Work-life balance is something that we all struggle with—even those of us who have a great boss who respects our personal time sometimes find ourselves scrolling through our work email during dinner. Finding time for yourself throughout the day is a great way to tip the healthy work-life balance in your favor. Here are some tips to find that time and make the most of it.
Tips for a better work-life balance
1. Don’t waste your time
If half of your workday is spent on Instagram, you’ll end up having to make up for that time later, which means work will eat into your personal life. Even though short breaks are good for productivity and mental health, don’t overdo them. Get up, stretch, laugh with a colleague, then get back to it!. If you have trouble focusing, consider writing out a to-do list and using productivity apps or apps that block social media. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or delegate when possible. Set boundaries, set goals and stick to them.
2. Go outside
You’ve heard it before. Staring at a screen is not good for you. Your job might require that you do it for 8 hours a day (or more) and then do you relax afterward? Right, you stare at a screen some more. Netflix can wait—ride a bike, hike some trails, sit on your porch and make headway on that reading list you’ve been compiling. Or how about a physical challenge? The average American walks only 3000-4000 steps per day—you could make it your goal to meet or beat that. Your options are endless!
Pro tip: it’s much easier with a partner. Even during social distancing, asking a friend to help you stay accountable (or commiserate with) can help you reach your goals.
3. Have a life outside of work
Most work-life balance tips will mention having friends outside of work, but it’s more than that. You need to have things to look forward to, and you need to have them regularly. Incorporate fun things into your schedule. You can have a socially distanced picnic in a park, set up a Monday coffee or a weekly Zoom Happy Hour (hello, goPuff’s alcohol delivery—see if we’re in your market!) with your colleagues or friends.
4. Practice self-care
Self-care is not just a trendy term, it’s the foundation of a healthy work and life balance. How you choose to treat yourself is entirely up to you. Some swear by Epsom salt baths, online shopping and Billy Joel on vinyl. Some are firm believers in the magic of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and edible cookie dough. If a spa day sounds good, consider a glowing bath bomb to make things more adventurous. And sometimes, you just need that glass of wine.
5. Take advantage of your lunch break
If you can avoid it, don’t eat in front of the screen. Use this time to relax, meditate or call your loved ones. What you eat also affects your well-being. Bring your lunch with you or opt for healthier delivery options.
6. Unplug in your free time
If you’re telecommuting, advice to unplug may feel counter-intuitive. You may feel you need to work long hours and be available all the time, but these habits will lead to burnout eventually. Instead, focus on the proven benefits of unplugging from technology: better focus, sleep and relationships to name a few.
Change your tech habits by setting work hours and unplugging from your screens when your work day ends. If you unwind by scrolling through TikTok or reading the news on your phone, unplugging doesn’t have to mean completely giving up the activities that help you relax. Try to unplug for an hour a day or put your phone in another room during mealtimes. Simply strive to make the quality time count.
7. Take—and enjoy!—your vacation
Based on a study conducted by the U.S. Travel Association, 52% of employees had unused vacation time at the end of 2018. Even planning a trip can give you positive emotions, so imagine what actually going on one would feel like!
If you’re in more of a staycation mood, how about a movie night? You can order all the essential snacks from goPuff and make a normal Netflix night something special.
8. Don’t beat yourself up if it doesn’t work every time
Deadlines and work disasters can sneak up on you. Especially if you, like Patrick Star, tend to procrastinate. Then you might have to abandon the idea of work-life balance for a day or two. You just have to make it through. If you burn through your stash of brain food, goPuff has you covered. Think trail mix, caffeinated little helpers and wellness drinks. Don’t underestimate the importance of breaks: take 5 minutes here and there to browse some memes!