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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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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