Practical Strategies for Achieving Balance Between Work and Leisure Time

The long-celebrated ‘hustle culture’ is not healthy, and many people are finally starting to realize the toxic consequences of having the ‘Go’ button switched on 24/7. It’s not just a negative for your own physical and mental well-being, it also leads to long-term downgrades in productivity.

women at desk image

Instead, achieving a healthy work/life balance should be your antidote to the grind evangelists. All it often takes are just a few small tweaks and you’ll realize it’s not quite as scary as you’d think.

Why You Need a Work/Life Balance

The benefits of having a healthy balance between work and play are multiple; some are obvious, and others will give you unexpected byproducts:

  • Fight fatigue. Your brain and body can only take so much of the constant hustle. You’ll start making mistakes, forgetting appointments, and delivering lower-quality work.
  • Poor health. The hustle culture will lower your life expectancy, don’t let it take over.
  • Improve work engagement. When you’re feeling healthy and happy, you’ll in turn feel more engaged with your job.
  • Increase productivity. More time does not necessarily mean better results. When you have a healthy work/life balance, your productivity shoots up.

“No” Isn’t a Bad Word

The pressures of the workplace tend to push us to just say “yes!” to absolutely everything. Working weekends, completing small and irrelevant tasks, assisting with things that are so beyond our job descriptions it’s not even funny.

However, that can all lead to burnout and being taken advantage of. Instead, try and learn how to say “no”. This doesn’t have to be an aggressive or unhelpful thing. Saying no will free your productive time to do what you need to do, prioritizing the most important elements of your job.

Make Time for Hobbies

Your profession shouldn’t define every minute of your time, even if you love your job. Instead, invest in the hobbies that make you happy and take your mind off things. Take a look at the following ideas.


Start a Fitness Journey
Feeling more confident and empowered is always welcome and a great idea to give yourself a break from work. Start with baby steps and find a workout buddy if you feel you need a motivation boost. After some time, you’ll work your way up and be amazed by how much you have accomplished.

Play Online Casino Games
If you want to take a break from working but would rather snuggle up at home, online casino games are just the thing for you. Online casino platforms such as the Canadian online casino offer a wide range of games – the only thing is to be strategic, know the rules, and use up all the bonuses and promotions you are offered to increase your chances of winning.

 

Learning a New Musical Instrument

Finally learn to play that dusty instrument that’s been in your garage for the last few years. It requires patience and time but at the end of the day, it is a rewarding and fulfilling experience. Take lessons and practice regularly – talent is just a small fraction of what you need to get better.

Your Lunch Time = Sacred

Eating your lunch as quickly as possible whilst sitting at your desk, it’s a common office occurrence for most people. However, if your lunch break is part of your contract, it’s your right to use it.

Your lunch break is also an opportunity to reset and alleviate stress levels. Making sure you’re well rested for Part II of your day isn’t just good for you, it’s also a positive investment for your employer.

Your Family Deserves QT

Many of us will stick to the grind because of family. We want to help provide and give our kids, partners, or parents everything we think they deserve. But that’s not just about the finances.

Instead, make your family a priority in terms of quality time. Block out a chunk from your schedule that is completely and utterly devoted to spending time with those who are important to you, whether that’s family or friends (they’re also family really!).

Take Regular Breaks

Talking about your lunch break, it’s also important to try and take small breaks during the day. It may be tricky depending on your place of work, but even a 30-second microbreak has been shown to improve concentration, lower your stress levels, and make work far more enjoyable.

If you’re working from home, this is even more important as we don’t have those natural breakpoints (e.g. getting up to talk to a colleague, water cooler chat, quick in-person meetings).

Robert Pozen, a senior lecturer at MIT, recommends taking a short break every 75 to 90 minutes. This tends to be the timeframe in which our focus starts to lag and productivity dip. But try what works best for you and adjust; just make sure you take those breaks!

Start with Small Steps

Creating a healthy work/life balance takes time and effort. Our final piece of advice is to start small. Don’t think you need to turn your life upside down from one day to the next, or else it equals failure. You won’t be able to keep that up, just like with New Year’s resolutions.

Follow BJ Fogg’s advice from Tiny Habits: make a change so small and simple that you can do it without even having to try. Even if you’re sick, tired, or have a full schedule ahead, small changes will eventually snowball into something very significant.

Just try it. We think you’ll be surprised by just how big a difference it’ll make.

 

 

 

About Joel Levy 2575 Articles
Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography