Help Yourself Achieve Work/Life Balance With These Tips
According to the World Health Organization, the cost of stress to American businesses is a whopping $300 billion. In fact, over the last 30 years, self-reported levels of stress have increased 18% for women and 25% for men. Until recently, many corporations did not see the value in concepts like wellness, mindfulness and work/life balance. However, now businesses realize that these areas directly affect the companies’ bottom line. Stress-reduction and work/life balance don’t just make employees happier and healthier, they are a proven competitive advantage for any business. Follow these tips to help reduce stress and share with others!
- Complete, Delete or Delegate: Take a look at your daily task list, both professional and personal activities. Start to prioritize: What is absolutely necessary? What needs to get done first? Complete, delete or delegate activities where you can. Above all, set realistic goals for yourself so that you don’t become overwhelmed.
- Ask Your Employer: According to a 2012 poll from the Society of Human Resource Management, many companies use flex time and telecommuting work/life resources to help employees achieve work/life balance. The more control one has of their schedule, the less they experience stress.
- Take a Break from Technology: Today’s technology allows us to be connected 24/7, which leaves little to no boundary between professional and personal life. Set some rules for yourself to break free from technology (even for a little while) when you are home in the evenings. For instance, when you are with your family at the dinner table make it a rule to leave your iPhone behind.
- Schedule time to rest, relax, and recharge. It’s important to schedule down time in your calendar, just as you would a meeting with your boss or client. Create these buffers in your day (in 20 minute increments) that allow you to slow down, stop, catch your breath and process what’s going on.Nonstop working can run you into the ground. Just like a car’s engine is not designed to run at high speeds for hours at a time, neither are we!
- Move! Researchers at the University of Florida examined the responses of nearly 500 professionals who were surveyed about their exercise behavior and their work/life balance. The study showed that those who exercised regularly seemed to experience an increased feeling of competence, confidence and stress reduction that carried over into work and home roles.
- Know when to seek professional help. Everyone needs help from time to time; it is a completely normal and basic human need. If you feel like you’re spinning your wheels, take a simple first step and call your EAP counselor.
Creating a healthy work/life balance takes time and energy. Follow these six steps to begin re-balancing your work and life.