Have you not been feeling inspired at work lately? If you have been floating around in the doldrums for a while, chances are good that you have been spending too much time with your nose pressed against the grindstone.
A simple vacation might recharge your batteries temporarily, but if you repeatedly end up watching the clock until it strikes 5, it’s obvious that you are in need of a better work-life balance.
You’re far from the first person to experience this problem, as Marc J Leder, owner of Sun Capital, which is a leading private equity firm in Boca Raton, Florida, grappled with the same issues just a couple of years ago.
However, he has found a better balance between life and work in 2016, and so can you. Below, we have put together several steps that will help you re-structure your job and life so that they can work better together.
1) Be honest about your needs
The first step to attaining a superior work-life balance is to be completely honest with your employer about your current situation. You’re no good to your boss if you are in a constant state of burnout, so be sure to advise them of this before your reduced productivity is chalked up to something else.
Your managers aren’t mind readers, so tell them what’s going on and you’ll be on the right path towards a healthier work-life relationship.
2) Schedule downtime like an appointment
If you are self-employed, the temptation to work all the time can be hard to resist. There is always something you can busy yourself with, and there’s always another dollar to chase. After a while, work takes over your life, and even though you know you should be relaxing, you feel pangs of guilt when you aren’t doing something productive.
If you find yourself in this situation, you need to start treating ‘me’ time like a client. Block it off in your calendar, making this appointment one you shouldn’t ever miss. While this can be hard for some people to stick to, your physical/mental health and your loved ones will thank you for it years down the road.
3) Figure out what matters to you
If you haven’t taken significant time off in a while, it is possible that you will have no idea what to do with yourself with no work to distract you. In order to head this problem off at the pass, figure out what you would do everyday if you had a hundred million dollars in the bank.
If you are still stuck, ask yourself, ‘What did I do before my profession began to take up so much time in my life?’. Start doing that thing again, and then go from there.
4) Don’t let work creep back into your downtime
One of the hardest things about maintaining a good work-life balance is maintaining it. Tipping too far to the relaxation side of the scale is a common fear of chronic workaholics. After exploring the alien world of ‘free time’ for a while, they falsely perceive that they’ve slacked off too much, leading them to dive head-first back into their work.
As a result, it’s often best to start by scheduling just a little bit of free time back into your schedule at first before eventually getting to where you should be.