When you’re first starting out in your career, it can be easy to adopt a power-through mentality for tackling all of life’s new challenges – whether they’re related to work, school, relationships or all of the above. You want to be the best at everything, so you throw your whole self into each new experience.
Being an overachiever is great, but it comes with its own pitfalls. Most of all, it can lead to burnout – that empty-brain feeling that creeps in when you’ve done too much too fast and just can’t even anymore. So how do you avoid burnout and the quarter-life crisis that can come with it?
Learn how to rest and recharge, and how to create balance when the pressure to perform is coming from every angle. Let’s run through our top seven tips for creating your best work–life balance.
- Make Time for Sleep
It may seem obvious, but sleep is critical for feeling rested. Getting the recommended eight hours each night may seem impossible with all of the demands on your time, but it’s an important goal to aim for. To make the most of the hours you do have, set yourself up for success: Shut off the TV and put down the phone when it’s time to lie down, and cut out caffeine starting in the early afternoon. Lighting a Febreze Candle in Mediterranean Lavender in the evening hours can help you unwind – just be sure you blow it out before you go to bed!
- Prioritize Each Day
If you’re a list person, you probably already do this, but be sure to keep your priorities in check. You can’t possibly get everything done in a day, so don’t set yourself up for disappointment. Instead, consider what’s important and who it’s important to: If your boss gives you a deadline, you can bet she expects you to meet it, but often you’ll have other tasks on your list that can wait a day or two.
- Take Time to Disconnect
Remember that being always on – through social media alerts, email notifications and a constantly buzzing text thread – can take a real psychological toll. To combat it, go out for lunch with a friend and keep your phone tucked away, do homework without the television on in the background, or consider – gasp – not connecting your work email to your personal phone. You don’t need to be accessible every hour of the day; when you take time to unplug, you’ll be better able to hit the ground running when it’s time to plug back in.
- Get Some Exercise
Sure, it sounds cliché, but getting exercise can help clear your mind. Consider going for a run first thing in the morning to start your day off right – with that task accomplished, you’ll be more likely to tackle the rest of your day with renewed energy. Not much of a runner? Try yoga – focusing on your breathing while completing a series of poses gives you a break from the constant buzzing of information in your head, all while improving your physical health. If you’re crunched for time and squeezing in a workout between classes, keep Olay Daily Clean Wet Cleansing Cloths and Secret Deodorant Invisible Sprays in your bag to help you feel fresh the rest of the day.
- Clear the Chaos
At work or at home, a chaotic space makes for a stressful situation and will distract you from accomplishing what you need to do. Take a few minutes when you sit down at your desk to tidy things up – you’ll be able to focus on the task at hand and complete it faster if you’re not distracted by stray coffee cups and stacks of notes. At home, Swiffer up the floor, add water to a Bounty with Dawn paper towel to wipe down the counters and clear away the clutter so that when you’re clocked out, you can enjoy the same restful calm.
- Make Time to Learn
All the pros will tell you that learning never stops. So if you want to rock it while you’re at work, take time to read up on what the greats in your field are doing. Listen to podcasts on topics you’re interested in, professionally or otherwise. Watch the seasoned professionals in your office, and take note of how they interact with each other – you can learn a lot about what to do (and what not to do) by just observing the world around you.
- Give Yourself a Break
Try as you might, there will be times where your youth and inexperience let you down. So if you miss a deadline, misunderstand a request or just plain miss, remember that it’s OK – you can learn from this experience. In most cases, everyone else will forget about your mistake by Monday, but they will remember you didn’t let a little road bump get you down.
The fact is that life is messy. The lines between work and life (and school, if you’re still there) can get blurry – and at times invisible – so it’s on you to make time for yourself. Don’t get so swept up in accomplishing your goals that you forget that getting there can be fun, too.