1. Some emails can, in fact, wait until Monday
I’m going to tell you something that is hard for even me to accept – you’re really not that important. Unless you are a brain surgeon, a firefighter, or a police officer, your job probably isn’t life or death. No one is going to simultaneous decombust if you answer an email on Monday morning instead of during the middle of brunch on Sunday. If you are one of those people who is constantly answering work emails when you’re supposed to be relaxing/vacationing/having dinner with family or friends, you need to stop yourself immediately and realize that it can wait.
2. You shouldn’t feel guilty about taking “me” time
Doing things that make you feel like a sane person is as important (if not more important) than working. If you’re not happy, you’re not productive, and if you’re not productive what point is it to being at work in the first place? Don’t ever feel bad for prioritizing your needs 1st before getting to the 50 million other things everyone else needs you to do.
3. Your work is not your whole identity
Sometimes it’s hard to understand that what you do for a living is not who you are as a person. You are not “insert job title here”, that’s just one part of the puzzle that makes you who you are. When you start to link your personal fulfillment and identity to what you do you’re already creating a unhealthy work/life balance because your life is your work and vice-versa.
4. Relationships need work too
Romantic, platonic, and family relationships all have their own set of demands in order to grow and thrive. If they’re important to you you’ll have to put in the hours fostering those, or else run the risk of taking them for granted. Sure work might have to come first depending on where you are in your career, but if you want people to come home to at the end of the day they need to know that they’re somewhere on the priority list too.
It often feels like there isn’t enough hours in a day to have a perfect work/life balance, and usually what gets cut from the equation is the very thing you need to keep going – sleep. But when you’re tired every facet of your life suffers because you’re simply just too exhausted to give 100% to anything let alone everything.
6. You can’t do it all
Seriously you can’t. Some days you’re only going to be able to give attention to what’s right in front of you and everything else will fall by the wayside. That’s ok, realize that you’re only human and not a superhero and try again the next day to focus on the things you didn’t the day before. Sometimes it will feel like things are falling through the cracks but if you prioritize the things that are most important to you first nothing will ever fall too far out of reach.
7. It’s always going to be a work in progress
The beauty of balance is that everything has to have equal amounts of focus in order to coexist. Too much of any one thing can make you feel completely out of whack. You have to learn to adjust the other areas of your life to match when one gets too big. For example if you work an 80 hour work week you have to make sure you take the following week to fully enjoy your weekend without any work distractions. Or if you’ve been prioritizing your dating life a lot maybe it’s worth it to spend some extra alone time with yourself during the week. It won’t always be perfect but with time it gets easier and the benefits of having a good work/balance is a happier and healthier you.