In today’s world, successful figureheads of every industry often preach the same message: Work, go home, then work some more. According to professionals like Gary Vaynerchuk and Elon Musk, it is entirely possible to squeeze an extensive side project into your day, regardless of your work schedule, familial commitments, and personal responsibilities. In order to achieve such greatness, though, one must be willing to make a few key sacrifices, such as time spent with family, caring for one’s own physical and mental wellbeing, as well as a few hours of sleep every night.
Those who reject this challenge are viewed as weak-minded and unmotivated, like their priorities are out of order. However, any researcher or well-balanced individual would vehemently disagree. After all, the most notable sign of a healthy career is knowing how to differentiate between work and personal time.
Therefore, let us take the time to examine how one can establish and maintain a healthy work-life balance.
The first step to establishing a work-life balance is focusing on the life portion of the equation, and that simply cannot be done if you are consistently hunkered down at your desk until 7 PM. Take a page from your colleagues’ book and start packing up promptly at the end of the work day.
Although it may be difficult to tear yourself from your desk at first, you will fall into the habit soon enough. Additionally, knowing your day has a cut-off time can help you prioritize your work more effectively, tackling larger, more time-sensitive projects throughout the morning and saving the lighter, easier work for the end of the day.
You cannot have an enjoyable evening at home if you are constantly receiving work-related notifications. Therefore, the only way to eliminate the urge to check or respond to work emails is to disable any and all notifications until the next day. At first, you will likely feel as though you are missing critical information. However, as time goes on, you may find yourself feeling relieved when it comes time to switch off these notifications, as it means your time can finally be your own.
While this may seem like an insurmountable feat, it just requires a bit of determination to leave your smartphone at home and enjoy a day outdoors, running errands, or spending quality time with your family. Alternatively, you could simply delete the apps that send you the most notifications for a day. While this option is a bit more inconvenient, it could diminish your desire to scroll through your various social media feeds and email inbox throughout the day. Either way, taking this time away from technology will aid you in recharging your motivation, morale, and reduce your chances of feeling burnt out or over-connected to those around you.
Regardless of the tactics you choose to employ, it is imperative you truly commit to making this lifestyle change. Otherwise, you will more than likely fall back into your old habits and lose sight of the importance of prioritizing your time outside of work.