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 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?
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By Brie Schwartz
In Oprah Winfrey's latest book, The Path Made Clear (available March 26) she explores the power of setting intentions and accepting your calling. Through her inspirational words, we're reminded to follow our intuition—something she explains has been instrumental in her career. Her upcoming work compiles the key lessons she's learned on her journey to self-discovery, combined with wisdom and personal stories from those she admires—including Brené Brown, Elizabeth Gilbert, and Eckhart Tolle.
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