Most working professionals strive for a good work-life balance and a happy medium where they feel productive but not overworked. It’s an important thing to do for both personal and professional reasons.
Everyone has roles outside of work with their families and communities, and being able to maintain these non-work roles is at the heart of why a work-life balance is so critical. People need enough time to spend with their families and friends to recharge and feel rejuvenated.
As Inc. notes, work-life balance also boosts long-term productivity and prevents burnout. Turnover and recruitment uses up valuable time, money and resources, so keeping current employees happy and feeling balanced is crucial for business.
There are several actionable strategies that can help you optimize your work-life balance.
1. Build downtime into your schedule
It might sound odd, but penciling in breaks on your calendar is one of the best ways to ensure you’re getting enough downtime during the day. Consider scheduling time for lunch, working out or taking a walk in the fresh air. If you have to miss a downtime activity because of an unexpected meeting or event, make sure you replace it with another one or reschedule it.
2. Exercise daily
Making time for exercise can be difficult, but when you schedule workouts, you can improve your health, mood and productivity. As Scientific American notes, research shows that physical activity also sharpens the mind. Start by thinking about what makes the most sense for your interests and personality — whether it’s early morning walks, gym trips after work or an outdoor run during your lunch hour. All of these are a great way to unwind and replenish your energy.
3. Unplug during weekends and vacations
If weekends blur into workdays, it’s time for a change. Make sure you’re allowing yourself time to participate in activities such as gardening, cooking, going to concerts or whatever you enjoy. It’s important for your overall well-being to disconnect and be present for the people you’re spending time with. If unplugging really isn’t an option, limit yourself to checking email or messages at the beginning or end of the day.
What’s ideal for a work-life balance is different for everyone, but when you find yours, it can help improve your productivity at work and overall health and happiness.