If you’re like many people, work eats up a large part of your life. So when you prioritize work above everything else, it can impact you in severe ways. Trying to juggle it all—work, home life, friends, family, and personal activities—can make it hard to find satisfaction in anything.
In recent years, many businesses have begun to understand the value of work-life balance for their employees. And with younger, more holistically minded generations entering the workforce in larger numbers, this trend will only increase. But it’s not just the office that’s the culprit; we can often be our own worst enemy when it comes to finding balance.
The good news is that it is possible to find balance. But why is a healthy work-life balance so important? How does it impact your life?
For your mental health
The human mind isn’t built to withstand constant stress and pressure. When your work-life balance is out of whack, ordinary tasks become more difficult to accomplish. This, in turn, ups your stress level, making it even harder to break out of this vicious cycle.
A healthy work-life balance alleviates your stress levels, allowing you to better address negative emotions and handle unexpected challenges. This can improve your efficiency and give you more time to deal with other aspects of your life. Most importantly, it gives you breathing room to make proper self-assessments, helping you get in sync with your thoughts and beliefs and address them in a healthy way.
Offices and workplaces are catching on to the importance of employee mental health and might offer ways to help. But you can help yourself as well by prioritizing your mental health and organizing your life with an eye on better balance.
For your physical wellbeing
Physical activity is just as important for your mental health as awareness and scheduling. Many of us spend our days bent over at a desk, only to clock out too exhausted to do much but slump on the couch. Human beings aren’t meant to sit for extended periods of time, nor are they meant to spend most of their time indoors. Physical activity, especially outdoors, generates endorphins which improve positive thinking and emotions. This, in turn, bolsters your mental state—allowing for better focus, giving you more energy, and even helping you sleep.
Power tip: Physical activity can be tough to schedule, but Evernote can help you fit it in without disrupting your day. Add exercise ideas to a note, then set a notification to check it during the day. Choose an idea from your note and get moving: for example, stretch, walk around, or take some time out in the sun.
For beating burnout
Managing a healthy work-life balance isn’t just restorative, it’s also preventative. Keeping your life in order lowers your chances of hitting burnout, which happens when you take on too much work for too long. Burnout wrecks every part of your life; it results in poor work performance, decreased productivity, and reduced health.
An increasing number of businesses are encouraging better work-life balance specifically to combat high rates of burnout in the workplace. But how can you integrate your own burnout-beating practices into your life? Balance is key, as is knowing when to say “no.” Prioritize important life elements—such as friends, family, and self-care—alongside responsibilities and career ambitions. Look for balance wherever you can, emphasizing deadlines over time spent on tasks and making room for things outside of work. Lower stress and increased productivity benefit employer and employee alike.
Power tip: Evernote’s daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly calendar template options can help you plan your life in an organized fashion. Set short- and long-term priorities and goals, with reminders and due dates to keep you on track throughout. Laying out your agenda visually can help you spot where you might be overloaded, and how you can better distribute your time.
For improved overall engagement
Employers want their people to feel engaged—and workers, for their part, want to enjoy their jobs and feel valued. The more you are engaged with your work, the more productive and happier you feel. On the other hand, the less enthusiastic or committed you are, the more your productivity will suffer and the higher your stress will rise.
Engagement can’t be forced or faked. Mandatory participation can often backfire, and social connections dictated by fiat ultimately brew stress, anxiety, and resentment. Instead, businesses might emphasize things like vacations, time off, and breaks during the day. They can also engage employees by listening to their concerns and responding to them.
Workers, for their part, can set healthy boundaries for themselves and adhere to them. Take vacation time rather than working through it, for example, and respond clearly and honestly whenever management asks for input.
Power tip: The ease of organization provided by a centralized tool like Evernote helps you stay engaged and on top of your work commitments. Use Tasks to keep your to-do list in order—complete with flags, priority, and due dates—and connect your Google Calendar with Evernote for a complete view of everything on your plate.
Perfectly balanced, as you should be
Creating an ideal work-life balance can sometimes prove a challenge. Everyone is different, and your perfect work-life balance won’t look quite like anyone else’s. But with the right tools and commitment, it’s easier than you think.