There are never enough hours in the day.
If this phrase sounds all too familiar you may be struggling with finding the right balance between work and life, as many of us do. We tend to get caught up in the never-ending workdays that we neglect to care for our relationships, health, and overall happiness. Each individual has his or her proper interpretation of a good work-life balance, but we all share one thing in common, we are searching for the ideal balance that suits us best.
But first, what does balance mean? We must understand that balance does not mean equal. Depending on what’s going on at the moment, either your work or personal life can take on more weight. And that is completely OK. Once we clarify the balance concept we are ready to adopt new habits in order to achieve it.
Here are 7 habits to kick start you towards a better work-life balance.
1. Say bye-bye to fear
In order to find a healthy work-life balance, you need to let go of fear. Fear that if you are not working, your company will fail. Fear that if you take a day off, the sky will fall. Fear that if you do not respond to every email before bed, the world will explode. Letting go of fear will allow you to end your workday even if there are unchecked items on your to-do list. You’ll quickly realize that tomorrow is a new day and you can check them off then.
2. Unplug and set boundaries
Shut off your phone. Yes. Shut it off. And now, just enjoy the moment.
What a weird feeling. We live in this “always-on” culture where the workday never seems to end. We’re expected to constantly be accessible at all hours of the day. Endless phone notifications disrupt our off time and introduce a feeling of stress into our systems. Be intentional about turning off your phone when spending quality time alone or with friends and family. Remember, you have power over your devices. By implementing this action you’ll feel less stressed and a better sense of control over your life.
Moving forward with your clients, it’s necessary to set firm boundaries of when you are and aren’t available. In doing so, you’ll feel a sense of relaxation during your off time. You’ll also help your clients by avoiding unmet or unrealistic expectations. It’s important to note that changes in your availability may cause initial frustration amongst your clients and therefore it becomes crucial to reassure them. Simply state that your reduced availabilities will enable you to meet their needs more effectively when you are in “on mode”.
3. Make time for exercise
As busy as we get, we always make time for our crucial needs. We eat, we go to the bathroom and we sleep. Yet time and time again one of our most crucial needs — exercise — gets neglected as soon as our schedules fill up. Exercise is known to reduce stress, improve our moods and pump feel-good endorphins throughout our bodies. Sounds amazing, right? Make time to refresh your body, mind, and soul through physical activities. Schedule these into your calendar a few times a week and make them a priority. Just as you would never skip a bathroom break, don’t skip a workout.
4. Prioritize and schedule important personal activities
First, make a list of everything that is important in your life. This list will differ for everyone, so be sure that it reflects your priorities. Once your list is complete, purposefully schedule quality time for these high-priority people and activities. This exercise will help you decipher which people and activities need to be cropped from the schedule allowing you to focus on the ones that reward you the most. Keep in mind that this list reflects you, and everything on it is just as important as any other business meeting.
5. Break bad habits
We all have them. And we like to tell ourselves that these bad habits are simply part of who we are. As if they’re set in stone. False. Every bad habit can be replaced with a new one that will allow you to move forward and accomplish your goals faster. We need to understand that every bad habit fulfills a need. For example, maybe you spend a little too much time procrastinating and scrolling through your Facebook feed. You know it’s a time-waster, yet you continuously do it because it feeds your need for social connection. In order to break bad habits, you need to have an action plan. Figure out which need the bad habit fulfills, and find a replacement for it. In doing so, you’ll notice fewer interruptions in your life and you should feel healthier, both mentally and physically.
6. Take that overdue vacation
Taking a vacation from time to time should be a priority on your list. They leave you feeling refreshed and re-focused. A vacation doesn’t have to be a weeklong trip to some tropical island, although that would be wonderful! A vacation can simply be a day away from the office, just enough to recharge your batteries. Some might argue that they are so involved with their business and can’t afford a day away, let alone a week off. Well, it’s time to learn how to delegate. Contrary to what you may believe, you are not the only one who can handle many of the tasks you spend your days on. Teach and assign these to your colleagues. They’ll be pleased to learn something new and feel empowered with extra responsibilities. It’s a win-win situation, and most importantly, you finally get to relax.
7. Remember, it’s baby steps
Avoid setting yourself up for failure. Taking on too much too quickly when finding the right work-life balance will most likely end in disaster. Just with anything else, start small and build up from there. Allow yourself to experience small successes through changes you’ve adopted. This will motivate you and propel you forward into even greater successes.
Keep in mind that work-life balance means making time for both your work and personal priorities. Finding a healthy balance between the two is key. Adopt these 7 habits into your daily routines and you’ll be on your way in no time!
The SpineAlign Team