By Rebecca Muller, Assistant Editor at Thrive Global
Carving out time for regular recovery is essential for your mental well-being and performance — but sometimes, planning a traditional vacation can feel overwhelming, or is simply unrealistic with a tight timeline. For instance, if you’re a new parent, an anxious traveler, or a caregiver for a loved one, you might not be able to book a last-minute flight to a far-off destination to unplug and recharge — and that reality alone can be stressful.
“The kinds of vacations we take are highly constrained by the demands of family, school and work calendars, and finances,” Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, Ph.D., author of Rest and The Distraction Addiction, tells Thrive. “One size doesn’t fit all.” Pang notes that a getaway is often most valuable because it helps you tap into a mindset that allows you to relax — but you don’t have to go away to hone in on that vacation-focused mindset. In fact, even people who do go on traditional getaways can miss the point. “Too many people go on vacation and stay connected the whole time,” adds Arthur Markman, Ph.D., a psychology professor at the University of Texas at Austin and author of Bring Your Brain to Work. “They don’t give themselves a chance to recharge.”
By Rebecca Muller, Assistant Editor at Thrive Global
As much as we’d love to leave our work at work, letting our to-do list follow us home on the weekends is a trap that many of us fall into. With the rise of hustle culture, our always-online tendencies, and our trouble setting boundaries, it’s all too easy to let work time spill into personal time. “Many people feel like they can’t afford to turn off work for the weekend,” says Elana Feldman, Ph.D., an assistant professor of management at UMass Lowell’s Manning School of Business.
Here’s the rub:
When we don’t disconnect, we risk sabotaging our own weekends, Traci Stein, Ph.D., M.P.H., a clinical psychologist and adjunct professor at Columbia University, tells Thrive. “The problem with bringing your work home with you is that doing so means you can’t fully engage with family, friends, or make time for self-care.” On the flip side, a work-free weekend not only allows you to enjoy your time off, but also helps you start your week on Monday feeling truly recharged. “When people allow themselves to experience a true break, they generally return to work feeling less tired, more positive, and better able to expend the effort required to be effective in their jobs,” says Feldman. “What’s more, research shows that downtime can help prevent burnout over time.”
Of course, completely separating from work is easier said than done — but these tips can make it easier:
By Jessica Hicks, Editorial Fellow at Thrive Global
Knowing how to delegate is essential to successful leadership, but it’s a skill that can be challenging. Some managers don’t like to hand over responsibility, while others might be nervous about appearing disengaged — but what these leaders don’t realize is that delegating can provide growth opportunities for their colleagues, and reduce stress for the entire team.
Plus, managers need additional support. A recent Gallup report found that managing various types of employees and stakeholders can escalate stress for managers, who “need protected time to think, do their own work, and respond to requests.”
If you’re a manager who’s unsure how to hand over a task, check out these tips to make the process more thoughtful and effective:
By Alexandra Hayes, Multimedia Reporter
While at work, I find myself looking for ways to be a productivity wizard. Often, I tend to hit a wall around 4 p.m., but my job, which consists mostly of writing, requires my brain to function like a well-oiled conveyer belt, delivering fresh, coherent thoughts as they are needed (and I like it this way!).
Not all assignments require the same level of focus, so one way I’ve learned to optimize my time is by doing the labor-intensive tasks first. I’ll start whatever it is early in the morning, and I’ll chip away at it for however long my brain continues to produce quality work for. For the most part, this strategy works for me. I dedicate my most productive hours to my most demanding tasks, and getting a head start on those items alleviates the anxiety that can be induced by intimidating deadlines, and the disappearance of time.
By Carol Tuttle
Overwhelmed, scattered, totally worn out. Does that ever sound like you?
Even though you’re committed to work-life balance, sometimes equilibrium isn’t as easy to find as you’d like.
Most advice suggests that you set boundaries, manage time better, and practice self-care. Yes, those are important. But if you’re juggling a hundred balls, you need an overall strategy to calm things down — not just tactics that give you more to do.
Consider the possibility that you can have work-life balance with a simpler (and even counterintuitive) approach.
Where your balance (and imbalance) actually comes fromIt’s easy to look at your emails, phone calls, meetings, and to-do’s and believe that they are the problem. Everything coming at you is just too much!
by Celeste Headlee
How many hours do you work every week?
Take just a moment and figure out your average. Be careful, though: I want you to include all of your time spent working. Not just the hours that you’re in the office, but the time it takes to check your email while watching TV, or responding to a quick text from a co-worker.
You’re not done yet, though. Now add up all of the time that you spend doing non-work activities while on the job. Any time that you’ve scanned through movie reviews or celebrity news on the internet, or done a little online shopping, or called your partner to ask what they want to have for dinner. More than half of all online purchases are made between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., and almost two-thirds of traffic on porn sites happens during the work day. When you add all that up, subtract it from your working hours. What is the final total?
by Suzie Doscher, Executive Coach and Life Coaching focusing on Personal Development, Self-Help Author: Balance - A Practical Handbook for Life's Difficult Moments
Coaching your team? Add this skill to your coaching style – being non-judgmental.
There is an abundance of articles on being a coach to your people. I enjoy reading the quality information provided by the Harvard Business Review.
The desire to increase, enhance or maintain the quality of work, and in some cases even the quality of life at work, is evident.
The article in the HBR: Most Managers Don’t Know How to Coach. But They Can Learn, offers wonderful insights on what coaching is all about and aims to achieve.
Your responsibilities include leading, motivating, inspiring and with your coaching you hope to further their growth, development and enhance their skills.
by Suzie Doscher, Executive Coach, Life Coaching and Self-help Author
Knowing you have the skills to bounce back, not only on an intellectual and but also feeling this on an emotional level is true strength. Resilience in my opinion is knowing that no matter what comes your way - you can handle it. You know you have the strength and confidence to get up, dust yourself off and move forward. Your self-esteem is strengthened by this ability. You have the confidence to figure out and fix, or change whatever has set you back.
This might sound easy so it is important to remember that when emotions are present (have been triggered) I can handle this is not necessarily the first thought or feeling that might occur.
Neuroscience has proven when emotions are present the brain’s cognitive resources are the first to be disrupted. In other words emotions overpower thinking in that moment.
When a situation results with you feeling stressed, kicked down, frustrated, angry, unsupported, alone, confused, overwhelmed etc. - these feelings are the emotions triggered by whatever happened in that moment.