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No More Addiction To Work: 5 Tips On Maintaining Work-Life Balance

No More Addiction To Work: 5 Tips On Maintaining Work-Life Balance

Workaholics are known to have health issues from neglecting their personal care, as well as problems that occur at home by being absent too much. Finding the illusively perfect work-life balance is difficult, but is critical to ensure that people are healthy and have harmonious lives.

Because today’s technological world makes it easy to be available and working at all hours of the day and night, it’s up to you to make some changes. Here are some work-life balance tips to help you out if you fall into the category of a workaholic or just want to cut back a bit on your 40+ hour workweek.

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1. Unplug

Technology is amazing and allows people to accomplish incredible things, from the fields of medicine to space and science. But it also means you can work from home, in your car, while on vacation, while you’re supposed to be sleeping, you get the picture. Being constantly available also means you have not set up boundaries for personal time outside of work.

Robert Brooks, a professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School who co-wrote The Power of Resilience: Achieving Balance, Confidence and Personal Strength in Your Lifeadvises people shut off their phones and lose themselves in the moment. The notifications you receive on your phone means you’re constantly checking it, responding to texts and emails and checking out of whatever is happening right in front of you. Brooks recommends not sending work emails while enjoying quality family time or texting while watching your kids playing in a game. Doing so also will give you the feeling that you have some control in your life and make you less prone to the stress that diminishes your health.

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2. Perfectionism

If you’re an overachiever, you tend to develop perfectionist tendencies early on, even as a young child. As you grow older, you’ aren’t juggling homework, sports, activities and a weekend job. You’re now responsible for paying the bills, getting important work done and the pressure to succeed is on. Be aware that your perfectionism will become out of reach and if you continue to strive for this level at work, you’ll end up investing more and more time in your job and eventually, you’ll burn out. Executive coach Marilyn Puder-York, who penned The Office Survival Guidesaid such behavior can become destructive. So cut yourself some slack and try to ebb the tendencies toward perfectionism.

3. Exercise

This is one thing workaholics can no longer cut from their daily schedule. Your health is already at risk by logging long hours and succumbing to stress. The way to counterbalance that is with exercise, even meditation, but if you aren’t exercising, one day you’ll find yourself wishing you had. Exercise is a great stress reducer, lifts your mood and recharges you, so you can refocus on your work. You’ll be able to work more efficiently, not longer. Just 30 minutes of sweat-inducing exercise five days a week will work wonders. Psychotherapist Bryan Robinson, who is professor emeritus at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and author of the book Chained to the Desksaid exercise is great for calming down a wound up worker.

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4. Prioritize

Take a minute and write down what’s most important in your life. These are your priorities. Next, decide how you will establish boundaries to ensure you are focusing on these priorities and not other time wasters. Now start trimming things from your schedule. For example, if you find yourself wasting time checking Facebook or Instagram at work, set boundaries. Allow yourself 10 minutes to scroll through your newsfeed when you’re away from your desk on a bathroom break. Once those 10 minutes are up, you’re done. Now you can return to your work refreshed from a mini-break and you allowed yourself the guilty pleasure of spending a little time on social media. If your co-workers enjoy going out for a few hours after work, but you really need to get more sleep, excuse yourself after an hour of fun and hit the hay or limit yourself to going only once a month instead.

5. Let go

Realize you cannot do everything at the same time. If you’re on deadline and your phone starts going off, check to make sure it isn’t an emergency, then leave it alone. Refocus on the project, devoting all of your time and energy to it, and you’ll get it done faster and better than if you paused to address your text or email. Nicole Poirier, owner of Chef Nicole, said she’s often interrupted with a phone call or email while she’s wrapping up a time-sensitive cooking procedure or trying to get out the door on time to an event. She has an autoreply set for her phone and email, so she’s able to focus on the project at hand, without time-draining and stressful interruptions.

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Work-Life Balance Tips

Hopefully, these work-life balance tips will help you restructure your day, your week and your life to where you are still achieving your career goals while taking care of you.

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

The act of writing in a journal often seems daunting or unnecessary to many people. Even authors who work on novels might shun the idea of daily diaries. What purpose does jotting down words on a regular basis do if not contributing to the next novel, play or song? I know from experience many benefits of journaling that I wish to share.

1. Understand Yourself Better

Though many people and even writers avoid keeping journals, I vow to do it more often. Not only do I desire to take up daily journaling but also I plan to do it with pen to paper.

Some of the benefits I’ve found from my more active days include finding myself in the sense of understanding what matters to me and what I want out of life. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to find a spouse who is my best friend and advocate in raising children. I attribute this and much more to what I learned about myself in keeping journals for years.

2. Keep Track of Small Changes

I’ll admit that I never got very far with my guitar lessons, but in writing in a journal, I have seen the ability to track small changes like those that come when you practice anything.

Those learning a musical instrument often fail to see the small improvements that come with regular practice. Writing won’t help you switch chords any faster, but it will help you to develop a better sense for language and grammar just by doing it.

3. Become Aware of What Matters

As you continue to write in a journal, following a stream-of-consciousness feel, you can look back on the topics that you chose to write about. Those issues and emotions that poured out of you will provide insight on to what matters most to you.

You may not even realize that you’re job is depressing you or that you want to spend more time with your kids until you look over your thoughts that you weren’t really thinking about.

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4. Boost Creativity

The idea that the brain and its neural activity across hemispheres encourages learning also shows up in increased creativity. Just like with learning an instrument, your increased activity will inspire your thoughts to connect and reconnect in different ways.

When I wrote in a journal, I often wrote poetry as well as just my thoughts as they came out. I started to hear poems more in my mind; so much so that I took to scrawling lines on napkins and finding metaphors in mundane activities.

You really are what you do, so writing helps grow more than being a writer. Writing boosts the way you communicate and structure language, which really is a creative process.

5. Represents Your Emotions in a Safe Environment

A journal is as private as it gets. You can lock it in a safe or tuck it under a pillow and no one will accidentally share it on social media or have an opportunity to “leave a comment.”

Write about your sorrow as much as your happiness and frustration and know that you don’t have to keep your emotions inside your body. You can put them on paper.

6. Process Life Experiences

When you take the time to look back over what you’ve written, be it a week or a year later, you will have the distance you need to more objectively interpret your raw feelings.

Everything from losing a job to losing a loved one can emerge in a new light for a fresh perspective. Figuring out how the benefits of journaling affect your perspective on life will create connection and increase creativity.

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7. Stress Relief

In combining the exercise inherent in fine motor coordination that comes from the act of writing with the emotional release of self expression, those who maintain a journal relieve stress.

Try it out. Go home and write about your day. Write about the traffic. Write about the coffee order the barista got wrong but you didn’t have time to change. See how you can physically purge some of that pent-up stress by putting it on paper.

8. Provide Direction

Though journaling is often conducted as an activity without much direction, it often provides direction.

One of the biggest benefits of journaling is that your chaotic thoughts merge to show a direction in which to head. Asking the right questions is the only way to achieve the best solutions, so look to your journal to find your way toward your next goal.

9. Solve Problems

Just as in practicing math problems, we all get better at finding hidden solutions through the act of processing.

Think of your next goal as X and solve your life problems by reading your journals as word problems. The benefit of journaling here is that you write, explore and process to recognize and then solve problems.

When life is too in-your-face, you have to step back to see reality. Living in the moment allows us to write in the moment and use that expression to solve problems.

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10. Find Relief From Fighting

Solving your problems only comes after time to process, recognize and strategize. Just as in the benefit of journaling where relief comes from the act of writing, relief from fighting comes when you decide to “sit this one out” and communicate one-way.

Fighting is only productive when the fighters care to communicate and find common ground. When the emotions are as high as the stress levels, writing will function as the best time out.

11. Find Meaning in Life

Journaling will show you why you are living, whether you are wallowing in things you wish to change or striving to make the changes. Your life will begin to take on new meaning and your own words will reveal the actions that got you where you are so that you can assess and pave a new path for your future.

12. Allow Yourself to Focus

Taking even a small amount of time out of every day will provide you with not only peace of mind but also increased focus. Taking a break to meditate in writing and journaling will sharpen your mental faculties.

13. Sharpen Your Spirituality

When we write, we allow all the energy and experiences to flow through us, which often provides further insight into our own spirituality. Even if your parents didn’t raise you to follow a specific religion, your thoughts will start to show you what you believe about the universe and your place in it.

14. Let the Past Go

I’ve mentioned a few examples where going back over your writing offers advice and direction, but the simply truth is that writing down our feelings can be the best way to let them go. We can choose to literally throw these pages away when they’re filled with negativity and hate.

15. Allow Freedom

Journaling is the perfect way to not only express yourself but to also experience the freedom of being who you are. Your books can stay private or you can publish them. Your freedom stems from your sense of self and your perception of your thoughts.

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16. Enhance Your Career

Again, the private act of pen-to-paper processing provides the benefits of journaling mentioned above, but you can also enhance your career when you take similar ideas and categorize, edit and publish them in an online blog.

Your thoughts will often be personal and express emotions, but another benefit of journaling is uncovering fresh ideas about your work.

17. Literally Explore Your Dreams

All the benefits I’ve mentioned explore ideas, thoughts and emotions, which is also what our dreams and nightmares do. Through writing down your dreams from the previous night, you can enhance your creativity as well as connect some of the metaphorical dots from the rest of your journal.

18. Catalog Your Life for Others

No one wants to think about dying, but we all die. Leaving a journal will act as a way to reconnect with family and friends left behind. The ideas you wish to keep personal while you process the life you’re living will serve to rekindle and inspire those who loved you through the process.

We consider our partners our life witnesses, but writing provides a tangible mark on the world.

Now that you’ve learned all the benefits of journaling, it’s time to start writing a journal:

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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