There’s no denying that work is an important part of life. Although few people genuinely enjoy their jobs, working enables us to earn our livelihood, support families and maintain comfortable lifestyles. However, when it comes to work/life balance, a lot of us could stand to do better. Many employers couldn’t care less about the personal lives of their employees and seek to squeeze as much work out of them as possible. This often results in lives becoming completely defined by work, giving rise to anxiety, depression and a host of other negative emotions. Anyone looking for effective ways to prevent work from overtaking their entire existence should consider the following pointers.
Know When to End the Workday
For many of us, physically departing our respective places of business doesn’t mark the true end of the workday. Since we exist in a culture of rampant overwork, it should come as no surprise that many people’s workdays run well into the night, and going home simply means a change in location. Working on projects, fielding phone calls and answering emails on one’s personal time has become commonplace over the last two decades – and it isn’t right. In essence, this constitutes unpaid overtime, and no job should require such an unfair level of commitment.
The prospect of unending work is understandably stressful. After all, what’s the point of working if you have no time to enjoy the fruits of your labor? With this in mind, make a point of officially ending your workday when you leave the office. If your workload is so massive that staying on top of it requires sacrificing your personal time, you need to inform your boss of this and have them alter their expectations accordingly. You may be required to put in 40 hours a week, but you don’t owe your employer any more than that.
Don’t Be Afraid to Set Boundaries
A lack of clear boundaries is among the most common causes of overwork. For example, if bosses and/or coworkers are constantly saddling you with unmanageable workloads, it’s imperative that you set boundaries with them. In the absence of established boundaries, people won’t hesitate to walk all over you and take advantage of your refusal to assert yourself. For this reason, you must inform any relevant parties of how much work you can comfortably handle in a given day, week and month. Should these people regularly fail to respect the quotas you specify, you may want to consider going over their heads or seeking alternative employment.
Transition to Remote Work
Working from home is associated with a wide range of benefits. Heightened productivity, lower stress levels and greater control over one’s own schedule are just a few of the perks of transitioning to remote work. While you’ll still have to deal with deadlines and keep yourself focused, working remotely stands to make your job duties considerably more manageable. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, many people found that they enjoyed it so much that they’d sooner quit their jobs than return to the office.
Working remotely saves you the trouble of getting up at uncomfortably early hours, trudging through a congested commute and navigating interoffice politics. So, if you think you’d be happier and more efficient working remotely, run this by the relevant parties.
Take Up Relaxing Pastimes
Relaxing pastimes can help you clear your mind and recharge your batteries at the end of a grueling workday. Meditation, deep breathing exercises, journaling and various creative outlets can prove useful at taking your mind off work and reducing your stress levels. Furthermore, if you live in a state with legalized recreational cannabis use, consider experimenting with strains that are conducive to relaxation and stress relief and/or products that incorporate the CBG flower.
In the absence of work, many of us would be unable to earn our livelihood and maintain comfortable lifestyles. Although work serves a number of important purposes in society, it needn’t be what defines your life. Even if you have genuine reverence for what you do, you should work to live instead of living to work. Unsurprisingly, allowing work to completely overtake your existence is highly conducive to stress, anxiety and general unhappiness. In the interest of establishing and maintaining a healthy work/life balance, put the previously discussed measures to good use.