When I traded in my college diploma for early morning back to back meetings, I didn’t anticipate the transition to the working world to be a difficult one. However, much to my surprise it was. One of the biggest changes was learning how to balance a 40-hour work week while making time for myself.
In my last year of college, I had classes twice a week and a four-day weekend every week. This schedule gave me the freedom to do what I wanted, when I wanted. However, after I started “adulting” and working, I found I wasn’t making time for the things I enjoyed like going to gym. I started to feel more stressed and less like myself. After several months, I decided enough was enough. I needed to make a change in order to have a good work-life balance. The following three tips have helped me find better balance in my life and might help you.
- Setting intentions for the week:
At the beginning of each week I make a list of my goals and what I want to accomplish personally and professionally. Having an idea of what I want my week to look like gives me a guide to actively work towards my goals. For example, my goal is to normally wake up early and workout four times a week and spend one night a week socializing with friends or family. This is the best way for me to feel like I am getting the most out of my week in terms of maintaining my health and relationships.
- Implementing and maintaining a routine:
A routine is important for a successful work life-balance. For me, I find in order to accomplish my goal of working out four-days a week, I need to wake up at 5 a.m. and go to the gym before heading to work. By working out early, it gives me more time after work to hang out with friends or family. For some, it may be daunting to wake up early, but your body adjusts, and soon it becomes a habit. Since sticking to my routine for almost a year, I feel more productive at work, less stressed, and overall happier in my life.
- Changing with your needs and adjusting accordingly:
Sticking to a routine is helpful, however life happens. There are times when I stay up later than expected and miss my morning workout or I take a long weekend trip, throwing off my routine. When this happens, I remind myself it’s okay to give yourself a break and enjoy life. Then the next week I try to get back on my routine and stick to it.
These three tips are what I use for guidance, however, finding a successful work-life balance looks different for everyone. Understanding your priorities and setting weekly attainable goals will help you find your balance.