7 Tips to Maintaining Work-Life Harmony
July 9, 2021 AD&V
Wooden toy blocks with the words work and life printed on them.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR |  AD&V® is dedicated to advanced and energy-efficient sustainable architecture & interior design that enhances people’s experience of the world and improves their lives.

IF YOU WANT TO HAVE BETTER WORK-LIFE HARMONY, YOU NEED TO LEAVE WORK AT WORK.

Studies show that poor work-life balance can lead to depression, chronic stress, insomnia, and anxiety, which can cause low productivity, poor work quality, and burnout in team members.

Here are 7 tips to help you prevent burnout and achieve that perfect harmony between life and work!

1. START SMALL

We all have personal goals parallel to our work ones. While it’s important to not let these personal goals fall to the wayside, it’s important to set goals that are attainable and realistic. When we set unrealistic goals, it is easy to get deflated or give up altogether.

Start small. Small incremental steps and changes lead to massive transformations. When we experience small successes, we increase momentum, are less likely to give up, and more likely to be motivated enough to reach that huge milestone or goal that we potentially want to achieve. So, as an example, if you want to start cooking for yourself every day instead of ordering in, start with one day a week and build up from there.

2. DON’T BE A PEOPLE PLEASER

Sometimes, we take on too much at once. We do things we don’t enjoy because we feel obligated to or guilty that people are counting on us to do so. We don’t know how to say no. But we can’t please everyone, and it is important to do things that are a priority to you. Every time you say yes to something, you’re saying no to something else.

What are you saying no to that you’d rather be saying yes to? Your friends? Your family? Your health? Delegate those tasks, or simply cut them out. It might not feel good or like the right decision in the moment, but it will save you a lot of stress and trouble in the long run. Saying no is like a muscle. The more you practice, the easier it gets.

3. GET ORGANIZED 

To maintain work-life harmony you need to be organized. Just like setting small goals to get to the ultimate goal, you need to be realistic with yourself about the time you have. Create a log of the time it takes to complete each task and evaluate how to organize and prioritize your time depending on the time it takes to complete them. By doing this, you will have a sense of how much time is actually in your hands and will be able to make time for activities outside of your daily schedule.

4. PLAN YOUR DOWNTIME

Just like you plan your meetings, your children’s sports activities, and your daily tasks, you need to plan a time of the day where you can just relax. Block it out in your calendar. Make it non-negotiable. If you don’t plan personal time, you will never have time for things outside of work because there will always be work to fill in any available time. Allow yourself to have control of your life.

5. PRIORITIZE YOUR HEALTH

Without health, we are nothing. To be productive at work, you need to feel good. Find activities that you enjoy that also promote your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Paint, hike, kickbox, dance, whatever makes you feel happy and fulfilled. To prevent yourself from spending that extra half-hour at the office, schedule these activities immediately after work.

Being realistic about your time doesn’t just mean that you have less time, it might mean that you can actually make time to do things you enjoy. Instead of working overtime, go exercise, cook yourself a meal, or go to sleep early. While you may not think you have time for these activities, they help you relieve that stress that you’ve been carrying, make you happier, and even boost your immune system. This will make you a more productive team member and a more reliable person to your loved ones.

6. STOP CHECKING YOUR WORK EMAILS IN THE MORNING & AT NIGHT

If you want to have better work-life harmony, you need to leave work at work. Stop checking your emails in the morning or at night, especially in bed. This causes undue stress, decreases productivity, and decreases mental clarity. Instead, put time limits for your email apps and mute those work-related conversations before bed. Doing this will be beneficial for your work life and your personal life. Prioritize time in the morning to develop healthier habits–whether that is cooking a solid breakfast, talking to your family members, enjoying your morning coffee, or going for a walk.

Checking emails at the beginning or end of the day causes you to be stressed and sets the precedent for the rest of your day. Start and end your day with a clear mind and calm attitude.

7. MAKE TIME FOR YOUR SOCIAL LIFE

Schedule a monthly book club or weekly lunch with your friend. This will allow you to have something to look forward to and will also make you plan around the activity, so you won’t be able to miss it for something else.

Making time for your social life is a very important aspect to achieving work life balance. It’s important that you not only take time to care for your loved ones––whether it’s your children, parents, or partner–but that you also make time for people that make you feel happy and that can distract you from your hectic life. Socializing decreases your risk of depression, increases self-confidence, and promotes purpose and motivation in your day-to-day life. It goes hand in hand with prioritizing your health and doing things that you enjoy.

Work is important, but even more important is how you feel doing it.

By implementing these small changes to your daily routine, you allow yourself to live a more balanced, fulfilling, and holistic life. You will not only feel better in your day-to-day, but you can become a more reliable person to those who count on you. By living a more balanced life, you are ensuring your personal and professional success.

FURTHER READING: MANAGING A WORK-LIFE BALANCE AT AN ARCHITECTURE & INTERIOR DESIGN FIRM 

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