Commit to a Plan to Lower Stress Levels and Maintain Balance

Posted January 4, 2016

Whether it's driven by companies needing to have decision makers on call, or employees' desire to work from home - professional and personal spheres are overlapping more than ever.

This phenomenon is not only boosting Americans' productivity and work flexibility, it's also causing higher stress levels and strains on personal relationships.

It is important for employees who take their work home to consider the added stress doing so will put on their life. These folks should maintain a good work-life balance by setting personal limits for doing work away from the office and find ways to compensate for the added stress.

The physical effects of a poor work-life balance

Letting work encroach too much on your personal life can be physically exhausting. Fatigue is associated with negative effects on the immune system, meaning you're more likely to get sick and be physically forced to stop working.

This fatigue can, in turn, affect your work performance and productivity. In fact, a 2015 study showed working more than 50 hours in a week results in diminishing returns, with a sharp drop-off after 55 hours.

Dedicating a significant chunk of your time away from the office to work also raises expectations and could lead to you taking on even more responsibilities.  That leads to a vicious circle, and it’s hard to get out of that cycle.

Getting the balance right

It takes discipline and time management to find the right equilibrium.  Essentially, you want to take a time and project management approach to your personal life.

Focus on your most important daily tasks, including work-related and personal tasks. Determine what's necessary and what personal activity is the most satisfying. Then, delegate tasks you don't benefit from or can't take care immediately. Also, manage household tasks efficiently, such as running all your errands in one trip or doing laundry while cooking dinner.

You also have to be able to say 'no' if you want to get your work-life balance in order. Don't take on extra projects if you are already bogged down with work. Don't agree to babysit your niece if you had planned an afternoon of skiing. Letting a sense of obligation or guilt drive you to take on too much will only cause more stress.

You need to take care of you

If you've made the decision to let work enter you home life, you need to compensate by taking care of your physical and psychological needs. Eat a healthy diet. Get eight hours of sleep. Exercise regularly.

Also, make an effort to be social. A good support system takes time and effort to build. This means staying in touch with family, and going out to see friends. When the going gets rough, your support system will be there for you.

You may not feel like picking up these healthy habits, but if you force yourself to - you'll be better equipped to handle the added demands of your job.

At Ambassador, one of the leading employment firms in the South, all of our staff employees are extremely dedicated and care deeply about the level of service that we give. We all work under the belief that we are the best at what we do. Contact Ambassador today to get started!