Whether you are an entrepreneur with your own business or trying to advance in your career, it can be difficult to keep personal time a priority when we are always expected to be accessible these days. Technology exists to make our lives easier, but it is becoming more common for people working longer hours as we can never truly turn off. We are expected to accomplish more work in less time and progress at unimaginable speeds.
To avoid burnout and actually become more productive at work, follow these seven steps to have a healthier balance between your work and life:
- Assign yourself dedicated work hours and only work during those hours. Setting a schedule for you to do certain work tasks can eliminate stress while ensuring you will be productive at certain times.
- If you take it another step and assign certain hours of your day to specific work, you might find yourself becoming more productive. The first step to this is self-awareness of how you work best. Are you more creative in the morning? Or, is responding to emails what weighs on you most?
- Dedicate personal hours that are reserved for your time to do things that matter most to you personally. This can be time spent on yourself or with others. Reserving time in your day to exercise or socialize can not only make sure you are living your life with balance but can help you become more productive when it comes to working. Having personal time scheduled means that work needs to stop at a specific time and can be the exact motivation you need to finish everything on your list.
- Sleep more. Make sure you are getting adequate hours of sleep each night. Ensuring your body can rest can help reduce stress, increase mental clarity, and help you stay focused. However, sleep is the first step to any type in personal care. While there are many things to make sure you are living a healthy lifestyle while undergoing extra work pressure, sleep should always come first.
- Plan days off whether you have a yearly vacation scheduled or just need some time to reset. Also, make sure you have at least one dedicated day a week where you do not work at all. It is a common misconception that getting extra work done over the weekend can help you get a jump start on your week. However, if you make sure one of those days are reserved for personal time, you will find yourself happier and more productive come Monday morning.
- Take breaks. If you work on a computer all day, be sure to take a walk every so often. Stepping away from work for as little as two mins to an hour can recharge you and give you time to refocus. Use breaks to get personal tasks done, meditate, or just be for as long as possible.
- Prioritize tasks to know precisely what you need to accomplish each day. It can be mentally more helpful to accomplish your most urgent tasks first. Instead of going for volume, make sure you are doing what is most important to start your day. You will feel less anxious and stressed, knowing that the most challenging work is done and will feel more focused on the minor details.
- Set expectations with yourself and with others you work with so you can deliver work in a timely but reasonable manner. Do not agree to get work done faster than you can possibly do it or sign yourself up to work longer than is needed. Make sure everyone around you knows how long your work takes and when they can expect it at a time that makes sense for you.
Make personal deadlines outside of what is being asked of you. Try to get work done before a deadline from a client or your boss to eliminate extra stress and worry. Making sure you know what is a priority and set reasonable amounts of time to that work.