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Achieving Work-Life Balance #3: Not Just for Those with Families

Achieving Work-Life Balance #3: Not Just for Those with Families

Work-life balance was first brought into the workplace when employers realized that their employees needed a balance between their work and their life outside of it. Many employers adopted this concept with families in mind, but work-life balance is not just for individuals with a family. It is true that the employees who benefit the most from a work-life balance policy are those with families; however, others do as well.

It is unfair for an employer to offer a policy to certain employees. This is why a healthy balance between work and life is obtainable for all individuals in the workplace. When work-life balance is incorporated into a business structure it applies to all employees. This means that everyone, including unmarried individuals or those without children, can reap the benefits of work-life balance.

To create a positive work environment for their employees, many employers offer work alternatives. These work alternatives often involve flexible hours, working from home, or job sharing. All of these alternatives are likely to decrease the amount of time that an employee has to spend in the workplace when they already have prior engagements.

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When associating single or childless workers with work-life balance there are many individuals who wonder exactly what these employees are doing with their free time. Just because an individual is not married or does not have any children does not mean that they do not have a family. An employee who is taking advantage of their work-free time is likely to visit their mother, father, brother, sister, or other close relatives.

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Every individual, no matter what their status, has a hobby. There are many individuals who have multiple hobbies. A hobby is known as an activity that you love to participate in during your free time. Popular hobbies include, but are not limited to, stamp collecting, photography, writing, playing sports, hiking, and other outdoor activities. Because work-life balance often reduces the amount of hours an employee works there are more individuals who are able to find time for their hobbies.

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Volunteering could be labeled as a hobby, but it also known a service. There are many individuals who, when not working, volunteer in or around their local community. Volunteering is most commonly done at non-profit charities, schools, play groups, and homeless shelters. Volunteering can occur at all hours of the day; however, most volunteers are needed during traditional work hours. Having a healthy balance between work and life is what enables many employees to volunteer during their traditional work hours. It also helps that employers who allow their employees to volunteer during work are highly recognized and appreciated throughout the community.

One of the most common myths associated with a work-life balance is that only those with families benefit from it. As you can see, that myth couldn be farther from the truth. Employees of all ages, social standing, and martial status can benefit and appreciate a healthy work-life balance in the workplace.

— Jennifer Foote.
We will continue to discuss work & life balance in the series of Achieving Work-Life Balance. Stay tuned.

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Last Updated on November 19, 2019

How to Become an Early Riser and Stay Energetic

How to Become an Early Riser and Stay Energetic

When you become an early riser, you’ll experience a lot of benefits including feeling more energized and having more time to do what you want.

If you’d like to become an early riser, there are some things you should know before you run off to set your oft-ignored alarm clock.

So how to become an early riser?

Here are five tips I’ve discovered to be most helpful in making the transition from erratic sleeper to early morning wizard:

1. Choose to Get up Before You Go to Sleep

You’re not very good at making decisions when you’ve just woken up. You were in the middle of a dream in which [insert celebrity crush of choice here] is serving you breakfast in bed only to be rudely awakened by the harsh tones of your alarm clock. You’re frustrated, angry, confused, and surprised. This is not the time to be making decisions about whether or not you should stay in bed! And yet, most of us leave the first decision of our day to be made in a blur of partial wakefulness.

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No more!

If you want to be a consistently early riser, try making your decision to rise at a specific time before you go to sleep the night before. This frees you from making the decision in the morning when you’ve just woken up. Instead of making a decision, you have only to follow through on your decision from the night before.

Easier said than done? Of course. But only for the first few times. Eventually, your need for raw willpower to get out of bed will diminish and you’ll be the proud parent of a new habit!

Steve Pavlina suggests you practice getting out of bed during the day[1] to get a few of the “practice sessions” out of the way without the early morning fog in your head.

2. Have a Plan for Your Extra Time

Let’s say you’ve actually made it out of bed 2 hours before you normally would. Now what? What are you going to do with all this time you’ve discovered in your day?

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If you don’t have something planned to do with your extra time, you risk falling for the temptation of a “morning nap” that wipes out all the work you put into getting up.

What to do? Before you go to bed, make a quick note of what you’d like to get done during your extra hours the following day. Do you have a book to write, paper to read, or garage to clean? Make a plan for your early hours and you’ll do more than protect yourself from backsliding into bed.

You’ll get things done and those results will fuel your desire to build rising early into a habit!

3. Make Rising Early a Social Activity

Your internet or social media buddies just don’t have enough pull to make your new habit stick in the long term. The same cannot be said for the people you spend time with as part of your early morning routine.

Sure, you could choose to read blogs for two hours every morning. But wouldn’t it be great to join an early breakfast club, running group, or play chess in the park at 5am?

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The more people you get involved in making your new habit a daily part of your life, the easier it’ll be to succeed.

4. Don’t Use an Alarm That Makes You Angry

If we’re all wired differently, why do we all insist on torturing ourselves with the same sort of alarm each morning?

I spent years trying to wake up before my alarm went off so I wouldn’t have to hear it. I got pretty good, too. Then I started using a cellphone as my alarm clock and quickly realized that different ring tones irritated me less but worked just as well to wake me up. I now use the ring tone alarm as a back up for my bedside lamp plugged in to a timer.

When the bright light doesn’t work, the cellphone picks up the slack and I wake up on time. The lesson learned? Experiment a bit and see what works best for you. Light, sound, smells, temperature, or even some contraption that dumps water on you might be more pleasant than your old alarm clock. Give something new a try!

5. Get Your Blood Flowing Right After Waking

If you don’t have a neighbor, you can pick fights with at 5am, you’ll have to settle with a more mundane exercise. It doesn’t take much to get your blood flowing and chase the sleep from your head.

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Just pick something you don’t mind doing and go through the motions until your heart rate is up. Jumping rope, push-ups, crunches, or a few minutes of yoga are typically enough to do the trick. (Just don’t do anything your doctor hasn’t approved.)

If you live in a beautiful part of the world like me, you might want to use a bit of your early morning to go for a walk and enjoy the beauty of the world around you.

If you have a coffee shop open within walking distance, dragging yourself out of bed for a cup of coffee to savor on your walk home as the world wakes around you is a wonderful experience. Try it!

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Featured photo credit: Nomadic Julien via unsplash.com

Reference

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