It’s pretty easy to gauge if your job has too big of a presence in your life. Do you feel like you don’t get much time to yourself, or that you never see your friends and family? Do you catch yourself thinking about work when you’re on your own time? Do you miss out on doing fun activities because of your career? If any of these apply to you, it may be time to balance out your workday and the rest of your life a little more evenly.
Unless you’re on call, you don’t have to take calls, texts, or emails on your own time. Don’t feel obligated to answer questions and put out fires for other people when you’re trying to have dinner or watch television. If you don’t mind taking work calls after hours, that’s fine, but if you’re feeling like it’s becoming a habit that is impacting your home life, then stop taking the calls until you’re back on company time.
Take Your Days
If you feel overwhelmed with work, chances are good that you’ve got some vacation days built up. Don’t be afraid to use that time. In the past you may have abstained from taking a vacation because you were always in the middle of a big project or feeling extra busy, but those things may not change. If you’re worried about being gone from your duties for an extended period, trying taking a day or two every now and then, just to unwind and decompress.
Working lunches can have their place, but if you catch yourself multitasking through every noon meal, it may be time to take that hour for yourself. “It’s critical to make the most of lunch and remind yourself that by taking a proper break you will accomplish more in the long run, and that productivity and creativity will increase, while your levels of stress and fatigue will diminish,” says Michael Kerr, business speaker.
If you’re having difficultly steering your brain away from thoughts of work as you lie down for the night, it may be time to consider getting some exercise. Sleepfoundation.org says, “work can be stressful, and job worries can keep you alert long after you should be asleep. You may be able to ease these anxieties with exercise. After work, attend a Pilates class, walk around the block a few times, or go for a jog in the park: All these activities can help relax you, making it easier to fall asleep at night.”
Figuring out the perfect balance between work and life can be hard, especially if you’re a perfectionist or super passionate about your career. But you can do it!