Sometimes, it can feel like you spend every waking moment of your life working. Particularly when you're driven to achieve success in your professional life, it can be hard to let go – to leave work at work, to make time to enjoy life and do what you love.
Now that I'm done with college and entering the professional world, I've been struggling with this a lot lately. But honestly, I always have – as a high schooler, a student-athlete, a college student... and it's probably something I'll struggle with for the rest of my life. But I find these tips to be particularly helpful, especially when I'm feeling overloaded and I know something's gotta give.
Check out my 9 tips for better work/life balance below:
1. Start saying no. It's easy to say yes to everything that comes your way, but think before you take the leap. Sometimes it's better to pass on opportunities when they'd just end up overwhelming you.
2. Cut out unnecessary activities. If you're wasting time on things that don't bring any concrete value to your life, let them go.
3. Begin the day with a little exercise. It might seem like yet another thing you don't have time for, but in the long run, working out can make you more efficient, focused, and energetic. Start small; it doesn't need to be anything too difficult!
4. Start small. A little "you time" can go a long way. Even if it's only for 20 or 30 minutes a day, do something that de-stresses you and brings you joy. It helps keep you sane.
5. Unplug. Forget your phone for a little while. Make sure quality time with friends and loved ones really is quality.
6. Work smarter. Train yourself to be more efficient, so that you can spend less time accomplishing the same amount of work – leaving more time for you.
7. Stop trying to be perfect. Overachievers often put even more stress on themselves when they feel their performance is not as perfect as they'd like it to be. Take a deep breath, and give yourself a break. Perfection is unattainable. Free yourself to do your best, and let that be good enough.
8. Write a list of your priorities. Where does work fall on the list? How about health? Family? Happiness? Think about what you're making time for in your life, and why.
9. Take it in stride. Don't let negative feedback or minor defeats bring you down. Own your work, but be laid back about it, too. I'm always more productive when I think positive.