Sunday, July 31, 2016

Achieving Work Life Balance: Taking Time Out and Time Off

This article is the first of two in the Achieving Work - Life Balance series. As noted in the title, the initial focus will address ways to enhance our personal lives outside of work.  The second article, next month, will address ways to achieve more balance on the work end of our lives.

Work - Life Balance refers to our ability to curtail the amount of work we do and address our other needs in ways that create balance and well being. Specifically, making time for ourselves and our relationships.  By employing work - life balance, we are able to effectively reduce and manage our stress.  This works for us both physically and emotionally.  It also helps us get restore and recharge, so that we can function more efficiently in our work lives. This helps us prevent burn out. By reducing stress and experiencing balance in our lives, we are more likely to experience greater happiness and life satisfaction. Therefore, it is important to take time out by engaging in down time during our regular work week or taking time off from work, ranging from short breaks to lengthy vacations.

Time Out or Down Time
  • Taking a lunch break during the workday (to eat, go for a walk, read, power nap, etc.)
  • Leaving work at a reasonable time
  • Making time for creative activities
  • Making time to nurture close relationships and socialize
  • Making time to rest and relax
  • Making time for fun and hobbies 
  • Making time to exercise
  • Making time to engage in nutritious eating
  • Making time to get quality sleep

Time Off
  • Taking a "mental health day" to relax
  • Taking a vacation and getting away
  • Taking a "staycation", vacation locally and experiencing a change in routine
  • Utilizing weekends and scheduled time off to relax and unwind

It all begins with our attitude.  A healthy perspective toward work consists of seeing work as a part of our lives instead of consuming our lives or defining who we are. This enables us to value the need to make time for ourselves and others, to the best of our ability.


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