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Finding Your Work-Life Balance

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work life balance

Everyone deserves a break now and again. We are all human and we can only complete a certain amount of work before we crash and begin to suffer physically and mentally. This is why it is incredibly crucial for all of us to find a healthy work-life balance which we can maintain through our lives.

It might be that we take a day off work once a month to give us something to look forward to, we stay away from overtime at certain times in the year to spend time with family, or even just switching that laptop off at a reasonable time before we go to bed to give us plenty of time to relax and reset for a good night’s sleep.

It can be difficult to switch off from work when you are trying provide for your family and you are also faced with a huge amount of responsibility- however it is something which we need to do for our own health. If you are wondering how to find your personal work- life balance, read ahead…

  1. Turn off your email

It is just typical on a working day that the moment you decide to call it a day and switch off, you end up getting an email from a colleague asking you to do something. The problem with this is that you end up reading the email, thinking it will be a 5 minute job, and then an hour later you’ve still not switched off. Believe it or not this was a part of work which France has put laws in to stop. No one is allowed to check work emails after 6 pm in France, instead people have to go home, spend time with their loved ones and relax. The idea of this is the idea of knowing when to stop and let work thoughts fade away. If you are constantly doing work, your brain ends up having no room for anything else. This is a huge issue and is one which needs to be addressed. So, take France’s lead and turn off for the evening at 6 pm.

  1. Say no

You might think that the best way to get ahead in your career is to always be available for your employers and to always say yes to every request, however this can increasingly turn into stupid demands until it gets to a point where you are working your butt off for an employer who wants you to pick up their dry cleaning, look after their cat and iron their shirt. It can get to a point where you are walked over to a point that you are essentially a slave.

The only way to combat this is to learn how to say no now and again. If you don’t learn to say no you will always be picked on. The next time your boss asks you to cover a school holiday or an extra day, say no. You might feel guilty but at the end of the day your employer needs to realise that you are a human being and you have your own life, responsibility and family. Don’t feel as if you have to give a reason, because you don’t. You are completely entitled to decline and it won’t reflect badly on you.

  1. Work smarter, not harder

The classic way of thinking is that more work brings in more results. It has been the way people have ran society for hundreds of years, but it is not the absolute truth. In the last 20 years with the rise of computer technology, we have built ourselves new ways to make time consuming tasks much more easy. Such as GetSling for scheduling work, Canva for creating graphic design and Grammar,y for checking the grammar on our content.

We as a species strive to find more efficient ways to complete tasks, and often this will mean finding ways to make them take less time and effort. So while it is true that more work may equal more successful, it does not mean in this day and age that you spend 12 hours in the office. There is an interesting book called the 4 hour workweek which discusses this idea, and it is an intriguing read. You need to realise that our time on this planet is very limited, which is why we need to take the chance to live life to its peak while we can. This means finding ways to work less, be more productive and feel alive. It is much better for us to find ways to make work smarter rather than bend over backwards and work until we can no longer function.

  1. What goes on at work stays at work

This is an important one. Finding the separation between work and home is very possibly the most difficult aspect of your work and life balance. We may sometimes find ourselves looking back and thinking about things we need to do at work even when we are at home with our family. The issue with this nips not allowing the brain to switch off and focus on something else for a while. Once you’ve left work for the day, don’t check your email, don’t look at your phone and don’t think about what you need to do the next day. Have fun in the moment and enjoy the time you have to be yourself.

  1. Forget random tasks

There is a temptation sometimes as we leave work and realise we still need to do something to just sit back down and get it done, but this is precisely what you want to avoid. Once you have finished for the day, don’t think about the things you haven’t quite finished. Your shift has now ended so you can go home and enjoy the company of the people you work so hard to provide for. So what if you haven’t sent that email yet? In a few hours you’ll be back in the office and you can get it done then.

6. Stop trying to be the hero

Although the sense of pride you feel by being able to say it was your work that out the company on the map and made those profits. But to be honest, it isn’t anything compared to your actual life at home. Stop trying to be THAT person and focus on being the hero of your own life instead. It will be much more rewarding than a pat on the back from your manager.

  1. Ease off the adrenaline

Whether you love the rush you get from a run, skydiving or a hard day at work- our body can only handle so much adrenaline so be careful with your body.  It will get to a point where you rely on adrenaline so much that you crash without it.

  1. Should you retire?

Some people love work just that bit too much, and it can become such a huge part of your life that you forget how to do anything else. The problem is that eventually you will need to leave work and be free, and you will want to have a few hobbies to keep you busy. Rather than focusing on work for your entertainment needs, think about finding a new hobby you can enjoy. If you don’t have a hobby and you are at work 99% of the time, you may want to consider quitting and pursuing something new. Don’t leave yourself trapped in one place for your whole life.

  1. Don’t be too fast

One of the best tips you will ever receive is this: the first time you do something, don’t do it too fast. This is because every time after that, you will be expected to complete a task in that same amount of time. Take your time, make sure you’ve got it right and enjoy the task. It will mean that your employer doesn’t expect you to do too much when you already have a lot of work on your plate. Manage their expectations of you.

  1. Set your own rules

When it comes down to the final crunch: you are the master of your own life. You cannot take orders from anyone else on how you choose to lead your life. Who you choose to be with and what you choose to do. Make sure that you maintain this level of control throughout the years and let everyone know that you are your own boss.

Manage your own working hours, decide when it is the most convenient for you to complete tasks and when or when not you want to work extra hours for your employer. Make your own work schedule for the week to keep you on track, keep your head held high and make sure that everyone knows you are confident in yourself and your life.

At the end of the day, switch off from work, relax and enjoy the time you have with your loved ones. It doesn’t matter whether you are traveling the world, relaxing in front of the TV or doing nothing at all. Your life is your life: live it, own it, and balance it.

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Student @ Advanced Digital Sciences Center, Singapore. Travelled to 30+ countries, passion for basketball.

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Culture and Lifestyle

5 Simple Additions That Will Give Your Kitchen a Makeover

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When you think of a kitchen renovation, you probably get intimidated by the very thought of having to overhaul everything, replace components, and commit to expensive upgrades. However, you don’t necessarily need such fancy and costly improvements to bring your kitchen to life. In fact, many times it’s a collection of little things that add up to create a desirable and diverse kitchen space. With that said, here are 5 things you can add to your kitchen in one day to make it look like a different place.

1. Sink or Faucet Upgrade

A tarnished faucet neck that has lost its shine can really make the whole sink area look dull and outdated. Other than cooking, the primary kitchen activity is washing dishes, so you’re going to be staring at that faucet neck for quite a while, which is why it has such a strong visual impact on the room – it’s a clear focal point. Thus, you’ll want to take your time comparing models on platforms like Best Kitchen Faucets Hub to ensure you’re choosing one you won’t mind looking at every day during dish duty.

2. Countertop Garbage Disposal Button Upgrade

Even if you already have a conventional garbage disposal system, replacing the standard wall switch setup with a countertop push button system can add a subtle yet convenient feature to your sink area. Instead of having to walk over to the wall switch, you’ll have a convenient “air switch” button right next to your sink, and they come in all sorts of colors to match your décor.

3. Island Bar

If your kitchen is spacious enough, you can install a new island bar in a single afternoon and have additional counterspace as well as another surface for organized cooking accessories and decorative items. Many prefab islands are easy to assemble and come with instructions as well as drawers for utensil storage space.

4. Painted or Wallpapered Cabinets and New Handles

Replacing your cabinets altogether can be costly and time consuming but going over them with a couple layers of paint and gloss is much easier. You can also use cabinet wallpaper to add some nice designs for a more noticeable and unique change. Likewise, handles are cheap and can really make your cabinets look brand new. All of this can usually be done for $50-$200 depending on the size of your cabinet setup and the materials you select.

5. Laminate Countertop Sheets

Finally, you’re probably going to want your countertops to match the niceness of everything else you’ve added thus far. The easiest way to do that without investing a lot of money or effort is to simply install some countertop laminate sheets.

Throw in a Welcome Mat and Consider a Flooring Upgrade

To finish it off you might as well slap down a nice decorative welcome mat at the kitchen’s entrance just for an extra touch of homeliness. While you’re looking at the mat, you might notice that your flooring isn’t up to par with the rest your newly improved kitchen. Before you start fretting about the cost of changing the flooring, consider taking a DIY laminate approach to save money.

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Why You Should Consider Volunteering

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If you are looking to gain a whole range of life skills, and give something back to your local community, then why not consider signing up to volunteer? Volunteering enables you to meet new people, not to mention you will be reaching out and touching another individual’s life for the better. When you decide to volunteer it is up to you to decide how much time you want to dedicate and set aside to make a difference. So if you are looking to make new friends, learn new skills and enrich your life through meeting some wonderful and unusual people, then volunteering is the activity for you.

 Health and wellbeing

If you decide to volunteer you are not only going to improve the health and wellbeing of others, it will also have a great impact on your own. When you volunteer, you will experience a natural ‘helper’s high’, the instant buzz that you get through assisting other people. When you volunteer, you may be put in situations that place you under pressure, meaning that you get a boost as endorphins or happy hormones course through your entire body. Not to mention when you volunteer you will also be having a positive impact on the health and well-being of the people or communities that you are going to help. From the elderly to young children, if you want to see your energy levels increase and help both yourself and others to feel healthy and well, then consider volunteering.

Quality time

Volunteering will also see you learn how to work better in a team of new and interesting people from all different walks of life. So, it is up to you to learn how to get on with your new team and work closely with them. Consider booking a visit Escape Room in Charlotte, so that you can learn how to bond and make a difference together. Team building activities are the perfect way so that you can learn how to grow together with your new team so that you are prepared to make a difference for the better.

Be realistic

If you are looking to dedicate your time towards volunteering, then you will need to remain realistic right from day one as to how much time you are willing to spend towards helping new projects and communities. Volunteering could quickly become a top priority in your life as you make new friends and get more involved in new and exciting projects. So, it is important before you even sign up that you are clear and realistic as to how much time you want to give back – although be prepared to enjoy yourself so much, that these hours soon increase.

Volunteering is the perfect way to meet a range of interesting and unusual people from all walks of life, as you give back and help communities or individuals. Not only does volunteer benefit your own health and wellness levels, but you will also positively impact that of others. So, if you are looking to learn new skills, meet new people and make a change for the better then be sure to sign up today.

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Culture and Lifestyle

Are You One Of The Many Millennials That Are Prone To Burnout?

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Burnout is real. It’s something that so many millennials are currently facing without really realizing it. Burnout is simply where your body (and mind) just cannot cope with the activity that you’re throwing at it any longer. When you’re working hard and a lot of hours, when you’re trying to lead a hectic social life, take care of your health, look after your home, and spend time with your family, something’s got to give. Of course, we don’t tend to slow down on work or social or home or family stuff, because it’s what we know we need to prioritize. So, our bodies tend to show signs of stress. And then burnout can set in.

Sometimes, you’ll just stop. You won’t physically be able to work any longer. Sometimes, you’ll start to feel a sense of depression that you just can’t shake. Sometimes, you’ll just realize that things aren’t worth harming your body over anymore, so you slow down and drastically change your lifestyle. Hopefully, you’ll be able to avoid the first two and land at the latter – for your own sake. But, if you do realize that you are probably on thin ice with your lifestyle and you’re worried about burnout setting in, you can stop it in its tracks without having to end up with any of those three outcomes. But how can you do it?

Well, let’s take a look at some of the signs of burnout and what you can do to make sure that you’re not one of the millennial victims.

Signs Of Burnout

Overworking

The very first sign that you’re on a downward slope to burnout is overworking. Even when you love your job, and you’re really happy to put in all of the hours possible to carve your career, you probably don’t even see this as an issue. But, it’s usually the effects of overworking and always being ‘on’ that are going to bring on burnout. We’re addicted to social media and being connected to the world, and this is also a huge influencer for bringing on burnout.

Raising Stress Levels

As both a by-product of overworking and just always being on, you will find that your stress levels are high. You may not feel stressed and angry as such, but your body will be stressed. The excess activity and overworking will always mean that your body will be suffering from stress, even if you feel mentally content. Your mind may be clouded, even though you’re happy too. But let’s also take a look at the physical symptoms.

Poor Health

Stress is such a huge killer. And you might not like to admit that you’re stressed, but your body will be showing the signs. Not only will you be suffering from sleep deprivation (even if you’re sleeping solidly, you might not be sleeping enough), susceptible to colds and other illnesses, not eating well (or enough, due to picking at food on the go), using up too much energy without replacing it. And all of this is then going to lead your body to break down.

No Free Time

The final indicator is that you have no free time. Maybe you think that you’re just an expert planner and that you’ve organized your life successfully. But, that’s not true. Everyone needs a release. If you schedule in free-time and restful moments, catch ups with friends, and just time for you, then great. But if not, this is the biggest warning sign yet!

Combating Burnout

Looking At Your Lifestyle

After reading through the signs, you may start to worry that you’re doomed, or that you are one of the many prone to burnout. But don’t panic. Because you can save yourself. You just need to know what to do to sort of reverse the effects and get yourself back into a healthy rhythm. And the best way to do that is to look at your lifestyle objectively and see if you do show any of the signs of burnout. If you do, now we know what you need to work on to change.

Slowing Down

From here, you’re going to want to slow down and enjoy life. It’s really that simple. You may have to break habits and change your attitude, but you really do have to just start taking it easy. When you do, you should find that you instantly feel like a weight has been lifted off of your shoulders. You can enjoy the smaller things in life, sleep well, and generally feel much healthier in yourself.

Taking Action

But next, you need to take action. It’s important that you prioritize your health and start putting things back together. So do the things you’ve been meaning to for a while. Book in with your doctor, call that personal injury attorney to seek advice, think about exercises classes. Whatever you feel is a health issue, you need to take charge and finally put it right.

Committing To Working Hours

A small step but a big one for you will be then to commit to your working hours. Work 40 or 20, not 60 or more. You need to be able to pull back if you’re going to get through this burnout-free.

Making Time For Relaxation

But it’s not enough to just slow down and cut back on your overworking, you also have to make time to rest and relax. When you’re not used to doing this, or you find it hard to switch off, these simple ways to relax are really going to help you to do that. But the important thing is, that you’re actually making time for it now.

Finding Your Ideal Balance

Finally, you need to make sure that you’re finding your ideal balance. Creating a balance in your life can be hard, but if you want to be healthy and happy, then you will do it. You’ll find the perfect balance between home and work and social and ‘me time’ so that you can avoid burnout for good and never become a statistic.

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