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Maintaining a good work-life balance

Posted on May 1, 2019
Table with a laptop and a coffee cup

In a hypercompetitive world, everybody’s always looking for a way to get ahead. This can often mean starting work earlier, staying in the office later, and focusing on work during your time off. Although working a little harder and putting in extra time towards you career reflects diligence and can benefit your career, you have to find a balance between work and your personal life. The struggle of finding a proper work-life balance is especially relevant in the world of small business. When bringing the vision of your small business to life, you know that it’ll take a lot of overtime to achieve your dream. If you’re running your own small business, you probably dictate the majority of your own schedule, including hours and deadlines. However, it’s important to keep in mind that our health generally suffers when you work too much, and this can be reflected in the quality of your work. There should always be time for your family, friends, and your life outside of the office, no matter your career path. It can be difficult to tell when your health is truly being impacted by overworking and when it’s time to make a change or take a break. Not sure if you’re working too much? There’s a few ways to tell if your work is affecting your physical or mental health:

Signs you’re working too much…

Poor quality of work: The quality of the work you produce is not up to it’s usual standard. If you’re getting less work done and you’re not as proud of it as you usually are, it’s time to adjust your work-life balance.

Decreased energy: When you wake up tired and dread taking on the day, it’s reflected in your work. Taking a break from work to increase energy and drive can help create a better work-life balance.

Difficulty sleeping: In this case, try to make sure you stop working a good few hours before you go to bed. Otherwise, work will be on your mind when you go to bed, resulting in difficulty falling asleep.

Irritability: You’re feeling more irritable than usual. If you feel like lashing out, that means you’re overdue for a break.

Procrastination: You’re feeling apathetic towards your work and putting it off. This can also be reflected in spending too much time on social media or news sites.

A lack of concentration: If your interest levels are low and things feel out of focus, you could use a break from work to concentrate on yourself instead.

And here are a few ideas for ways to attain a better work-life balance…

Unplug: Technology has clearly helped our lives in many ways, especially in the business world. However, cell phones have also created expectations of constant accessibility, and therefore the work day seems to never end. Sometimes, work emails can wait. Shut your phone off, live in the moment, and spend some time enjoying the people and sights around you.

Exercise and meditate: Exercise is a proven stress reducer. It pumps endorphins through your body, helps lift your mood, and can put you in a meditative state. Making some time for exercise in your schedule can help you feel better, both physically and mentally.

Limit time-wasting activities and people: Identify what’s most important in your life and prioritize based on that list. This list should differ person to person, so make sure it truly reflects your own individual needs. From there, draw firm boundaries so you can devote quality time to these high-priority people and activities. When it comes to being a good friend, spouse, parent or worker, the better you are yourself, the better you are going to be in those areas as well.

Change the structure of your life: Sometimes we fall into a rut and assume our habits are set in stone. Take a step back and ask yourself: What changes could make life easier?

Start small: We’ve all been there… diets that we give up on, New Year’s resolutions we forget by February. It’s the same with work-life balance when we take on too much too soon. Instead, begin with a small change and build up from there.

Let go of perfectionism: The key to avoid burning out is to let go of perfectionism. Life isn’t perfect. Instead of aiming to be the best, strive to do your own personal best.

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