What better time to write about the work place than approaching three years working at my current job this week, which also marks three years in my career of PR. The time has definitely flown by–it felt like it was just yesterday that I left my call center job and jumped into my PR career. It has definitely been fulfilling, but there has been some tryinggg days. The key to keeping all together? Establishing a work + life balance.
Here’s five tips to help you find your balance in the work place that hopefully leads to more happiness:
Stop eating at your desk!
This is your dedicated free time. This is the time your employees have granted you and may potentially owe you by state law. Use it! It’s your little peace break to refocus for the rest of the day. I’m sure you’re a girl (or guy) boss getting shit done, you deserve to not worry about getting salad dressing on your keyboard as you respond to an email. This is a habit I’m trying to break and I’ve noticed when I don’t eat at my desk I feel better. When I’m not at my desk, I’m running errands, grabbing lunch with my dad and often times winding up in Target and we all know how that goes…just deodorant?! Yeah right! If you work in a job where you’re able to leave the office, do it. Plus your day will likely go faster, or seem like it because you haven’t been looking at the same walls all day.
Change your scenery
Sitting at the same desk for 8+ hours, five days out of the week can be draining and unmotivating. If you have a laptop, take it and find an area you can work at such as tables or couches. Don’t have an area like this? Try to book a conference room to work in–even if it is for just an hour or two. I noticed whenever I work away from my desk I’m more productive. Luckily I work in environment that has many areas available for setting up shop to work. I don’t do as much as I used to, but starting in December I’m going to try to work away from my desk at least once a week. If you have the option, schedule a working coffee run with your coworkers–you’ll get a chance to get out of the office, plus grab your double-double.
Don’t take your laptop home
I remember when I first started my career in the PR industry. I was always plugged into my email–rather through phone or my laptop. And often times I didn’t have to be…like on vacation or on the weekend. Unless you’re on a tight deadline, leave your work laptop at WORK! If you must commit to bringing work home with you, limit the times per week that you do. Work-life balance is real and you gotta know when to stop working to enjoy your life. Manage your time better throughout your work day so you’re not stuck carrying work home. When you get home from work it should be dedicated to QT with your friends, family or just relaxing by yourself with a glass of wine. If you absolutely must stay plugged in at home, limit it to 30 minutes once you get home and 30 minutes before going to bed.
Invest in headphones
Headphones is the universal signal of Diddy’s line “don’t bother me, I’m working.” How many times have you went to ask a co-worker a question and saw they had headphones and said forget it, I’ll bother them later? Happens a lot in my office. Not sure about everyone else, but music gets me in my get-shit-done zone. It’s always been that way, from college to career to blogging. With music blasting, I’m able to knockout a press release in little to no time. Develop a good playlist and watch the work get done. I have a pair of Beats Solo 2 headphones that I absolutely love! I snagged mine last year during a Black Friday sale at Target. Although Black Friday and Cyber Monday have past, you might still be able to grab a decent pair of headphones for this remaining Cyber week.
Utilize every day given to you. I’ll say it again… utilize E-V-E-R-Y D-A-Y given to you! Take advantage of your vacation and personal days. If you’re sick, take a sick day and rest. You can’t be your best self on the job if you’re not 100%. I know some people who rarely ever utilize a vacation or sick day, they’re also some of the people who complain the most about their jobs. I think of vacation and personal days as reset buttons. If you get two weeks worth of vacation days every year, you can easily take a day off of work every month. Make it on a Friday or Monday and you have nice three-day weekend once a month and who doesn’t love a three-day weekend?! I used to have this mindset that if I’m not going anywhere or have anything planned, I shouldn’t utilize my vacation days. Some of the most rewarding days I’ve taken off of work have been sitting at home catching up on my favorite shows like Insecure (#TeamLawrence) or binge watching series’ on Netflix like Gossip Girl and Narcos.
Once you achieve balance in the work place, happiness is sure to follow. I’ll end with these two quotes that keep me going when it comes to work…