In our modern world, keeping to a nine-to-five work schedule is decreasingly common. Between flexible scheduling, working remotely, and technological advancements, your job doesn’t just stay at the office when you leave for home. So, how do you maintain a healthy work-life balance when work is on your phone, all the time? Here’s what I do!
There is an average of 112 waking hours in a week, and you have to allocate which of them are for work and which are for your life. Consider the amount of work you need to accomplish, and the personal engagements you need to attend to. At minimum, you have your weekly work duties, like scheduling social media posts and designing ads and approving campaigns and replying to lots of emails. Then you’ll need to work around responsibilities such as doctor appointments, picking your kids up from school, getting lunch with your mom, and walking your dog. Managing your work-versus-life time will take some self-discipline and self-trust. But you know what you’re capable of and we believe in you!
2. Make Friends (With Your Own Productivity)
Just like when you befriend someone new, get to know your own best practices. Ask yourself questions to determine where to distribute your attention for optimal balance: are you a morning person or a night owl? Familiarize yourself with environments that motivate instead of distract—try a coworking space, or carve out a home-office away from where children or pets play. Plan little dates with yourself if you know you’ll need breaks or work more productively in shorter chunks rather than lengthy blocks. Set boundaries: disable tantalizing apps while you work, then disable business apps while you’re off the clock. If you can knock out your work without personal distractions, you’ll be able to enjoy the rest of your personal time without work distractions!
3. Prioritize Your Weeks And Your Moments
Once you’ve self-scheduled and put your productivity into best practice, you’ll be able to feel the rhythm of your calendar working for you. Take care to not interrupt your flow. It’s important for your health, productivity, and happiness to not to get stressed about work during off hours and vice versa. Plan your week ahead of time so that you have comfortable transitions in and out of work-versus-life time, as well as some wiggle room in case projects or plans shift. That way, you can feel secure in postpone personal correspondence and temptations while you’re working, and not engaging with work updates while you’re enjoying time with your family, friends, and yourself. Every moment counts!
4. Pledge To Unplug (At Least A Little)
It’s a no-brainer that you turn off your phone during movies, weddings, and recitals. But as a society, a large portion of our day is spent looking at some type of screen. You probably already stare at a computer for much of your workday. When your work can follow you around on your mobile devices though, it’s hard to feel fully connected to the world around you. By deciding to forgo engaging with your technology during at least part of your off-hours, perhaps during meals or after a certain time of night, you’ll decrease your work stress and increase enjoyment in your personal activities. Before you shut down your workspace for the day, just make sure to get back to any teammates on time-sensitive projects or set an out-of-office notice on your email. That way, your business knows to wait until you’re plugged back in!
Sometimes the best answer is the most obvious one. Self-care is the key to all work-life balance. No one knows you like you do, so you understand what your limits and strengths are. Keep your body and mind healthy with ample sleep, nutritious diet, regular exercise, and positive mental health activities like meditation, hanging out with friends, and cuddling a pet. You don’t have to fence self-care into just your personal time, either. Listening to happy music while you work, scheduling a lunch meeting instead of meeting through your lunch time, and working in a pet-friendly place are only some ways you can enforce balance during your on-hours. If you take care of you, then you’ll be in the best position to take care of your business!
There’s no sign of technology getting less involved in our daily routines, which can sound daunting when you’re trying to keep your personal life cleanly separate from your work life. However, advocacy for mental health, parental leave, accessibility, and other health and happiness benefits in the workplace are spreading in tandem. As the average business day evolves, so must our work-life balance habits.
If you need help balancing the work side of your life, contact me to discuss a consultation. We’re here to help transform and manage your digital marketing efforts so that you can focus on you!