In our modern culture of hustle, it’s easy to feel like you’re doing something wrong if you’re not living on the edge of burnout. Maybe you haven’t set clear boundaries with your boss and you don’t know how to tell him not to contact you on the weekends, or you feel pressured to work longer hours so you don’t look like you’re slacking off in comparison to your coworker who never seems to sleep. Whatever the reason for your work stress, it’s not sustainable: a workday that never ends can cause serious damage to your health, happiness, productivity, and relationships.
To create or improve work-life balance, you might need to have some tricky conversations you’d rather avoid. But enduring some temporary discomfort is worth it to find the happy equilibrium you need to thrive both in the office and outside it. Here are some tips to help you reclaim your time.
1. Unplug. No one can argue with the benefits of taking time away from the screen. Establish time limits on your social media consumption and, if your job allows, don’t check your work email outside of the office.
2. Exercise. You might not think you have time, but you don’t have to run five miles every day to make exercise worth your while – even just a 10-minute mini-workout or a quick walk around the block will stimulate your blood flow for increased energy and better concentration.
3. Prioritize. Decide which people and activities are important enough to be spending your time on, and schedule commitments accordingly. It sounds selfish, but it isn’t: when you’re letting your energy get zapped by low-priority interactions, you have less to give to your spouse or partner, your kids, your friends, and your team.
4. Restructure. Just because a certain pattern has developed over time doesn’t mean it’s set in stone, especially if it’s causing you stress. Reevaluating the structure of your life and learning to delegate or outsource can give you more time to focus on key activities and projects.
5. Clock out. Set your work schedule and stick to it. Let your colleagues know what time you’re leaving the office each day. If you have a habit of staying late at the office just because you have nothing to rush off to, make plans with friends or sign up for a class so that you can’t stick around.
6. Start small. Trying to overhaul your work schedule and rearrange your home life all at once is a recipe for guaranteed disaster. Creating small, reasonable goals will help you implement lasting changes for the better. The little things add up!
7. Stay sharp. Working long hours has been proven to increase feelings of depression and anxiety, negatively impact sleep, and raise the risk of heart attack and stroke. As you begin taking steps to transition away from overworking, improve your mental clarity and focus with NatureWise Ashwagandha for Brain Health.* With adaptogens that support balanced brain chemistry, this nootropic superblend enhances memory, increases blood flow, and calms over-excited neurons to keep you calm and focused.*
It’s a mad world out there, and it’s up to you to write your own rules to protect your health and well-being. You don’t have to resign yourself to endless stress and exhaustion – you just need to commit to making small changes for the better. Your sanity and quality of life is worth it!