Finding the perfect work-life balance can get very tricky, especially if you have a super busy schedule. It is however very important that you keep a healthy lifestyle even at work, which is why we’ve decided to give you some tips to stay happy both on and away from your work desk.
in 2014, a French law was rumoured to start banning workers from checking their emails after 6 pm, to make sure employees signed off from their work desk at a reasonable time to enjoy their personal time either with their families or at home. Although the law hasn’t actually officially gone through, this is certainly a great example of how important it is to disconnect from your work emails. “It would be impossible to enforce,” says Leeds-based life coach Melanie Allen about this law. “But companies should think about productivity. Is this incessant checking of emails and social media by their employees adding to productivity or just pointless stress?”
Although signing off from your work emails at 6 pm and not looking back at it until the next morning is beneficial for your health regarding decreasing stress and anxiety, another way you could make sure you disconnect from some work duties is by not always saying yes to your boss for everything they ask of you. For example; if you feel overloaded with responsibilities and need a break, you should feel confident enough to let your boss or manager know. Although being available 24/7 could make you look good, and most likely speed up your career progression, you should never feel pressured to answer a work email or pick up the phone to answer a work question if it will decrease the amount of time you can spend with your loved ones at home. These two are only a few examples of disconnecting from work is essential. If you feel over-stressed, take a second to breathe and realise that work isn’t everything.
MANAGE YOUR TIME
There is a huge difference between working hard and working smart. You can certainly train your body to “work more and sleep less” but it has also been proven that working long hours can lead to major depression, and more importantly, low productivity. According to the Mental Health Foundation, people working long hours are 27% more likely to feel more depressed, 34% more likely of feeling anxious and 58% likely to be more irritable at home. No one wants to come back home in a bad mood, especially when these are the most important times for your social life. So, make sure you get enough sleep, manage your time well to both; work well and spend quality time with the ones that matter, but most importantly, to find time to wind down and relax.
Just last year, a few companies in the UK introduced nap rooms. “That idea that sleep is somehow a sign of weakness and that burnout and sleep deprivation are macho signs of strength is particularly destructive,” says Arianna Huffington, co-founder of the Huffington Post. “So changing the way we talk about sleep is an important part of the culture shift” she adds. Employers and major companies such as Google have recently shown an interest and growth in the awareness of the importance of sleep for better results in a company by introducing nap rooms. Research shows that a solid 20-minute nap during the day can boost your brain back to 100% regardless of how much sleep you managed to get the night before.
And finally, depending on the industry you are in, you’ve got to think about your priorities and what you want to spend more of your free time on. There are a few options here, such as focusing on your well being through sport or meditation, working hard to pay off your annual leave in the Bahamas, or focusing on your social life and finding Mr. Right. Regardless of your age, there will always be something you’ve got to put in front of your work, although work is necessary to pay the bills it isn’t everything, and most importantly should never take over your life and stop you from doing the things you love doing.
A great way to remind yourself of these priorities are; by introducing some green plants into the office to feel a bit closer to nature in your modern office, making sure you get a proper break from your desk to either have a walk around outside or rest your eyes away from the screens, having a picture of your family by your desk, or just by making social plans after work. These rather small habits will help you through difficult days at work and most importantly, remind you of the things that are most important to you.
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