“You are important.”
Have you ever tried looking at this statement from a different angle?
With the digital advancements in every workplace, tech professionals like you are needed more than ever. You and your skills hold together everyone’s tech stack and safeguard network activities. Everyone relies on you because you keep the company’s processes healthy and uninterrupted.
Over the pandemic, remote work has further heightened the requirement for your time. You had to make sure that everyone was having the smoothest work experience from their home, while you had to be quick to respond to anyone who needed your help. Everyone was having the best work-life balance, but were you? Here’s how to know if you have to make work adjustments to improve your situation.
Reassess How You Care for Yourself
Have a look around you. You should be proud of what you’ve accomplished—the stacks of tasks you’ve cleared daily and the direction and assistance you’ve given to colleagues. It’s time to see if you’re caring for yourself as much as you do for others. Ask yourself these simple questions to find out:
“Do I Feel Well-Rested?”
Your body must be healthy and well-rested to keep on functioning the best it can. Did you know that your physical health can affect your mental health? Unexplainable fatigue, apathy, and irritability are only three of the signs that your body is receiving inadequate care and nutrition.¹
Fatigue can be a side effect of a number of conditions, including anemia and depression. Meanwhile, apathy and irritability can be a sign that you aren’t getting enough energy for your body. Both can also be signs of a mental condition.
Eat well, exercise, and consult with an expert to best see how you may improve your health. Being well can lead to more satisfaction in your life and career.
“When Was the Last Time I Did Something Exciting?”
Your interests matter. You can think of it as a part of your many reasons to work and earn. Your hobbies may be creative, athletic, or intellectual. Dedicating time for your hobbies can help improve your mental health, creative problem-solving abilities, and relationships.² You build on your empathy when you share these interests with others.
Allow one to two hours a day for your leisure time. You can take up simple but interesting activities such as building 3D puzzles or Lego blocks, relaxing and focus-enhancing ones like yoga or listening to podcasts, or simply organizing a movie night with loved ones.
“Have I Missed or Canceled Anything Important?”
Your relationships should also be nurtured. Your family and friends are your support group and receivers of good news. They fill your heart with joy every time you reconnect. Make it a point to spend time with them whenever you can. For someone as busy as you, try to find meaning in every moment you share.
If you’ve been canceling on family and friends a lot lately, this will be a good time to prioritize them. Meet with them on a regular basis. It can be once a week or once a month. If seeing them in person soon isn’t possible, try staying connected online. People are changing every second. You wouldn’t want to miss their best parts.
“Do I feel any negativity toward my work?”
Your career shouldn’t be a source of regret, dread, or frustration. It’s your pride. If you notice that the first thing you feel when you clock in is dread, it’s time to step back for a bit and take a deep breath.
Ask yourself what could possibly be making you feel this way. Is it the overwhelming things you have to do? Do you have any current needs that have not been addressed for some time now? If you don’t address these matters now, you might end up looking for work that rekindles your passion elsewhere. Setting boundaries may help improve your situation by allowing you to see things more clearly.
Work-Life Balance is Achievable for Tech Professionals
Now that you’ve had a look at yourself and your daily circumstances, it’s time to make adjustments at work and at home. Here are four things you can do to have healthier routines.
1. Create a schedule you can follow.
Creating a schedule for yourself should include your time for rest. Try creating two of them: one for work and one for your personal time.
During your shift, see how much time it takes you to accomplish certain tasks. Ask yourself how important it is for them to be done the soonest so you can manage how much time you would need to allot for each. Try listing down the things you need to do and mark only three things you need to finish within the day. Everything else that follows can be completed the next day.
For your personal time, create another task list that includes your hygiene care, leisure, meals, and rest. For your busy weekdays, identify which ones you can share with your loved ones.
2. Turn off your equipment during breaks and after your shift.
When you aren’t supposed to work, turn off anything related to it. If you have an hour for lunch, spend it eating the most scrumptious meal and sharing the heartiest conversations with colleagues. Avoid checking your phone for work notifications—it can take your attention away from the “now”.
At home, if you really need to wait for last-minute updates and assignments, give it an hour after your shift. If no one sends you a message within that time, then you can check on everything that comes in the morning.
3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Communicating your needs with your colleagues not only makes the team more productive but also keeps you at your best state. If your work is ridiculously piling up, renegotiate some of your deadlines with your boss. Ask for help when you feel like you can be doing better at certain things.
Be honest when you feel lost about the things assigned to you, especially when you feel unwell. Remember that you are a significant part of the body—the company you work at. It will be difficult for it to function if you get stuck at something, or worse, end up being seriously sick.
4. Avoid Work Over the Weekend.
The weekends are for you, your loved ones, and your interests. It’s your right to enjoy it. Having to work over it takes away that right from you.
Having a firm schedule can help you keep the weekends to yourself. This also means that you have to finish every important task you need to do or catch up on them the following week. Choose wisely whichever of the two will work best for you, since this can also affect your workload.
If you really need to work on a weekend and can’t avoid it, try to finish everything in just one day. Neglecting your personal time can badly affect your work output when you end up exhausted. Stop the overwork so you can work in delight.
Care for Yourself More to Work Better
Stay happy to keep achieving! You deserve good things, remember that. See rest and leisure as your right, not a reward, to be a more fruitful individual at work and at home.
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1 Peter Jaret. “7 Signs Your Nutrition Isn’t on Track”. https://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/features/nutrition-aging-7-signs-inadequate-nutrition . Published last April 27, 2022. Accessed last March 14, 2023.
2 Venkat S.R. “Health Benefits of Hobbies”. https://www.webmd.com/balance/health-benefits-of-hobbies . Published last May 23, 2022. Accessed last March 14, 2023.