A healthy work-life balance is crucial to a thriving career. According to a study by the Corporate Executive Board, workers who are happy and satisfied with the state of their work-life balance work harder by 21% and are 33% more likely to stay in their company.
It’s clear that without healthy rhythms of work and rest, we wouldn’t have enough energy or wherewithal to be productive at work, affecting our ability to move up in our career. Studies also show that neglecting the life aspect is a precursor for depersonalization and emotional exhaustion. If you’re not careful, burnout might rear its ugly head, and before you know it, you might lose your career as well.
If you want to move up the ranks in your professional life, being happy and healthy in your personal life is vital because you cannot work productively from a place of exhaustion and emptiness. Here are some project ideas to help improve your work-life balance.
A calendar detailing times for work, rest, play, and fitness
One way to combat working yourself to the ground is by intentionally making time for rest, play, and exercise. Whether you’re working from home or back in the office, you need to make time for things that make you happy and allow you to get your mind off of work responsibilities.
Here are some tips for creating your calendar:
- If your shift is only from 9 to 5, stick with it as much as you can. As much as possible, do not work beyond your shift or working hours. Try to finish your tasks on time. If you’re the type to get easily distracted, remove anything that might grab your attention while you’re working. Think of your rest and leisure times as your reward for working smart. Kindly and politely tell your boss, staff, or co-workers that you won’t be answering your phone after office hours, too.
- Dedicate the weekends to your hobbies or leisure time. Set healthy boundaries with yourself—if you know you tend towards being a workaholic, fight it by spending some time with your family or doing your hobbies on the weekends or rest days.
- Schedule exercises in the mornings—studies show that it’s easier to commit to than exercising after work.
- Create a morning routine that can prepare and energize you for the rest of the day. Wake up, meditate, exercise or stretch, shower, and have a light but nutritious breakfast.
Being spontaneous with your time is not a sin, but mapping out your schedule can help you build a routine that creates rhythms of work, rest, play, and exercise that promotes a healthy balance between your professional and personal life.
A separate room for hobbies and leisure
Research shows that our brain makes associations between spaces and activities. That is why it’s never a good idea to work from bed—when we do, we wire our brains into thinking that the bed is a place for work instead of rest and intimacy.
If you’re into music, create a soundproof room that can allow you to attend piano lessons without interruptions. If you’re into movies and video games, create a space solely for those activities. Don’t bring your work in these rooms. Think of your playroom and your bedroom as sacred spaces—no work allowed at all costs.
A well-equipped fitness room
Gyms across America have already opened up. But working out in those places can still pose a significant health risk because they are usually in enclosed spaces, with so many high-touch surfaces due to people sharing equipment.
If you want to make fitness a priority, which you should, since it’s a crucial part of having a healthy work-life balance, consider dedicating a space in your home for exercise. You don’t need state-of-the-art workout equipment to be healthy. All a basic fitness room needs are enough space, a dumbbell set, a fitness ball, a treadmill, and maybe a stationary bike. You may not even need all of this—consult with your fitness coach about what equipment you need in your space.
A pantry stocked with nutritious yet delicious food
Exercise alone is not enough to keep you healthy—it must always be accompanied by a healthy diet. Stock up your pantry with healthy pantry essentials—grains, fruits and vegetables, apple cider vinegar, maple and honey syrups, healthy oils for cooking, fermented foods, nuts and seeds, dried herbs and spices, frozen sources of protein, and eggs.
A healthy work-life balance doesn’t just happen; you need to work for it intentionally. Setting boundaries is not always easy, but if you set yourself up for success by working on these projects, it can significantly benefit your career in the long run.