As we have found, having a healthy work-life balance is an ongoing process that needs to be re-evaluated and fine-tuned to fit your desired lifestyle. There are several things you can do on a daily basis to stay on track to accomplishing your personal work goals. Sometimes staying focused or motivated can be difficult, so just take a step back and remember it’s a process.
Here are some small things to help you keep moving forward in your workday:
- Set goals for each day and week. You know what is due and when you have meetings, so plan your prep time or research time around those standing deadlines. Make a “to do” list to keep you on track. I personally put things on my calendar to alert me when I need to do something or switch gears. And if the first item on your to-do list is “make a to-do list,” then you already have one thing checked off!
- Know when to shut things out. During times that a project needed my undivided attention, I had no problem shutting the office door and sending calls straight to voicemail. When you are constantly interrupted with little, mundane things, it only prolongs the entire process. Just turn it off, focus, and then pick things up later.
- Communication is key. Communicate with your colleagues and those around you about any issues, questions, or roadblocks you encounter – it is likely someone has been where you are, and if you can learn from them, you can save yourself so much time (and headache).
- Take breaks. I have worked in a few offices where no one took any breaks (aside from using the restroom) and they all ate lunch at their desks. This is unhealthy in so many ways! Your brain needs to think about something else, your eyes need to take a break from the screen, your body needs to MOVE. If you are able, take a few 5-minute breaks rather than two 15-minute breaks. And take your lunch away from your desk. If eating out isn’t an option, bring your lunch to work and eat in the breakroom or outside.
- Make mistakes. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes; it means you are learning and growing. Instead of being fearful, take the perspective that mistakes will teach you how to perfect your work. We are human, and we WILL make mistakes. What matters is how you handle the mistake and, more importantly, that you learn from it and develop processes to not repeat it.
Just remember, there are several ways to take care of yourself while you’re at work. Utilize the tools around you to keep you at your best – you deserve it.
For businesses, taking care of employees only improves overall success. Encourage employees to maintain a healthy mindset in the workplace by giving the latitude for them to take breaks, schedule focus time, and make mistakes, among other things.