The concept of properly prioritizing work and lifestyle was introduced to business nomenclature in the early 1800’s. Since then, the concept has become extremely important to personal well-being and professional success. In modern times, the rise of technology has been both a blessing and a curse for many business people. The pressures and responsibilities of work sometimes prevent us from ‘unplugging’ and truly being away from work. Because of this, achieving a proper work-life balance has become crucial in avoiding burnout and achieving sustained business success.
Our guest contributor, Richard Schwahl, shares his five rules for achieving what he calls “work-life nirvana.” These tips go beyond the business careers – if you find yourself struggling to manage your work-life balance (regardless of profession), read on and take these tips to heart.
Break the monotony of an unproductive routine
Having a routine is important (especially one that is designed to increase productivity, such as a morning routine), but be careful to get stuck in a routine that decreases your productivity or wears you down, such as working late every night or skipping lunch. Burnout is a serious issue that happens when people get stuck in a routine that they cannot seem to break. To break the monotony, do something spontaneous like take a short staycation somewhere close by. You’d be amazed at how doing something different can refresh and energize you.
Do your best to unplug while away from work
Nothing is worse than having to work “off the clock.” That being said, for most of us, working at home is an unfortunate reality that cannot be avoided, especially for those who work in sales. Working during time off is a great way to get the things done that you were unable to accomplish during the day, but be careful when working from home becomes an everyday activity. Do your best to unplug from work and enjoy your time off. Devote your time off to your hobbies and interests and you’ll decrease your chances of getting burnt out.
Spend time with friends, family, and loved ones
Nothing is more important than your personal relationships. The most successful people are very family-oriented and make sure they spend time with loved ones. It’s perfectly OK to take your profession seriously, but always remember that working is a means to a financial end. You may disagree with me, but the reality here is that family, friends, and loved ones always come first. This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s easy to work 80+ hours/week and accidentally neglect those that mean the most to you. Make an effort to spend time with them and you’ll find that your happiness will increase.
Have a “why” that’s greater than money
Most of us work in sales or business because it’s extremely attractive from a financial perspective. However, working to make a bunch of money isn’t the way to find happiness at work. If you work solely to make money, you’ll have a difficult time during ruts and slumps. Burnout will follow soon after. Rather than working for money, find a “why” that will drive you. Your “why” can be anything from providing a great life for your family to traveling the world. Whatever your “why” is, make sure it’s important to you. To better illustrate this concept, check out this video by Simon Sinek and the “why” behind Apple.
Utilize PTO/vacation time
It can be tough to break away from work, especially for those who have ongoing responsibilities that are difficult to walk away from. However, refusing to take a vacation can be detrimental to your personal well-being and can be destructive to your work-life balance. Vacations exist because we all need to break away once in a while and enjoy life as it’s meant to be lived. If you do nothing else presented in this article, take at least one vacation this year. You will be surprised at what a short trip can do for you.
Achieving work-lifestyle balance is essential for a successful career and a long & happy life. To avoid burnout and depression, I hope you take these tips seriously as you move forward in your professional journey.
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Author: Jason Karaman
Hello! I’m a marketing, sales, and customer service author, blogger and doer. I live in the South Carolina Lowcountry with my wife. I enjoy reading, writing, hiking, kayaking, and all things beach. For media inquiries, send an email to JasonKaraman@ExpertCaller.com