Hustle culture, the idea that you can create a better future by being constantly tuned in, is something that is running rampant in society today. With ample ways to generate a passive income, endless information available to you within a few clicks online, and the ability to do nearly any lucrative occupation on the go, the temptation to work through the night to inch towards a lavish future is understandable.
However, something that often goes overlooked is the concept of burn-out. It takes a large number of people by surprise and can happen to the best of the best. Rest, relaxation, and quality personal connections are essential parts of healthy human functioning, so here are three ways to achieve a healthy work-life balance in the new age.
Write Out Your to-Do List the Night Before
Attempting to organize too many concepts mentally can overwhelm your brain and your concentration. It is very common for people to work nonstop because they feel a nagging sensation that certain things need to be done or they will be forgotten. This lingering feeling of you forgetting something has been proven to affect concentration, sleep, and energy levels. Write down non-urgent tasks on a to-do list dedicated to the following day. Once you write down your upcoming items, it clears your mind to focus on other things. Whether this is the personal event at hand, or it gives time to remember the things that you forgot, you can wake up ready to dive right in without wasting any time! A bonus is that you have your next day mapped out already, and you can eliminate the tangential stress that comes with not knowing what the next day holds.
Schedule the Non-Negotiables Into Your Days First
Someone is too busy. Another doesn’t have time. To no surprise, your best bud has to work late, again. While being productive is such a valuable skill, being “busy” is not something that should be envied. Too often, improper work-life balance can be the downfall of important personal relationships. The need to say “yes” in the moment is difficult when you are swimming in the middle of a task. However, if you wake up in the morning before you have begun your day, and see that you have two important commitments, it is much easier to delegate what needs to be done that day and what can wait until the next. This process can also give you time to communicate with your colleagues for extensions or accommodations knowing that you had a hard stop time. This way, you will also not find yourself on a Friday evening needing to figure out how to see six different people in the two hours you have left of the week.
Prepare a Reward for Yourself
This can be practically anything you want. We recommend that you keep it small, simple, and preferably something that is not a necessity – like dinner. How do you decide what this reward should be? Here is a manageable suggestion: when you are cranking through task after task take a moment to assess what is going through your mind. On a day-to-day basis over the course of two weeks, jot down the blissful “what-ifs” or “can’t waits” that flow in and out of your thoughts. At the end of that time period, take a look and see what it is that pushes happiness into your consciousness as you work. Say it is a soothing bubble bath or a sweet snack, lean into it. To make this encouraging to your journey of work-life balance, put an ambitious timeline on it. Do you find yourself working late into the night? Put a note somewhere prominent like on your bathroom mirror with a timeline to achieve a healthier balance. If you tend to go into the evening hours, set a goal to log off before 6 pm, you can indulge in that warm bath or have that sweet cookie. But if not you try again the next day. By using these simple leisure activities to push you towards balance, you will feel a sense of gratitude in multiple ways when you achieve it, without creating toxic habits out of stress.
With these three tips, you can slowly but surely find your way to a healthier work-life balance without sacrificing your career goals.