If you haven’t heard the term ‘work-life balance,’ you’ve truly been out of the loop. Browse through any career-related magazine, search any professional website and you’ll see it plastered all over the pages. Work-life balance is something everyone’s trying to understand and achieve.
But what is it?
Work-life balance is recognizing the value in separating yourself from your work sometimes. It’s about shutting down the email, turning off the notifications, and spending time focusing on your personal life. It’s important—necessary, really—for everyone. But it’s not always easy.
Whether you’re struggling or just wanting to reset yourself after a hurdle at work, here are three easy things you can implement this week to have a better work-life balance:
1. Try a technology-free hour.
Although technology and social media are huge (and sometimes negative) influences on our daily schedules, finding a better work-life balance doesn’t mean you have to be completely screen-free at home.
Rather than feeling like your phone or computer is the enemy, simply try to implement a technology-free hour each day. This can be time where you read a book, make dinner, have a glass of wine with a significant other or friends, work on an activity with your child, etc.
Just be sure that your computer/phone is on silent and somewhere far enough away that you won’t be tempted. You’ll be amazed at how freeing it is to not be tethered to anything.
2. Start ‘snoozing’ your notifications after hours.
If you constantly feel like you’re being pulled in multiple directions after work, rather than jumping at every email, try turning off (or snoozing) your notifications after a certain hour. For example, snooze notifications from the time you leave work until about an hour before bed. Or, if possible, snooze them until the next morning so that you can be fully disconnected for a few hours.
Although this might feel strange (or even stressful!) at first, it’s necessary to help you achieve a better work-life balance and not be so available for people who are honestly capable of seeking you out during business hours.
3. Plan a scheduled, intentional date with family or friends.
When you actively make plans ahead of time, rather than waiting until the last minute or letting your work dictate your availability, the chances of actually going through with them skyrockets!
Although your schedule is probably busy, see if you can schedule an intentional date with friends or family at least once per week. Whether it’s a family movie night, date, or appetizers with friends, set it up on the calendar so you can hold yourself to it. Not only will this give you something to look forward to, but it will force you to put aside your work and create more balance in your busy week.
For more tips on creating balance, click here.
Marisa Donnelly is a Midwest-born, West Coast-based writer, poet, essayist, editor, and founder of an independent writing coaching/editing services company, Be A Light LLC.
She is the author of the poetry collection, Somewhere On A Highway, and has published thousands of articles culminating over 21.2+ million page views for Huffington Post, Bustle, Thought Catalog, and Briar Cliff Review, among many others.