A couple of months ago, I was having one of those days. You know the kind. The kind of day where you feel like you can’t get your bearings no matter how hard you try. The kind of day where, when you try to prioritize, it only makes you feel worse, because it reminds you that EVERYTHING on your plate is important and of the highest priority. Yeah, it was one of those days.
After digging in deep and moving as many tasks and projects forward as I could for the day, I looked at the clock, realized I hadn’t moved in hours, and took the break in the day as an opportunity to get out of the office to pick up my son from pre-school. As I drove down the road, I noticed something in the road, a box turtle that was dangerously close to becoming a flat box turtle. I immediately pulled over, looked both ways (safety first!), and got the little guy out of harm’s way. As I got back into my car, I immediately felt lighter.
As I continued on my drive, I realized that that feeling of lightness came with being reminded that, while my job is and should be important to me, it couldn’t be everything, and, as with everything, a sense of balance is key. Mayoclinic.com posted an article where they note a few “consequences of poor work-life balance”:
- Fatigue: When you're tired, your ability to work productively and think clearly might suffer — which could take a toll on your professional reputation or lead to dangerous or costly mistakes.
- Lost time with friends and loved ones: If you're working too much, you might miss important family events or milestones. This can leave you feeling left out and might harm relationships with your loved ones. It's also difficult to nurture friendships if you're always working.
- Increased expectations: If you regularly work extra hours, you might be given more responsibility — which could lead to additional concerns and challenges.
Sometimes the only way to continue to be successful is to step away from your desk and into the “real world” to be reminded of why you’re working so hard. No, we can’t all find turtles to save, but we can find other ways that will save ourselves. Take your kids to the park, go to the gym, walk around the block, focus on the evening’s dinner preparations, whatever works for you to be able to physically and mentally step away from your work.
In an online article on Tips for Better Work-Life Balance, WebMd sheds some additional light on how “to bring a little more balance to your daily routine”:
- Build downtime into your schedule.
- Drop activities that sap your time or energy.
- Rethink your errands.
- Get moving.
- Remember that a little relaxation goes a long way.
Over the next few days and weeks I was able to forge through everything on my desk and begin to see the light at end of the proverbial tunnel, and while there were times that I definitely felt more than a bit overwhelmed, I utilized a few of these tips and tricks to gain perspective and get back on track. I hope all of you can find some inspiration in the tips and links above, and be able to save your own turtle.
This post was written by Jaime Leben. Jaime has over 10 years of experience in the RPO space working all aspects of the recruiting process as well as assisting with Implementation and Sales with various clients and industries. She currently works with Yoh’s RPO division to drive recruitment, on-boarding, and process improvement for Internal Recruiting as well as her role as an Operations manager for small RPO programs. She holds a B.A. in Communications from U.W.S.P., and lives in Southeastern Wisconsin with her husband Jim, and 4 year old son, Carter.