The Life-Work Balancing Act

What differentiates a job that is simply a paycheck from one where you look forward to waking up and facing the day? For me, life-work balance makes me enthusiastic about my job. As a creative-type living in the internet age, I can do most of my work from my living room sofa or out on the patio – just possibly in my PJ’s. In past jobs, I would need to ask a supervisor whether it’s OK to go to a doctor’s appointment and then check with HR to see how many sick days I’ve accrued.

I’m happier and more effective at my job when working from home, and psychologists concur. In Psychology Today, researchers reported that working from home can prevent burnout, which they defined as, “A state of chronic stress that leads to physical and emotional exhaustion, cynicism, detachment and feelings of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment.” Everyone who is reading this at work and sees themselves in that statement, please raise your hand. Ohh, that is a lot of you huh? Preventing burnout makes sense simply because satisfied employees stay at their companies longer and they produce better work.

At Decibel Blue, we care about our life-work balance because we understand doing the right thing for people, is the right thing to do, and it leads to happier clients and a more successful business. So, whether you’re lucky enough to regularly work from home (or your favorite coffee establishment) or you are stuck in cubicle-hell, here are a few ways we recommend taking time for yourself to prevent burnout.

Unplug
It really can feel like you work all the time thanks to the constant buzzing of work-related emails and text messages. Try to take control of your time and completely unplug from your phone and laptop. Personal time shouldn’t be spent doing work, particularly if that work isn’t urgent. This can be as simple as leaving your phone at home while you run a couple of errands or go for a walk. While we are adamant that all client emails must be returned by the end of the business day, most others can, in fact, wait till tomorrow.

Get Plenty Of Sleep
Getting a solid night’s rest is critical for keeping us healthy and productive at work. That means 7-8 hours a night. Are you laughing right now? Know what? Sleep plays a crucial role in our overall well-being. Sleep deficiency can lead to depression, chronic illness and leave you more susceptible to the common cold and flu. So prioritize setting a bedtime for yourself and leave your phone in another room. Get an old school alarm clock and read an old school book.

Get Some Exercise
Incorporating exercise into your life can be as simple as taking a midday walk outside the office. Exercise is an effective stress-reducer and releases endorphins that are immediate mood boosters. A walk is a great opportunity to practice compartmentalizing work. Did you know that Steve Jobs used to go for a walk most days and even liked to have walking meetings? If you want to burn off even more calories, find somewhere close to your office or home where you can run, hike or practice yoga. Even better, check out the private personalized training offered by our client Fitness Together. Whatever it is, do something you like and start moving!

Practice Self-Care
Self-care can come in all different shapes and sizes. It can be as simple as drinking plenty of water, eating nutritional foods, and getting enough sleep. Talk to your coworkers and find out what they do to mentally and physically replenish, whether it be mediation or one of our favorites, a therapeutic massage at our client Elements Massage™.

Unplugging and taking time for yourself to recharge will lead to increased productivity, greater creativity and most importantly, a greater sense of personal satisfaction. Your significant other won’t mind a more-relaxed you either!

Lauren Sperbeck

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