This one is for my peeps in the workplace that have been struggling with balance, especially my overachievers and perfectionists. LOL! If you are in a job that doesn’t encourage work-life balance, then you need to find your own ways to create that for yourself. Let’s be real, the burnout you’re suffering trying to go above and beyond, for someone else’s company, might I add, is leaving you with zero energy to pour into any other areas of your life. End result? You’re giving 110% of yourself to d people dem wuk and nothing to yourself – for my non-Caribbean readers on here, the word “wuk” is just dialect/ lingo for the actual word “work” LOL.
*Resume rant* … It ain’t worth it and at some point it has to stop! And yes, y’all know by now that 99% of the time on my blog, a sis is talking from experience. Best believe, I’ve been there and done that, too many times to recall. So here are some easy ways to help avoid this and maintain some sort of balance so that your corporate life doesn’t suck all the energy from you:
1. TAKE YOUR PTO & SICK DAYS!
I can’t tell you how many times my sister has told me this. For some reason I always feel bad to take my PTO unless I have an appointment to take care of personal business. Never worked out in my favour by the way LOL. Hopefully I’ve learnt from my mistakes but I encourage you not to fall into this trap. You are given PTO and sick days, so take it. A day to reset your mental state is so beneficial – your body doesn’t always respond with an actual flu to indicate you need rest. Sometimes it’s excessive fatigue, anxiety, insomnia, chronic migraines – yea! stress is a literal killer! Be aware of how you are feeling spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically and take heed because your body has a funny way of forcing you to slow down when you ignore it long enough.
2. LEAVE YOUR WORK AT THE OFFICE!
When the 8hrs have been fulfilled, CLOCK OUT! GO HOME! In the past year and some, I created a bad habit of carrying my laptop home to attempt easing my unending work load. Many a time, to great regret because it never seemed worth it. Tell me why I’ve been in situations where I’m clocking in at 8am and clocking out at 10pm?! What is thaaattt?!!
Another way you may be unintentionally “taking work home” is by discussing work matters for extended periods of time and stressing about work even when you get home. I remember I would get home and naturally, I would talk about my day to my loved ones. HOWEVER, there have been times when I would quite literally be going on and on in rants, yes RANTS, about the things that happened at work or the stress of the work itself. Yeaaaaaaaa….that ish ain’t HEALTHY!
Some ways I’ve learnt to cope with this is learning to keep it brief or save it for the next therapy session. At times, I weigh in my head whether or not it was worth talking about and decide not to talk about it at all for my own sake. The work day can be stressful in itself so when you get home, be present at home, be present with your loved ones and spend time doing things that help you to unwind and relax. Tomorrow is another day please God.
3. ACTUALLY ENJOY YOUR WEEKENDS
An extension to physically taking your work home, is having the audacity to work on your weekends too! *In british accent* Are you MAD?! Unfortunately, I’ve done this and 10/10 DO NOT recommend okay! The weekend literally lasts all of 30minutes, it’s best to use all the time relaxing, indulging in our hobbies and trying new things. Now given that adulting is hella gheddddoh, unfortunately most times you may end up running errands on the weekend when you really want to rest. A hack to this, where possible, is to maybe spread those tasks out during the week after work. As hard is it may be to do at times, we should not be living to work alone but actually spend time living life. Oh, and for my fellow corporate millennials, lets try to avoid worrying about the work on the weekends too, yea? Everything in moderation.
4. STOP INTERNALIZING!
Something valuable I had to learn overtime is to not take things personal in the workplace because it really isn’t personal…well…most times at least – we all know the exceptions to this, no need to elaborate. LOL! Sometimes occurrences in the workplace can be taken too personal – what someone asked you and how they asked you, how they said something and so on. It’s just not always that deep but rather everyone is trying to get their work done in the midst of their own personal issues and responsibilities. On the other hand, we can sometimes take our jobs so seriously that we begin attaching our worth and value to that job. Now whenever you make a mistake or don’t deliver in the way you would like, it feels like the end of the world. It’s not that deep!
While your job and the work you do is important and you should always put your best into it, it still should NEVER be what defines you as a person. Remember this!
5. STICK TO YOUR BOUNDARIES!
I’ve repeatedly spoken about boundaries on my platforms and it’s importance. Let me say though, it’s one thing to set those boundaries but it’s a whole other ball game to actually have the discipline to stick to them. I’m sure many of you have already experienced how blurred the lines can get between work and personal life, especially since work from home is now a part of our corporate lives. I definately have fallen victim to this. In my post about Burnout, I mentioned setting alarms on my phone that help me to log out at a decent time. If you haven’t read that post yet, check it out here.
However, another method I’ve tried is using a Pomodoro Timer. I’ve only tried this a couple of times but it has helped. If you aren’t familiar with it, you can learn more about the Pomodoro Technique by clicking here. In my last job this was hard to use because the work days and general environment were just way toooo chaotic to facilitate this. However, I’ve used it in other instances and it, in turn, made me feel less inclined to overcompensate trying to get stuff done. The Pomodoro Timer basically uses 25min intervals followed by short breaks to make it more manageable and less mentally taxing to complete your work. Some timers also allow you to customize the intervals if 25mins isn’t feasible or realistic for you. I plan to revisit this technique as it is quite effective.
Do whatever you need to do to stick to your boundaries and make yourself and your personal life a priority.
Your job simply cannot consume your entire life. There will always be work and tomorrow is another day.
Even so, I have noticed one thing, at least, that is good. It is good for people to eat, drink, and enjoy their work under the sun during the short life God has given them, and to accept their lot in lifeEcclesiastes 5:18 (NLT)
What are some things you do to establish and maintain work-life balance? Share them with the fam in the comments below!
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As always, to God’s blessings, prosperity, faith, happiness and love!