Is work starting to take over your life or has it already taken over your life?
Given the competitiveness in the workplace these days, it is hard for us to not put in extra hours and be the perfect worker.
Things can get incredibly overwhelming and your well-being may be jeopardised sooner than you even realize it!
It is almost impossible to fully strike a balance, but we can always try. Although it often requires us to make changes and/or sacrifices.
Not losing yourself amidst clocking hours at work is something that is extremely important, in my opinion.
Here are 12 tips the GET.com team reckons attainable and easy to achieve, and they will help you juggle the demands of your job and the rest of your life.
1. Reduce Your Social Media Usage
It's all down to time management and priorities. What is the point of snooping around on Facebook or Instagram for an hour during work hours when you wind up not being able to finish your tasks on hand before 6pm?
In order to protect your rice bowl, you start panicking at 5pm and decide that extending your time in the office is the way to go.
Seriously, this doesn't make sense at all. All you need to do is click the logout button, since you're probably already perpetually auto-signed in.
It's okay to not respond to a Facebook comment or Candy Crush request. Who still plays Candy Crush anyway? It's so yester-year.
And if you need help cracking down on your social media usage, check out RescueTime. It monitors your usage and helps you single out areas of overactivity.
2. Get Enough Sleep
This is probably an area that many people, including myself, have to work on. I cannot count how many times my father urged me to go to sleep earlier.
As you know, sleep is a vital indicator of one's overall health and well-being.
The majority of us probably have to start making sleep a priority, and if possible, start freeing our sleep debt.
Getting a restful sleep would mean a more energized and positive version of you who's up to take on the day's challenges.
It's a win-win situation, really. You work more effectively and your body gets more rest. Plus your eye bags and dark circles may ease up a little!
3. Take Care Of Yourself
If you don't take care of your own body, who will? It is never fun to be sick because you forgot to take good care of yourself because you're too tied up with work.
When you're unwell, you don't work as productively or you miss work and it piles up even more, leaving you even more stressed than you were before.
Notice the inherent linkages above? It's a vicious cycle that can take a toll on your health and well-being. So remember to eat healthily and get enough rest. Build a lifestyle that your body can sustain.
4. Build Downtime Into Your Schedule
We are only human after all. When it's time to work hard, work hard. When it's time to have fun, have fun.
You can't possibly have your life revolve only around work. It helps to include some fun in your calendar so that you have something to look forward to that's not related to work.
Say it's only Monday but you've planned to meet with your BFFs whom you haven't met in a while on Friday, that excitement in you will probably make you more motivated at work.
It is also a great way to block out some alone time for yourself to do the things you really enjoy doing, such as going on a shopping spree, planning for a pampering soak in the tub with your favourite scented bath salt or painting your nails in the hottest colour of the season.
5. Make Work Your Friend
I've come to learn that regardless of what profession you may be in, there are bound to be things that you love and hate about your job.
The good thing is that you don't have to focus on the negatives all the time. It's okay to whine, but limit yourself.
Instead, seek out things that you love about your job and let them fuel your energy. That way, you'll be happier and more productive. You'll likely be performing better as well!
6. Fight The Guilt
You have to love yourself enough to know that it is normal and absolutely okay to bail on an occasional office dinner party or drinking session if you really need to get away from everything associated with work or if you're feeling under the weather.
There is no need to beat yourself up over it and let the guilt eat you up whole. I'm sure your bosses and colleagues will be understanding.
7. Know The Off Button Exists
In today's day and age, practically everyone is surrounded by electronic devices. Of course, technology helps us in as many wonderful ways that we all know and love, but sometimes, all we need is to break up with it...temporarily.
It may not be the easiest thing to do but you'll discover how therapeutic it can be when you've actually done it.
When these buzzing electronic devices stop buzzing for a while, you're momentarily in your own world. Nobody can rob you of the attention you're placing on yourself, your family, your friends or your work. You're finally free from distraction!
8. Sync Your Calendars
This is a clever way to ensure you know how your personal and work responsibilities are being planned out at a glance. And you don't miss out on any important commitments.
If your calendar is only blocked out for work-related matters, you know what you have to do - inject some fun into your life to strive for a better balance. Or vice versa.
If you've taken on one too many projects at work and are desperately gasping for air, let your managers and colleagues know. As much as work is important, they wouldn't want you to be burnt out and depressed.
It is good to push yourself outside of your comfort zone so that you'll grow and improve, but remember to pace yourself!
10. Start Exercising
No matter how busy you may be, allocate some time to exercise. Research has shown that exercising is good for your health in all aspects - it keeps you fitter, happier and helps you be more alert!
It doesn't mean you have to hit the gym for an hour every single day of the week. Well, if you do have the energy and discipline to do that, I'm genuinely proud of you for putting in such a commendable effort.
But if you happen to be one of those who pass up on exercising because work has transformed you into a couch potato, know that a little exercise is better than none.
Case in point, I no longer jog as much as I used to but I still exercise at home by tuning in to my favourite fitness trainers' videos on YouTube.
All I need is some motivation to work out, a yoga mat and an electronic device with the YouTube app. You don't even have to look cute at home, nobody's going to judge you!
11. Drop Useless Activities That Sap Up Your Time And Energy
To do this, you have to sit yourself down and be very honest with yourself. List down the things that you partake in at work and at home that don't really add value to your personal development and growth, you'll be surprised how many there are!
Some examples could include things like spending too much time mindlessly gossiping with a colleague, walking around the office to "kill time" or raging because of some lame Facebook comments made by politicians in your GRC. You shouldn't even be on Facebook in the first place.
Make the conscious effort to quit these activities progressively if you're a creature of habit. Just make sure you stick it through!
12. Protect Your Private Time
Image source: tonywrighton.com
Your bosses will be heartened to know that you're extremely dedicated to your work, but you have to allow yourself pockets of personal time.
They'll understand that you have your personal commitments the way they have theirs, so protect your private time and appreciate life as it is.
Allow yourself to listen to your favourite playlist or read a good book on the way to work or home. You don't have to be furiously typing an email response all the time! Not everything is categorized under the "urgent" tab.