“Work-life balance” is a term we’ve all come across at some point in our professional careers. Broadly, it may be defined as striking the perfect equilibrium between your professional and your personal life.
While on paper, this may be easy to achieve, in reality, it is often quite challenging to ensure that your work is complete by 5:30 PM, leaving you enough time to exercise, socialize, run errands, help with the housework and attend to the needs of your family. Below, we outline 3 tips to stop working after 5:30 pm:
1. Schedule your day, in a flexible way
While an ideal schedule would be planned in a way to ensure that every minute from 9-5 was squeezed in a productive way, it may also be humanly impossible to set such expectations from yourself. Therefore, we recommend a flexible schedule. This could be the traditional to-do list on paper or perhaps a more technologically friendly way like the Notes app on your phone.
Your Google/Outlook calendar also serves as a great tool to schedule your day, keeping the first half for meetings and catch-ups with your colleagues and booking the second half of the working day, for your own work. We also recommend adding a line in your email signature which highlights the preferred meeting slots for you, so your peers may schedule their meetings accordingly.
2. Limit your screen time and step outdoors
As the pandemic changed the way of life drastically, forcing people to explore the avenues of technology and becoming more digitally savvy, it has also greatly increased an individual’s screen time. Make a vow to attend only pressing personal commitments over the phone, once you have logged off for the day.
Your phone is also equipped with a setting, through which you may set a maximum time spent per app. This way, your social media apps will remind you when the limit is exhausted, and guilt you into putting your phone away.
You may choose to spend the remainder of your day far away from the digital world. This may include but is not limited to exercise in the great outdoors, which could be as simple as a walk in the park, a cycling trip around your neighborhood or a sweaty session at the gym.
Research has proven that exercise releases endorphins which contribute to an overall positive approach to life. The exercise is of course also beneficial after a day spent crouched over your laptop, which restricts your movement.
3. Take a break!
This is perhaps one of the most underrated ways to achieve a work-life balance. As the pandemic forced women to work a double shift, double hatting as an employee for their workplace and a homemaker, it ended up taking a serious toll on their mental health and led to quicker instances of burnout.
That is why we recommend allowing yourself a break from time to time. This could be as simple as a reminder to stretch in the middle of your work, indulging in takeout from your favourite restaurant or planning a quick vacation. The vacation may also be as simple as a day at a beach or at the spa, but the effects are manifold.
We hope these tips will help you achieve the perfect work-life-balance and assist you in getting your life back on track!