In modern life, it's increasingly difficult to switch off from work. Technology streamlines life and opens up new opportunities but it doesn't reduce our workloads.
Now, many employees find it difficult to switch off when emails continue to pop up on their smartphone. The knock on effect here is less time spent with family.
How do you stop this trend and embrace some much needed downtime? We've got some handy tips for you so you won't let work take priority over spending time with family:
1. Turn your devices off
The pressure on modern employees is enormous, which makes it tempting to continue working long after your 5pm finish. Of course, most staff aren’t paid for this overtime.
There's even a new phenomenon called "leavism". This is where employees take holiday time to catch up on their backlog of work, rather than relax.
Constantly working is a drain on your health. You simply need time off to recover. It’ll make you more effective at work too. So once you get back home, turn your devices off. Get away from work and catch up with your family, indulge in a few hobbies, and relax.
This may prove difficult if you’re used to firing off emails at 11:30 pm. So condition yourself gradually to make this marked shift. It should become part of your routine.
Over the course of a few weeks, you’ll lapse into more family-friendly activities. It all starts with hitting the off button - or, at the very least, your "do not disturb" feature.
2. Request flexible work time
Changing your work hours can have an enormous effect. You may want to start earlier or later, for instance.
Have a word with your manager to see if this is possible. It can open up new opportunities to ensure you can spend more time with your loved ones.
3. Take a new career route
If it's not possible for new working hours, then a change of career path could open up new opportunities.
There are endless new opportunities available for you. Actively hunting for new roles can open up a new world for you. After all, many modern businesses are in tune with a sound work life balance. Your next step could lead to a better job, plus more time to spend with your family.
But how do you go about a career change?Here's a guide for when you have no idea how to change career:
Is It Time for a Career Change? Find Your Answer Here with These Steps
4. Work remotely
Of course, you could improve your work life balance drastically with a remote worker role. Not every career route is open to this. But if your industry is, then you could request this opportunity with your current employer.
You can check out these 17 Types of Online Work at Home Jobs that Really Pay Off.
5. Relax before heading home
Arriving home from work feeling stressed out and unhappy can only have negative results on your family. As such, relax properly before you return home.
Take a trip to the gym, for instance, or take a walk around your local area. Do some shopping. Pick up a book you want to read. Buy a present for the kids.
Effectively switching off before you get back can turn your mind off from work. The result is quality time with your family, rather than downtime sabotaged through work stresses.
6. Make Friday a special night
For many employees, Friday night signals the end of the week. It's a date to look forward to and cherish. So turn it into an ultra-special occasion -- one that you can look forward to throughout the week.
If you add several relaxation activities to your calendar each week, make sure Friday night is a priority. It's a chance to celebrate the weekend. And you can start that off with some family activities -- a film night, for example, or a meal out. That sets the scene for your weekend.
7. Talk about something other than work
If your life revolves around work and you struggle to have conversations about anything other than work, then you can broaden your conversational horizons.
I'm not on about gossiping of course, but little instances that can shift talk away from something other than what's going on at the office.
You can make steps in your professional life to network with people beyond asking about their work. Talk to your colleagues about their family life, for example, to find common ground. Try these tips on How to Talk to People When You Have Nothing to Say to add more meaning to your conversations at work.
8. Reduce your stress levels
Stress has an adverse affect on anyone. Over time, it can sap your morale and leave you feel negative. Combatting it with positive activities can ensure your time off with your family is properly spent.
Yoga is one such example but there are plenty of other options. Just take a look at these 8 simple relaxation techniques to help reduce stress.
As you'd expect, there are also plenty of calming apps to help you along. Headspace is a lea ding example - check out the video below. It's free and offers tips on meditation to reduce anxiety, depression, and stress. Or there's Calm , which offers meditative sound effects and sleep stories. Also, it's free!
9. View busyness as bad
It's something of an intellectual pursuit in modern business. Prove to others you can hack an enormous workload. This is an outlook championed by the likes of Elon Musk. We all see it in the news as defining what "success" is.
But no matter how brilliant you are, rest is essential. In fact, if you're overburdened with work, then your productivity will drop. Your mental health will also take a battering.
There's a school of thought that also suggests busyness is bad for business.((Harvard Business Review: Is Busyness Bad for Business?)) In fact, there's now a backlash against it. In Scientific American's article Why Your Brain Needs More Downtime,((Scientific American: Why Your Brain Needs More Downtime)) it's argued:
"Throughout history people have intuited that such puritanical devotion to perpetual busyness does not in fact translate to greater productivity and is not particularly healthy. What if the brain requires substantial downtime to remain industrious and generate its most innovative ideas?
Downtime replenishes the brain’s stores of attention and motivation, encourages productivity and creativity, and is essential to both achieve our highest levels of performance and simply form stable memories in everyday life. A wandering mind unsticks us in time so that we can learn from the past and plan for the future. Moments of respite may even be necessary to keep one’s moral compass in working order and maintain a sense of self. most innovative ideas?"
10. And finally... have more fun
Focus on making sure fun becomes an integral part of your life. Instead of becoming bogged down in stress and work commitments, find new opportunities to focus on.
You can start by taking a look at making parenting easier. This can ease the pressures you face alongside your job. If you're bossing parenting, then you'll also head into work feeling confident and ready to take on your latest projects.
But you can also advance your relationships with fun family activities. As mentioned above, you can turn your focus towards making weekends as fun as possible. This list of 53 fun things for the weekend is another step in the right direction.