Raise your hand if you have fallen into the FILO or “first in, last out” workday(s) pattern? I’m guilty of this much more than I’d like to admit. After reading this Boston Globe article on how work-obsessed millennials are, I was laughing out loud because everything I read rang so true: I check my email a dozen times when I get home from work/when I wake up, requesting vacation time is a struggle because there never seems to be a good time to take it, I often feel guilty if I need to say no to a work ask – the list goes on and on.
Right now feels like the right time to take a step back and re-evaluated my work-life balance. I used to have better boundaries, and I want to consciously prioritize unplugging from work and practice more self-care and relaxation (is it weird that I often find it hard to relax – anyone else?!).
With that, I’m going to use these 3 strategies for setting work-life balance boundaries:
1. Don’t Look at Work Email Inbox Between 8pm-7am
This is actually going to be the hardest habit to make. Before joining the non-profit that I work for now, I was better at this, but the kind of role that I’m in now makes me feel like I’m completely out of the loop if I don’t read every single email as it comes in. However, I think unplugging from work emails while at home will greatly impact my mental relaxation, which has been dwindling as of late. My plan is to check out my inbox during my commute into work to catch up (I have an hour-long commute).
2. Make Set Plans and Stick to Them
Having a social or personal commitment is a great reason to unplug from work and enjoy free time – go out and do things that you love! I’ve been so busy with work lately that I’ve let some of my favorite activities slip. Getting back into a steady routine with my group fitness classes, regularly blogging, and working on my new Etsy shop wall art designs (check it out!) is much, much needed. These activities are challenging, creative, and bring me a lot of joy and allow me to unwind whenever I take the time to enjoy them.
3. Stop Trying to Be Perfect
Yep, I just said it. The truth is, I will work tirelessly to make my work and deliverables absolutely perfect/flawless/amazingggg. You know what, though? It’s so soo exhausting. I’m going to try to adopt the mindset of “do your best, and move on,” which I know will be a struggle at first but worth implementing for my well-being.
As this Entrepreneur article states, “a life outside of work is imperative to becoming a happier, more productive and successful individual.” Amen.
I would love, love, love to hear about how you maintain a work-life balance. I’ll take any and all tips into consideration! Share in the comments below.