With so many productivity tips floating around the internet, and such an emphasis on getting things done in the modern workplace, most people push a work-life balance to the side.
What many fail to realize is that too much concentration towards “productivity” ironically cements an opposite effect. Without a work life balance, studies show you’re more likely to be more stressed and less successful (among other damage).
So not just for the sake of having fun, but also for the sake of your career and well-being, consider using these work life balance tips:
A simple baby step towards achieving a work life balance can actually be accomplished during your workday. Many make the mistake of eating lunch at their desk, or even ignoring any break whatsoever.
Yet in reality, there isn’t much productivity that can be gained from attempting to eat a Cobb Salad and file a complex report at the same time. Studies actually show that this type of multitasking detracts incredibly from our work quality. By stepping outside – whether it’s for lunch or just a brief walk – you’ll avoid sloppy work and ensure a vital work detox to clear your mind.
Take advantage of your vacation days
Studies show that more than half of US workers failed to take advantage of their full vacation days every year. As someone who thinks in terms of economics, this astounds me. If you’re ignoring paid vacation time, you’re essentially ignoring a paid opportunity to relax.
I know, I know, vacations can be just as costly as they are scary to ask for. But a vacation doesn’t have to be a money-sink – even a cheap local hiking trip can be a step towards a work life balance. In reality, most employers will want you to take those vacation days – after all, they offer it for a reason. Consider asking for a day or two off well in advance, and letting it snowball from there.
Know when to say “no”
Warren Buffet wisely said “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”
Often, it’s other people that eat away at our work life balance. During the workday, you’re might be asked to take on various tasks and help across teams, and before you know it, you’ll have to work until 2am the entire week.
Although you’ll want to be seen as a helpful go-getter, learning to say “no” will ultimately benefit your career more in the long run. As a manager, trust me when I say that we’d rather hear that your plate is full versus being blindsided by subpar work or a missed deadline.
Do you have any tips for balancing life and work in a healthy way? Share them with me on Twitter!
If you liked this advice, check out more of my tips in Medium and Inc. Magazine.