the time to enjoy a new experience or old favourite, with no work-talk allowed.
Implementing these best practices into your life can serve numerous benefits to your health, wellbeing and productivity. When you’re overworked, your body is too. An unhealthy work-life balance can actually have such a negative effect on your immune system that you may become more susceptible to colds, headaches, heightened fatigue, stroke and heart attack. Not only does managing this balance improve your physical health but it improves the quality of your life as well. Remember your happiness is just as critical to your life as success.
This post was written by Maddie Davis Co-Founder of Enlightened Digital for The Fabulous Times. Enlightened Digital is an online guide to everything at the cutting edge of technology from a group of women who share a lifelong passion for innovation.