Do what you love, and you’ll never work another day in your life. Ever heard the saying?
According to a recent Gallup poll, nearly half of workers in the U.S. log 50 hours or more at the office each week. But that doesn’t mean your job has to be a non-stop grind! Try these tips for keeping your work/life balance in check this International Fun at Work Day (April 1st)—and your job just might stop feeling like, well… work.
KNOW YOUR MOST EFFICIENT HOURS.
All of us have a time of day when we’re most productive. If you know you go into beast mode in the morning, then hit a wall in the afternoon, use that knowledge to your advantage. Plan to do important calls, meetings, and assignments in the A.M. and save easier tasks for the afternoon. (Vice versa if you’re not a morning person.) That way, working doesn’t constantly feel like pulling teeth.
SCHEDULE “YOU” TIME EVERY WEEK (LITERALLY).
You probably have a calendar for your work and family tasks that you follow religiously. Do the same for personal activities: add workouts, meditation sessions, weekly book club—even a bath or an hour binge-watching Netflix—and commit to them the way you would meetings or doctor’s appointments. This makes time to recharge feel non-negotiable.
DESIGNATE A NO-SCREEN DAY.
We’ve all been there: you start scrolling on Instagram, and suddenly an hour has passed. You haven’t accomplished anything for work, and you don’t feel particularly relaxed, either. (Hello, social media FOMO!) Set aside a day each week sans screens to avoid this trap altogether. Saturday’s a safe bet, since you won’t need to check work emails or get prepped for the week ahead.
MAKE CHORES INTO A TIMED GAME.
It’s draining to dedicate entire weekend days to cleaning or organizing. Instead, corral your family and come up with a timed game to complete tasks more quickly—and make them feel less taxing. Some examples: Compete with your kids to see who can clean their entire room fastest or fold the most clothes in a set amount of time, or challenge your significant other to make a better 10-minute meal than you.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP.
Sure, the only way to ensure something gets done right is to do it yourself. But trying to do it all is a one-way ticket to burn-out. Make a list of everything you do regularly for work, and highlight all the tasks you could use some help with. Commit to assigning them out or hiring help, or show your manager your list and ask how your company can help lighten your load. Most likely, they’ll be impressed with the sheer number of things you’ve taken on and understand your need for assistance.