Working and having a career is something that most of us will do for a majority of our lifetime. Though work is a large part of life, it should not be your life. In order to maintain physical and mental wellbeing, it is essential to adopt habits that promote work-life balance. Whether it’s setting a schedule, taking a vacation or looking for a new job, there are many ways to ensure that work does not lead to burnout.
For some, it can be easy to keep working after the business day has ended. If you have a regular daytime office schedule (i.e., 9 am – 5 pm), one way to ensure that you adhere to those hours is to make a habit of not checking your email before or after work. If you’re away from the office on vacation or leave – set a boundary and stick to it (no answering emails from the beach!). If the subject matter is work-related and within office hours, responding to group text messages is usually required; though, after hours, it is okay for text updates to wait until the following morning.
Set a Stopping Point
If you work for yourself, setting limits and stopping points is crucial to maintaining balance. Without any formal guidelines, it’s easy to work most of the day and all hours of the night. To avoid this, review your daily and weekly workload before getting started and make sure to note how much time you expect each task to take. When you set a stopping point, consider it final and allow yourself to get up and disconnect.
Keep Work Chat in Check
Whether it’s chatting about work through the majority of happy hour or adding little to the conversation – aside from occupational stressors or future career plans – a pitfall in creating work-life balance is allowing what is going on in your career to dominate personal conversations. Set a time limit on your work updates, such as a five-minute window, to recap the latest news, vent, or ask for advice. That way you can unwind, keep the conversation flowing, and connect with friends and family.
Vacation or New Start?
Taking time off or going on vacation is a great way to de-stress and recharge. Once you have earned the time, add it to your schedule and don’t allow what is happening at the office to prevent you from booking a trip! Though for some, a vacation just won’t cut it; if you notice work-related dread most mornings, it may be time to reexamine how your career path aligns with your interests, values, and goals.
Looking for a new start? Goodwill can help you with this process! My Career Advisor offers community resources that provide access to job listings, resume builders, computer class trainings, and much more! Learn more about how our no-cost career services can help you achieve your dream career and build your better future.
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