Many of us find a lot of meaning in the work that we do, whether we are paid a little, a lot, or somewhere in the middle. It gives us a sense of purpose, production, and ability to provide for ourselves and our family. Working hard can be an excellent thing for your mental stimulation, sometimes leading to longer and healthier lives. However, too much of any good thing can be destructive to our mental health, physical health, and relationships. Finding a balance between fulfilling a purpose filled job and being present in the lives of those you love is definitely hard, but here are a few tips that can help.
- Aim to be healthy, not perfect. Let go of your desire to do everything absolutely perfect at work. Most managers would say that a healthy and happy employee does the best work, not the uptight and stressed employee who aims for perfection.
- Set boundaries to unplug at home. In a day and age where we are always accessible by phone, set boundaries to turn your email off from 7pm-7am, for example. Most employers don't actually expect us to be reachable 24 hours a day, that is just an expectation we place on ourselves so get rid of that and be present at home when you're there.
- Have a daily practice of self-care. This can be mediation, yoga, exercise, reading, writing, or something else. Take 15 minutes a day to take care of you and you only.
- Learn to say NO. Perfectionists who struggle with work life balance often have a hard time saying no to new tasks at work that aren't in their job description. They also often over commit to social gatherings, creating an unending cycle of busyness.
- Schedule downtime in your day, the same way you schedule meetings or a haircut. This can be alone or with family or friends. Treat this as a committment that you can't miss.
Most people won't get to the end of their life and wish they worked more or wished they had more money. On our death beds, we often wish for just one more day with our loved ones and today is never too late to start living like that.