Us Americans, we are a hard working bunch. We weirdly love it to, I hear people all the time, with a sense of pride, talk about how they pull in 60+ hour work weeks and have no time to do this and that. Well that’s not living! It’s so true, that saying that at the end of our life, we will never look back and regret that we didn’t work more. Work is a four letter word for a reason right? Not all the time! Most of us, more blatantly than others (I’m looking at you firefighters, doctors, nurses, teachers) are literally saving lives for a living, and doing extreme acts of good day in and day out. Of course you are going to take pride in that, make it your identity, and perhaps sometimes never want to leave the “office”. But all of us, even the everyday heroes, and also the number crunchers, salesfolks, desk workers, we NEED to detach from our jobs to keep a healthy work/life balance. Sometimes our work is really just that boring or stressful or all-consuming. But with work weeks becoming longer and longer, and job competitiveness always on the rise, how do you do it all? How do you fit in a work/life balance? Here are some tips:
This is the easiest- but TAKE ALL YOUR VACATION DAYS. Every last one of them. Go somewhere, don’t go somewhere, but don’t work- AT ALL. Your employer is not paying you for these hours, so don’t give them your time for free! Try to do something you enjoy and look forward to during these days- even if it’s binge watching all those shows you missed because you were working so hard. And no checking your email or phone on vacation unless it's for personal reasons, or reasons that make you smile.
Try to have activities to look forward to during the week outside of work. A yoga class that completely clears your mind. A running club. Catching up with a friend at happy hour. A bike ride. Going to the movies. Something that takes your mind off work and makes you ignore your phone (at least for an hour)
Make the most of your free time on your days off- pick at least one activity each day off to accomplish and feel good about it that is completely non-work related (even if it is just refilling the fridge or getting in a 30 minute walk)
Stop looking at your phone. For this, you may need a “punishment” for looking. I was hanging out with a couple a few nights ago, and every time he looked at his phone his wife made him do 3 pushups. Either way it was working out for her (kidding) but this worked extremely well- he only looked once!
Reach out to one friend/family memeber once a week- on the phone or through a quick text or email- to say hi or to make plans. With hectic schedules, friendships can fall to the wayside. Make sure you are planning some time for friends and family in your life.