Achieving a balance between work and play means giving up on the idea that work should be the main object in one’s life and paying more attention to the more ‘fun’ side of life. Even though it sounds counterintuitive, enjoying life and taking more breaks can make us more productive.
With the pandemic and remote working becoming the norm, work and play balance got even more disrupted, as many people found it hard to get out of ‘work’ mode while working remotely. Moreover, with the restrictions that were imposed, people had a hard time finding the right time and place for play and fun – so no wonder that burnout rates are on the rise.
5 proven ways for achieving work-play balance
Modern culture pushes hard on the importance of work but play always seems to be taking the backseat. So if you are new to this idea that play and relaxation can improve your work you might not know where to start. Luckily there are some simple, changes that you can incorporate into your lifestyle so that you make sure that all the work you’ve done counts and all the play matters.
Schedule specific hours of your day for play
It is important that we consciously carve some time out of our day for play. Looking at your daily calendar and all the tasks on there can be scary. However, when you can see that you have scheduled something fun to look forward to it can be motivating. Moreover, when the actual time for play comes and you engage in any activity – the body and the mind can more easily relax from the hard work done earlier in the day.
Stay away from social media
Constantly looking at people’s highlights of their life and success can make you feel that you have not accomplished enough. Although looking at other people’s successes can be motivating sometimes – thinking about it all the time is not helpful.
Comparing with other professionals in the field or the business successes of others with yours can only lead to not appreciating your work. So stay away from social media after work or at least limit the social media consumption to only funny things, friends and family after work and let your mind have some fun.
Set a limit on your work hours
We mentioned the importance of having scheduled time for play but it’s also vital to have scheduled an end of our work hours. Cal Newport, a computer science professor at Georgetown University, is a huge proponent of fixed-schedule productivity. He argues that everyone should:
- Choose a schedule of work hours that you think provides the ideal balance of work and play.
- Do whatever it takes to avoid violating this schedule.
Although this idea might seem a little far-fetched at first, the notion behind it is that once you limit your work-time you are forced to be more productive. That means you have to stop procrastinating and focus only on the most important tasks in order to keep up with your schedule.
Disconnect yourself from work
Sometimes work and especially remote work can sneak up into our day unwanted due to all the technology that keeps us connected to our work even after our workdays are done. Therefore it is up to us to manage how and when people can reach us after we are done working.
Deleting communication apps like Slack or Skype from our mobile phones can be one step in ensuring you are not available to out-of-office messages. Moreover, setting reminders on our emails that we receive after a certain time of the day that we are not available. Even though a short message or an email might sound like a silly thing to ignore, even those things can put the brain in a work mode again and that will make it harder to detach from work.
Of course, this might upset some coworkers or business partners but it is the key for us to maintain a healthy work plan balance.
Hire a virtual assistant
Thanks to the Internet, the world doesn’t seem so big today and we have access to people from all around the world. One way to use this to our advantage is to hire a remote virtual assistant to help us with maintaining our work-play balance. To give more attention to our time out of work – you need to make sure that all things are running properly so that you can relax without worrying about our work or business.
We talked about the importance of staying away from social media but sometimes our work or business requires constant social media maintenance. This is where a social media assistant for example can allow you to be online most of the time without taking a huge chunk of your time.
There are many ways in which a virtual assistant can enrich your life – you just have to be determined that you are willing to spend less time on work for more free time.
Lack of having a work-play balance, being unable to disconnect from your work, and the inability to take time off are one of the reasons why both employers and employees burn out in the long run. Setting limits to our work time and actively looking for more ways to open up our time for play and relaxation is key to staying healthy and productive.
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