Reaching that elusive sweet spot where your work/life health is humming along and everything seems right with the world can seem like an impossible pursuit.
Climbing up the career ladder can take every last ounce of strength and motivation out of you, leaving you in a heap on the couch for the whole weekend out of sheer exhaustion.
Doing well in your job is important for a lot of people, but if you don’t have time to enjoy anything else then what do you have to show for it…apart from potential burn-out and a mega-high coffee bill?
Work and personal time are becoming more and more blurred — and let’s not even get started on how much people check and answer emails outside of work hours!
Putting a focus on making time for the other aspects of life that keep your work/life balance more equal is a good, healthy strategy. Family, friends, hobbies, relaxation are all life highlights and things to cultivate and keep your happiness and health stable.
The balance you decide to strike is up to you and can depend on the stage you’re at in your life, but trying to make it as even as possible is wise.
So, how can you live a healthier and happier work life? Let’s look at a few tips:
We’re inundated with imagery and messaging about how we need to do more, achieve more and be more successful. Phew, it’s even tiring reading that sentence, right?
Sometimes it doesn’t feel like there’s enough time in the day, so doing something that’s not professionally fulfilling can seem counterintuitive to your aims long-term aims and goals.
But here’s a revelation for ya — not everything has to be useful. You can just do things because they’re fun, or feel good or make you feel less stressed.
Doing something for you that doesn’t involve work each day, like exercising, reading, listening to a podcast or chatting with a friend, etc, don’t look like they add to your career goals, but they actually kinda do, because if you’re happier, you’ll add to a health-driven mindset and be more productive.
Stand up, sit down, move around
Cutting yourself some slack and not expecting yourself to operate like a relentless robot that doesn’t need any breaks is a very good idea. It’s just not realistic or physically/mentally healthy to continuously work and run around like a headless chicken the whole day without taking regular breaks.
The Pomodoro Effect encourages people to break up their day into 25-minute health chunks, separated by 5-minute breaks. And after 4 or 5 chunks, you can take a longer 15- or 20-minute break. It’s a strategy that gets you to work urgently in short, sharp bursts, instead of meandering for long periods of time.
The sense of urgency because of a time limit should make you more focused and you can use the timer on your phone for this. It can feel energy-sapping to sit in front of a laptop all day, so it’s a great tactic for getting you to get up, move around and grab a drink in your breaks.
And you’re not working for so long that you start getting distracted — the short bursts of work are just enough time.
Or, you could get rid of sitting all together and use a standing smart desk like the one that I use from Autonomous.io Business Edition desk — good for moving around and working in a different way. It comes with 4 different memory settings. I feel so grown up having a real standing desk and find that I am actually using it since it’s easier to push a button. Heck, my standpoints on my Apple watch thank me at the end of the day too (bonus).
Journaling doesn’t have to be work
being reflective about your actions, aims and achievements is a really good way to stock, take stock of where you are in life and what you need to do to move forward.
It can also be really tiring to be holding a million and one different ideas in your head all at once…and expect to remember them all!
Journaling is a clear and relaxing way to assess what you want to accomplish at the start of the day, week or month (it’s up to you) and then again at the end of the day (week or month!) for how you got on with your tasks, what you need to work on and anything cool you learned along the way.
You can go old-school and use a notebook and pen to jot down ideas or there are apps and tech tools to help you too — I use both the 5-minute journal book and app (for when I’m traveling).
It has a structure that makes me focus on doing 3 main things each day, which is realistic, achievable and straight-forward enough for people to easily follow.
It’s way better than getting stuck and not doing anything at all or getting lost scrolling through Facebook all day!
Making small tweaks and changes can make a big difference in your overall health and the way you work.
Being more mindful of healthier ways of working, making time for yourself and being realistic and reflective about things you can achieve every day will all help to maintain a strong work/life balance and lead to healthier, happier working life.
Bestselling Author x 2, Keynote & TED speaker, Coach of Coaches, Forbes Columnist
Click below and try a complimentary session. Through highly personalized, one-on-one coaching, I equip high performing humans to dramatically increase their business growth through the H2H methodology.