Having a Type-A personality is a blessing and a curse. Throw perfectionist tendencies on top of that, and you easily tilt the work-life balance scale heavy towards work. Working in corporate America for nearly a decade, I have personally struggled with this and have seen many others who struggle with this as well. Here are simple reminders for when work starts to take priority above all else.
How To Achieve Work-Life Balance
Learn to Say No
You can't be all things to all people. With that being said, you need to know that your time and energy are precious commodities. At the end of the day you need to protect yourself, and that's by learning to say no. But how? Respectively, politely, and honestly. Remember, it’s better, to be honest than to put yourself in a situation where you become disengaged.
Take a Break
How many of us are guilty of eating lunch at our desks because of convenience, or simple laziness of not wanting to leave work? Admittedly, I do this. Sometimes working through my lunch works for me because it’s quieter and gives me uninterrupted time to accomplish tasks. One thing to keep in mind is work will always be there. Even if you complete a task, there will always be more for you to do.
When taking a break, try as much as possible to step away from your desk/workspace. This can be something intensive, like fitting in an hour workout, or simple, like fixing yourself a Matcha Collagen Latte and sipping it in the cafeteria.
If your schedule is too hectic and doesn’t allow for a break, try to identify opportunities where you can fight sitting dormant. Need to send an email to someone? Get up and go find them instead. Need a refill on water? Walk to a farther water fountain to fill up your water bottle.
Taking as little as 15-20 minutes to yourself in the middle of your day can create a significant impact on your energy levels and work morale for the rest of your afternoon.
Put Hard Parameters in Place
Even if you are absolutely in love with what you do for a living, work should not be your life. Most of us spend more time at work than we do at home or with our families, and that is the exact reason why you need to put hard parameters in place to separate you from your work. Things to try:
- No emails after 9 P.M. (If it is something of urgency, someone will call or text you instead).
- Dedicate Sunday as a day for yourself/your family.
- Limit your work talk at dinner and social events.
These parameters can help you become more aware of the work habits you have a hard time parting with and help you become intentional about not bringing them home with you.
Good Is Good Enough
Have you heard of the saying, “Cs Get Degrees?” As cringe-worthy as that can sound to some perfectionists, it's true. Think about it this way: if you are trying to be perfect in everything you do, how long will it be before burning out? Take a step back and evaluate if the extra stress and pressure you put on yourself for perfection is worth it.
Sometimes just good is good enough.
Take Time Off
Maybe I’m letting my millennial show, but it blows my mind when people tell me about how much vacation they just have sitting or saved up like it’s a prized possession. There are even some people who lose vacation time because they literally never take time off work. Using vacation time doesn't have to be an all-inclusive trip to Mexico. It can be as simple as a long weekend at home to finally clean out your closet or garage or using a day to sleep in, enjoy your coffee slowly, and lounge around your house.
It's important to take that time to recharge. Your mind, your body, your bosses and co-workers will thank you for it. Plus, you deserve it.