When you have hard deadlines and demanding clients, it can be difficult to find time for yourself. More often than not, we prioritize the needs of others – which can come at a cost to our own physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. The scary thing is, you might not even realize that your own health is suffering until it is too late.
Overworking is one of the greatest causes of burnout, which can have devastating effects on both your personal and your professional life – it can also negatively affect those you care about, including your family, friends, and colleagues.
Take a moment to consider your work-life balance as it exists today. Are you able to take time for the people and activities you care about? And when we say “time,” we do not just mean being physically present, but being truly and wholly engaged. If your answer is “no,” then you may be working too long, too hard, or too much. It might be time to realign your work-life balance.
And while you may not be able to take a month-long vacation to unwind in a tropical paradise, there are some simple steps you can take in your daily life that will help you make the most of the time you have. The result? More efficient time at work, and more enjoyable time at home.
Know Your Personal Limits
This point cannot be stressed enough – particularly in the construction industry. Pushing yourself too hard can lead to careless mistakes that can have devastating effects. The trick here is to be communicative with yourself as well as your managers and clients. Maintain an ongoing, open dialogue about what is realistic and when you will require more time or assistance.
Make Time to Move
This may seem a little counterintuitive. When you are working long hours in a stressful environment, going for a hike or making time for the gym can seem impossible. But physical activities are extremely effective at managing stress and fighting depression, which are all too common for people who are overworked. Plus, you will actually find that you have more energy and a more positive perspective as a result.
Leave Your Work at Work
When people are constantly attached to their phones – answering emails, checking texts – the workday never really ends. The expectation for constant availability means that you are not able to fully engage in your personal life, which means that you do not get a chance to recharge. Compartmentalize your life and focus on the moment in front of you. Whether you are at dinner with your wife or your kid’s piano recital, be present. Then, focus on work when you are on the job.
Prioritize Your Social Activities
It might feel good in the moment, but spending hours playing video games or scrolling through Facebook is probably not an effective way to relax and unwind. More likely, these are just time-wasting activities that do not really contribute to a healthy work-life balance. This means, when Monday rolls around, you will still feel exhausted from the week before. Instead, think about the people and activities that bring you lasting joy. These are the things you should be prioritizing.
How to Master this Balancing Act
Burnout is a huge problem that affects employees across every single industry. In fact, it is one of the greatest contributors to employee turnover. Sure, everyone wishes that they had more free time, but it is how you choose to spend this time that makes the real difference.