| Written by Jessica Molnar, MA, LPC, LCADC
Finishing up your work day before the weekend can be relieving but then you remember that when you leave work you have to run to an appointment. From there you need to go food shopping or run errands. Managing to balance it all between work and everyday life can be stressful.
Am I balancing it all?
Are you working longer hours? Dedicating all your free time to your work? Giving up outside obligations and/or social events to work? Lacking free time to engage in leisure activities or even do your hobbies? Lacking free time to spend with family or friends or loved ones? Then you might have the difficulty of trying to balance work and your everyday life.
Challenges with managing your time spent working and life can be stressful or even hard. Sometimes, we feel like we just don’t have enough time in the day to do everything we hope to accomplish. We’re running from one place to another to fulfill everything we hope to achieve. Sometimes it can be difficult to find the balance between work and life.
Managing our work-life balance is important and this post will focus on how to better manage our work and everyday life.
Tips and strategies for effectively managing our work-life balance
1. Plan ahead and prioritize
It can be challenging to fit everything into one day. Sometimes unforeseen circumstances can affect our ability to manage our everyday life and tasks. It’s important to make a plan on how you want to manage your time. I find making a to-do list with the most important tasks on top to be helpful. Prioritize the important tasks and put less emphasis on the not as important tasks.
2. Block out time for tasks
Carve out time in your schedule to allow yourself to complete tasks. I find that keeping a calendar with appointment times is extremely helpful. Insert the task you’d like to complete and block out the time. Additionally, it’s important to carve out more time in your plan than potentially needed to ensure that you’ll have enough time to complete the tasks.
I always find it better and beneficial to schedule more time than needed, and if you’re done earlier than expected use that time to care for yourself!
3. End your day at a certain time daily
Make a schedule and stick to a schedule. It’s important to follow a routine. Ask yourself what hours are reasonable for you to be working and what time you’d like to end your day. I know it may seem overwhelming, but even if you’re not done with all the tasks, make sure you end at the same time everyday. There’s always tomorrow to finish up what didn’t get completed the previous day.
4. Unplug from technology
The idea of putting down our phone can be daunting, especially if we rely on our phone for work. Allow yourself the time to unplug – turn off your phone, laptop, tablet, or computer, disconnect from social media or any additional distractions.
It is highly beneficial to unplug from technology periodically. Research shows that there are many benefits to unplugging from technology. Unplugging from technology (even if it’s one hour a day) is beneficial to our interpersonal relationships and can aid in increased communication skills. By unplugging from technology we are taking the time to focus on others without the usage of technology thus increasing our communication skills without reliance on technology to communicate. Additionally, unplugging from technology can reduce stress and anxiety.
5. Go out with family, friends, or coworkers
Take the time to catch up with family, friends, or even coworkers. Make plans to go out to lunch or dinner or breakfast or even brunch. It’s imperative that you take your breaks throughout the day. Allow yourself that lunch or dinner break that you’re entitled to.
6. Take time off regularly
Balancing everyday life and work can be challenging. Allow yourself to take time off without feeling guilty that you should be working. Sometimes, we need a break – take the day off to do things you want to do that you might not normally do.
7. Engage in mindfulness and care for yourself
Take the time to engage in mindfulness techniques, relaxation techniques, guided imagery techniques, progressive muscle relaxation techniques, breathing techniques, and most importantly do things or activities that you like to do!
Balancing it all can be stressful. These are just a few tips to better assist you in developing the work-balance you wish to achieve.
If you are struggling in managing your time due to lacking a work-life balance, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Struggling with time management is a common symptom of stress, sleep issues, anxiety, depression, and various other mental health challenges. A licensed professional can assist you in overcoming these challenges.
When Jessica is not providing therapy, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, listening to country music, cooking, baking, and going to the beach.
Check out Jessica’s professional bio here.
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