An Article by contributor Chloe Taylor.
Landing a well-paid job in your field of expertise immediately upon graduation is a huge success, but managing to achieve work-life balance as a newbie in the business hoops is nothing short of a miracle. Blame it on youthful enthusiasm or desire for validation, but many graduates wind up chained to their work in a matter of weeks. And while the newly-acquired sense of purpose, self-importance, and responsibility might feel great in the first few months, all that work and little or no play will at some point begin to deplete your batteries and work drive, leaving you craving your old life back with a vengeance. The good news is you can achieve work-life balance even with no prior experience under your belt – and here’s how.
1. Early bird catches the work-life balance
The best thing you can do to prevent work from overflowing over into your free time is to arrive at the office on time. On top of helping you get the most out of start-of-shift focus and creative flow, arriving on time will show your super that you take your job seriously and are willing to do your share of work like a true professional. Bonus point: if you arrive early, you may get to finish your daily tasks before the end of the shift and perhaps even leave the office a little earlier.
2. Avoid over-scheduling during workweek
As lively as your college years might have been, once you set sail across work waters, you’ll have to make a few compromises. This is especially true of your hobbies and social life: too much play can take as high an energy tool as too much work which is why you should avoid double-booking and over-scheduling on work days and save fun for weekends. Staying up once or twice a week won’t drain you, but don’t make it a habit if you want to keep your job – and your health.
3. Become a time management grandmaster
It may take a few weeks for you to get accustomed to the new work environment, but once the dust settles, your should focus on achieving and preserving peak productivity at work. To avoid wasting time during work, make To Do lists and write down daily, weekly, and monthly goals and priorities. Also, try not to make one too many breaks: managers don’t like frequent workflow interruptions, so become a time management ninja, stay put, and don’t raise red flags.
4. In perfect working order and set on growth
Tidiness is a busy employee’s best friend, so take the time at the end of the workday to clear out your work area and check the tasks and priorities for day ahead. By prepping your work area for peak productivity in advance, you’ll be able to jump in straight away while your mind’s still fresh and get more work done. Also, you should take advantage of modern tech for tasks in and out of the office to avoid unwarranted loss of time in lines at the bank, store, etc.
5. Let the virtual office work to your advantage
When everyday stress starts to tug at your mental sleeves, it’s a smart move to step back, take a deep breath, and switch to a virtual workplace. For example, many Australians use virtual hubs to avoid waste of time in commute, and the range of virtual offices in Sydney is constantly expanding. The shift to the virtual work environment can help you achieve better work-life balance, put things in a perspective, and reduce work-related stress levels.
6. Take care of yourself, first and foremost
The fact that you managed to find a decent job doesn’t mean your life should be put on the back burner until further notice. If you want to stay healthy, fit, and ready for all the curveballs and challenges life may throw your way, you should strive to follow a custom diet structured around organic fruit and vegetables, low-fat dairy, whole grains, and lean protein. You can also take up a sport to relieve stress, build strong muscles, and boost your mood outside work hours.
Last but not the least, don’t forget to take the time to show your family, friends, and loved ones how much you love them and care about them. A strong network of friends and relatives will serve as a cushion to help buffer work-related stress and give you a reason to smile and endure even less than stellar days at the office. Ready, steady, go: it’s time to start building your career and work-life balance brick by brick!
Chloe is a young blogger and a huge fan of social media. She enjoys learning and writing about design, education, psychology and productivity related topics. Her biggest dream is to travel the whole world and take stunning photographs of beautiful places. You can find Chloe on FB and Twitter.