Why Keep the balance?
You’ve probably heard throughout your career that ensuring you have the correct balance in your social life and work life is important. Not only can it keep your sanity in check, it can also make you 10 times more productive at work!
The effects of work-related stress, as found by the University of Cambridge, can be anything from a lack of motivation, a loss of memory and poor decision making. These effects should be enough to persuade you that striking the balance is crucial for you to be as effective as possible.
How Do I keep the balance?
#1. Picking up a stress releasing hobby
The go-to answer for a lot of people is the gym. Fitness is a key way to release endorphins – Physical activity helps you reach that ‘feel good’ sensation and can help to release those endorphins, which may have been created through work related stress. When we think about the value of keeping fit, we usually focus on the physical benefits. Benefits to your blood pressure levels, healthier organs and obviously a more attractive physique. However, over the past decade, scientists have collated compelling evidence suggesting that there is another, a more immediate benefit of regular exercise: its impact on the way we think. Now, there are only a limited number of hours in the day and for most, and once you’ve commuted home and eaten dinner, the last thing on your mind is going back out to get hot and sweaty.
However, once you’re there and you have your favourite track beating through your headphones, you have a real motivation to work hard and improve your body. Going to the gym may be good for your physique, but it may be better for your mental and work health. According to this research, workers who participated in some form of physical activity experienced significantly lower instances of depression and burnout at work, improved concentration, sharper memory and retention of information, heightened creativity and all importantly, lower stress. Discover the connection between exercise and stress relief and why exercise should be part of your stress management plan.
So, whether it’s Bikram yoga, running around your local park or a spin class, get yourself involved!
#2. Scheduling Fun!
We’re all scheduling our working day, planning exactly what we’re doing every hour. So why can’t we schedule fun? What helps you recharge as such, is it a night out with your friends? Playing a game with your spouse? You need to find something that suits you best, it could even be a nice relaxing bath! By scheduling something it means you can look forward to it, therefore you won’t feel so overwhelmed when you glance at your weekly schedule. Sure, you’re working on Friday but in the evening, you’re heading out and blowing off some steam! It can provide great motivation to finish your week on a high.
#3. The ‘Cranky’ Colleague
Sitting at your desk all day and not exposing yourself to the fresh air and the sunshine will begin to make you cranky. Therefore, at Lunch or throughout the day, taking a short 10-minute break away from your desk, (in the fresh air and the sun) will stimulate your body to produce Vitamin D. This plays a crucial part in the regulation of your mood. Something, I’m sure, your colleagues and your boss will appreciate! The sun can also have health-minded benefits such as improving your immune system, so fight off that summer cold and stretch your legs for 10 minutes over lunch!
#4. Are you overworking?
A great way to cut down on work and focus on releasing stress is learning to say no! We’re all guilty of taking on too much work and having a lot of responsibility to deal with. Learning to prioritise your work and planning your day effectively can ease the workload massively!
Here are some phrases that you can practice in order to reduce your workload.
- “I’m really sorry but I can’t take this on due to other priorities at the moment”
- “ Now isn’t a good time as I’m in the middle of something, trying me again at…?”
There are many ways to deal with stress and there is a lot of advice out there for you to follow. But the best advice is to find a way that suits you best! Ensuring you find the balance between work and social life is key to becoming more productive at work. Lauren Greene, from Health.com, has further tips about becoming more productive at work, this will enable you to complete tasks more efficiently and to a higher standard.
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