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Tips on Achieving Work-Life Balance

Achieving work-life balance can be difficult. However, it is crucial not only for productivity, but also for health. Research has found that individuals who work longer hours and have limited time for themselves have a 33 percent greater risk of stroke and a 13 percent greater risk of heart disease. Two recent articles from Forbes and Entrepreneur offered some great tips on how you can best achieve a work-life balance that best works for you:

  • Take advantage of “me time.” Self-care is so important. Everyone needs time to reset and re-charge. This could be going to the gym or binging a favorite T.V. show.
  • Learn to say “no.” Sometimes saying no can seem impossible especially in the work environment. However, you will run out of time if you accept every project, attend every event, and manage every co-worker. When you fill up time for all of these things, you are also taking time away from yourself. It is perfectly acceptable to say no to things that will further your stress, given that it is warranted.
  • Create boundaries. Stop taking your laptop to bed with you. Do not answer your boss’s calls at dinner. Although technology makes you readily available, it does not mean you have to be available. Communicate with your employer and set boundaries so that both parties understand your availability.
  • Cut out low-value activities. Many people work longer hours because they waste time on low-value activities. Identify your low-value or no-value activities. Try to eliminate distractions during your workday, like checking social media websites or taking personal calls. If you spend too much time on low-value activities, consider outsourcing them. For example, if you spend too much time grocery shopping, consider using a delivery service instead. Eliminating low-value activities can enable you to work shorter hours. 
  • Schedule recurring social activities. It may be difficult to find time to schedule social activities. You can best address this by scheduling recurring social activities with your close friends. Place this recurring activity on your calendar in advance. This strategy is effective because it forces you to carve out time for yourself and your friends. View your social activity as an important meeting with a client that you cannot cancel despite how busy with work you may be.
  • Learn healthy ways to cope with stress. Everyone must deal with stressful situations. Get into the habit of walking away from stressful situations for a few minutes to calm down and collect your thoughts. Taking a short walk outside, even for a few minutes, can help to reduce stress and calm the mind.

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