Five Tips for a Healthy Work / Life Balance

Five Tips for a Healthy Work / Life Balance

One of the most challenging points about being a young professional is balancing work and life.

It can be easy to find yourself starting to feel like you’re either too busy or not productive enough.

Or that you don’t have time for anything outside of work – friends, family, exercise – because there’s never any time left over once your day is done. But if this sounds like you, here are five tips on how to make your life balance better:

Start the day with a plan.

The best way to set clear plans for your day is by starting it with a to-do list.

Make sure every task you need to accomplish – and even those you’d like to – is right there in front of you so that nothing slips through the cracks. And don’t forget to add in some time for yourself!

Keep a journal of your progress.

Keeping a detailed account of how you spend your day is a great way to help figure out where the balance in your life needs to be improved.

By making sure that you write down each task and putting them into two separate categories – work and personal – it becomes easier to see what tasks are taking up most of your time, which can help you figure out where adjustments need to be made.

It may sound simple, but there’s no better way than writing something down when it comes to committing it to memory.

And who knows? You may even find this habit starting to spill over into other areas of your life, helping you feel more on top of things in general.

Make the most of lunch breaks.

That lunch break is meant to be a time to re-energize yourself by taking a break from work and giving your mind some time off.

Avoid the pitfalls of constantly working through your lunch. This is an excellent time to schedule a time to meet with friends clients or just get out of the office for a few minutes. Grab a coffee, sit at a park, do something that brings you joy. Just don’t sit in front of your desk.

Learn how to say no (responsibly)

This is another excellent way to take advantage of technology – and an important lesson not just for work, but also for life.

Being able to say no to your boss without sounding like you’re lazy or uninterested can be difficult.

Set healthy boundaries with your time. You must respect your time as much as you respect your employer’s needs. Be respectful, and understand that being respectful is a two-way street.

 But by explaining that you already have something planned, even if it’s only a quick lunch with a friend, it makes it easier for your boss to understand.

Use weekends wisely

The weekend is meant for relaxing and recharging – not stressing about all the things that are piling up because you weren’t able to get anything done at work.

Sunday isn’t for stressing and getting the ‘Sunday Scaries.’ Sunday is a great way to look at your week ahead and make a game plan to win your week. Write out and prioritize tasks that need to be accomplished. Just make sure when you’re planning your workweek, you aren’t jeopardizing your downtime.

Conclusion

It can be tough to find a work-life balance when just starting your professional career. But by using some of the tips I’ve provided, such as keeping a journal of your progress, making the most of lunch breaks, and learning how to say no responsibly, you’ll be on your way to finding more equilibrium in your life. We hope these tips have been helpful! And don’t forget that it’s essential to take time for yourself – weekends are meant for relaxing and recharging so you can start fresh on Monday morning.

A (very) Brief Introduction to Stoicism

A (very) Brief Introduction to Stoicism

Stoicism is having a huge comeback in popularity. A quick search on Amazon turns up dozens of self-help books describing the philosophy as a sure-fire path to happiness, success, and tranquility. So, what is stoicism? Below is the brief version of stoicism to help you get started in understanding, and more importantly, applying this ancient wisdom in your daily life.

What is Stoicism?

Zeno founded the philosophy of stoicism in the 3rd century BC. He taught me that the best way to deal with difficult situations was to remain calm and rational. People who followed his teachings were known as Stoics.

The philosophy of stoicism teaches that you should always try to be reasonable and logical, no matter what is happening around you. You should never let your emotions get in the way of your decisions, and you should always stay calm under pressure.

To put it simply, you don’t have to react to everything.

Principles of Stoicism

The stoic philosophy teaches that you must control yourself, even if everything else is out of control. This means never letting your emotions rule over your mind. When you act on emotion, it’s usually because something horrible has happened, and now you’re reacting to the horror instead of the facts.

You can allow yourself to be happy after doing a good deed or experiencing a positive result from a goal you’ve been working toward for some time – but only then! Don’t buy into temporary joys. Temporary joys are distractions that separate those with passion from those who like the idea of being passionate.

The stoic philosophy teaches a simple lesson: don’t be a slave to your emotions. When something bad happens, remind yourself that this is not the end of the world; it’s simply an event. Then use your mind to analyze why this happened and how you could have prevented it. And if nothing can be done, then accept it and move on.

Do Stoics have emotions?

You should feel emotions, too; they make you human. But you should never let them control you because doing so will prevent you from living your life to the fullest extent possible. So instead of acting like an animal whenever something good or bad happens, use your head first.

Your emotions are powerful forces, but they also cloud your judgment. Before doing anything important in life – whether you’re speaking up for yourself at work or asking someone out on a date – always ask yourself how you would act if there was no possible negative consequence. You will never get anywhere being timid!

I’m in control, now what?

To have a fulfilling life, you must do more than merely exist. In other words: get off your rear and do something already! Either get busy with your goals by using your head and acting logically, or get a busy living by using your emotions appropriately.

Great men are not born great; they grow great through hard work, responsibility, and getting out there to create the opportunities necessary for growth.

Stoicism and Pleasure

Pleasure is one of the most dangerous things because it is fleeting. But if you can transform your pleasure-seeking drive into an energetic drive for fulfilling important goals, then you will be unstoppable! Whatever is most pleasurable in life becomes average over time, but whatever you use to push yourself toward accomplishing something that excites you will provide endless enjoyment.

The stoic philosophy teaches that nothing great is achieved without some kind of sacrifice – whether it’s money, time, effort, energy, blood/sweat/tears, or something else. Most people fail to do something great because they want everything at once and free of charge.

If you want to have a big house with a white picket fence, then you must be willing to put in the effort required to buy that house and work hard enough to keep it clean, well maintained, and inviting for guests (or perhaps extra bedrooms if children are in your plans). If you don’t like what’s available in your price range, then save up faster; don’t complain about how difficult it is!

Stoics always try

The stoic philosophy teaches that the only real defeat in life comes when we stop trying. The countless hours of lost sleep missed opportunities, forgotten words during an argument, etc., are nothing compared to the reward of living life on your terms. If we give up on ourselves and our dreams (whatever they may be), we might as well have died even before our bodies did.

So, set yourself free. Don’t let yourself be controlled by your emotions. Do not allow yourself to be a slave to your passions. And never forget that you only get one chance at this thing called life, so make it count! Live in the present and continue to push yourself for better each day.

The stoic philosophy is a powerful tool to help us live our lives to the fullest. It teaches us not to be controlled by our emotions and instead use our heads first before doing anything important. We must do more than merely exist; we must get off our rear and take action! Pleasure is fleeting, but if we transform it into an energetic drive to fulfill important goals, we will be unstoppable. Nothing great is achieved without some kind of sacrifice, so be willing to put in the effort required for your dreams. The only real defeat in life comes when we stop trying, so never give up on ourselves.

Are Video Games Negatively Impacting Your Life?

Are Video Games Negatively Impacting Your Life?

We all have our outlets for dealing with stress. We pick up hobbies or join sports clubs to blow off steam. But what about video games? Seldom do people count video game playing as a hobby. However, a significant amount of time is spent playing videos games. Is your video game hobby negatively impacting your relationships with your spouse, family, or friends?

Most people would say that playing video games is a hobby. It is an escape from the real world for some, a way to relax and have some fun. However, for others, video game playing has become an addiction. An addiction that is negatively impacting their relationships with friends and family.

Ask yourself these questions to see if maybe its time to put down the controller:

Is your gaming taking priority over other hobbies or social activities?

People need to find time for the things they enjoy doing. If you use the phrase, “I used to…” and are playing video games instead of your past hobbies, you may have a problem. If your hobbies are having to take a back seat to video game playing, it could indicate that something is wrong.

How long do you play video games without interruption?

Video game addiction may sound like an exaggeration, but research shows that almost 10% of gamers display problematic symptoms. Playing longer than three hours in a row at any time is an indicator of a larger problem. The longer one plays, the greater the chances of becoming an addiction.

Do you dream about video games at night?

Dreams are important in helping us recall memories and provide us with solutions to our problems. Video game addicts have reported vivid dreams about specific games.

Many addicts report dreaming about playing their favorite games when it comes to video game dreams. These dreams are often very vivid and can provide a sense of satisfaction that the addict may lack in real life. Dreams about video games can also help the addict work through any problems they may be facing in their life. For example, if an addict has trouble with a certain level in a game, they may dream about beating that level and resolving the issue.

While dreaming about games may not be bad at face value, it shows us that our minds are attached to the games we play even when we are not playing them.

How do you feel when you are not playing video games?

There is a difference between simply enjoying your hobby and having an addiction. Addicts often find themselves lost without their drug of choice. Not only does this person neglect their duties or responsibilities for their gaming, but they also become anxious or irritable. Are you constantly thinking about playing when you should be focused on family, work, or other activities?

How much time do you spend with family or friends?

Involvement with video games can take away from personal relationships. It is important to maintain both to have a healthy outlook on life. The most pervasive myth about the social consequences of video game playing is that it creates anti-social personalities. People who play video games excessively are not necessarily anti-social; they simply need to limit their gaming time to maintain healthy relationships.

A lack of attention and care for loved ones or a complete disregard for household rules or responsibilities could be due to excessive time spent playing games. Self-awareness of how your action or inaction impacts others is a known key to a successful life. If you ignore the people around you and their needs, you may need to impose limits on your playing.

Impacts of excessive gaming:

Lack of communication is one of the most common side effects of a dysfunctional relationship. When someone is addicted to anything, whether it be drugs, alcohol, or video games, their inhibitions lower, and they become less inhibited in social situations. Someone with an addiction will not make time for friends and family because they prefer to stay home and play video games than go out with others. Family members may feel like they are becoming replaced since their loved ones would rather play games than spend quality time together. Even though individuals may say they are trying to get better, they could just be lying so that others do not leave them. This behavior can cause stress on the family members left at home.

The second negative impact on relationships is that it affects one’s mood. Video game addiction can cause someone to feel very isolated. When someone feels isolated, they are more likely to become depressed and even contemplate suicide. Since psychological issues are frequently linked with video game addiction, some patients undergo counseling for both their video game addiction and their mental health issue(s). Although this may not directly affect one’s relationship, if a person neglects other areas in his life such as school or work, this could create a rift between those around him or her.

Life is about balance. I’m not advocating for not playing video games. That would be hypocritical as I enjoy numerous hobbies. Find a balance between games and other areas of your life. Meet friends. Spend time with family or significant others. Play games, but also do something productive.

Give yourself goals for what you want to accomplish during the day. Maybe these goals are not things that directly benefit you right now but could be things that will help you in the future. Or maybe you want to read a book or two. Whatever you do, do it with balance.

How To Be an Effective Online Communicator

How To Be an Effective Online Communicator

Most people would agree that in-person meetings are the best way to communicate. But what if we remove in-person meetings from the equation? Can we still have effective communication? Has the technology that allows us to stay safe at home slowed our growth as individuals?


In an online environment, communication is accessible to everyone. It also allows more people to work. In a virtual work environment, employees can get their work done from anywhere in the world that they have access to a computer and the Internet. They don’t have to worry about the commute or if there’s bad weather at home because of where they live. Some people can’t commute or don’t want to because they might be caring for family members, etc.


It’s also good for the company’s bottom line because it reduces overhead costs. Instead of needing office space and supplies, the company only needs a reliable internet connection and maybe a chat system if employees aren’t all in the same place. It also allows the company to hire people living in more expensive areas without having to pay so much. One of the impacts of COVID-19 was that it affected commercial real estate investors. For years, this was one of the best investments you could make. But now people are not so interested in buying commercial property anymore.


As we live in this new world, businesses have had to change the way they work. There are more jobs where people can work from home. Bosses are wondering how they should rate and evaluate their employees. Additionally, how do we communicate with virtual employees? This is not the same as communicating with co-workers in an office.


For example, can you tell when someone does not understand what you are saying over text? Can you hear the tone, inflections, and pauses while they are typing? How do we know if our words are being understood correctly if there is no body language to help?


The main problem with online communication is that we try to use the same rules as if we were meeting someone face-to-face. This does not make sense because people cannot see each other. We are playing the same game as before, with new rules to follow. It’s important to figure out new rules for communicating with people online.


The first rule is to be brief. We cannot use body language, so we have to say as little as possible. When we write long-winded e-mails, our readers lose interest. There is a danger that the long e-mail you just sent can be received in a negative way. The reader could interpret the e-mail as speaking down to them or dictating to someone how to do their job. We know that people want to add their own input. Give your team some space to do that.


Next, you need to distinguish cues from written or verbal content without the aid of nonverbal cues. When speaking in person, the listener takes in cues not only from what you say but also from your voice tone and facial expressions. When you use an online medium to communicate, nonverbal content is lost. The listener has no idea how you are actually reacting or feeling about what they are saying or even if it sounds like there is anger in your tone of voice. While some words carry meaning by themselves, there are other words that have different inflections, varying tones, or facial expressions, which each have their own separate meanings. Avoid using words with more than one meaning or words that can be taken out of context.


There are many social cues that are given in person but not online. For example, through the use of body language, one can see whether or not someone is comfortable with what they are saying or how they are reacting to it. The tone of the person’s voice can show if they are angry or not on board with the idea that has been proposed in a virtual meeting.


The best thing you can do is be hyper-vigilant of what people are saying and how they are saying it. If you are not sure what someone means, ask them. You can also express your point of view in writing by responding to the person’s post rather than trying to explain yourself directly to them. If your written words are too long or complicated, it may be difficult for people on the other end to understand what you’re saying and how you truly feel. (See above section about the dreaded long-written e-mail).


We also want to make sure that other people are actually reading what we say because it’s easy to ignore someone when you’re typing, but not as much if the person is standing right in front of you. One easy way to do this is by using emoticons; however, some online communication software doesn’t support them, and it can sometimes come across as unprofessional to some people.


There is also the issue of body language, which we talked about earlier. We all know that we convey information with our body language, and it helps us understand each other and what someone else is really trying to say to us. But how much does this affect online communication? Do people pick up on the same cues online as in-person?


Based on research, not much body language is conveyed in written communication. Another study showed that using e-mail decreased the odds of developing friendships. It also found that people writing e-mails were less likely to ask for favors, which can be seen as rude. This is due to the lack of body language and tone of voice when we type on a computer or phone.
Essentially, when we work remotely, we see a decrease in organizational citizenship behavior. Additionally, when people communicate in an e-mail style, it doesn’t provoke someone to act positively.


Some of the most effective ways to communicate online are by video conferencing or just talking on the phone. It’s easier for people to read your tone over video than if you’re only typing words back and forth. Another thing that can help is to ask questions instead of just constantly sharing information.


For example, instead of constantly saying “please do this,” try asking your virtual team to “can you please complete this task?” It’s good practice to read the person’s social cues, tone, and body language in-person, but online it takes more effort.
If you ask a question, the other person is more likely to respond because you’re giving them power over the situation. Interactions with others can be particularly challenging online, so it’s important to pay close attention to each of your words.
In my experience, I have found that calling people individually or doing a meeting with the whole team is a good way to keep people engaged. Instead of planning a meeting to discuss whatever the next big project is, just plan it as a weekly or daily ‘check-in.’ This gives your team members the ability to communicate their issues in a setting that isn’t directed at assigning them the next task. People can feel overwhelmed when they’re given too many tasks at once, which results in less motivation and decreased productivity. It’s almost like writer’s block where people don’t want to write anymore because they’re stuck thinking about all the other things they had to do that day.


Removing in-person meetings from the equation can reduce trust and communication quickly among employees who don’t know each other too well. You can learn about your teammates just by doing a quick Google search or visiting their Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn page. Doing so offers some insight into what is important to them, and sometimes you might find out they share the same passions as you.


In conclusion, while it is true that body language and tone of voice are not as easily conveyed in written communication, this does not mean that online communication is ineffective. In fact, there are many ways to effectively communicate online. You just need to be aware of the differences between in-person and digital communication. Additionally, it is important to remember that when people communicate through e-mail or other written methods, they are less likely to act positively or ask for help. So before sending an e-mail or writing a message on social media, take a moment to think about how your words will be interpreted.

Impacting Culture

Impacting Culture

Everyone in the workplace has a role in creating and maintaining a positive culture.

This includes you, even if you’re just one person among many. You may not change your entire company’s culture, but you can create an inspirational environment where people can thrive and grow professionally. Here are five ways that any employee can do this:

Be Kind

Your coworkers will feed off your kindness and reciprocate with respect and consideration (research shows that when someone acts like an ass, it activates areas of the brain associated with anger).

It’s important to be kind to your coworkers because it sets the tone for the entire workplace. When you’re kind to someone, they tend to respond positively. This can create a positive culture where people feel appreciated and respected. Kindness also has other benefits, such as reducing stress and improving mental health.

Show Genuine Interest

This does not mean feigning interest – instead, showing genuine interest by asking questions about their work or their interest and hobbies. This will make them feel appreciated and acknowledged, which can help to build better relationships at work.

Smile

Not only is smiling genuine but it has been shown to increase productivity by as much as 20%.

Smiles have been shown to improve our moods and reduce stress levels. A study found that they increased their productivity by 20% when people smiled. This makes sense because a smile is a natural response, and it’s contagious – so if you see someone smiling at work, you might do the same!

Be Transparent

Those who work in a transparent setting report greater satisfaction and will feel like they can trust their bosses more (often, those that think their bosses aren’t trustworthy dread coming into work).

Being transparent in the workplace can help create a positive culture because it builds trust between employees and their bosses. When employees feel like they can trust their supervisors, they are more likely to be productive and feel happier at work. Additionally, transparency can help to reduce stress levels because employees don’t have to worry about hiding information or keeping secrets. In a transparent environment, everyone is open and honest with each other, leading to a more positive work culture.

Do Your Job Well

Finally, do your job well. It’s the most essential inspirational tool you have at your disposal – people admire quality work and expect high standards from others. Doing your job well boosts your reputation and leads to increased trust and hope from those around you.

You may not be able to control the entire culture of your workplace, but by doing these five things daily, you will play an important role in making it positive and fun! American author Maya Angelou once wrote, “people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel .”

In the workplace, it’s important to create a positive culture. This can be done by being kind, showing genuine interest, smiling, being transparent, and doing your job well. When you act like a jerk at work, it activates areas of the brain associated with anger. However, when you are kind and show genuine interest in your coworkers, they will reciprocate with respect and consideration. Additionally, transparency builds trust between employees and bosses while doing your job well leads to increased productivity and admiration from others. Ultimately, these five tips will help make you feel happier and more productive at work!

Scheduling Friendships

Scheduling Friendships

Maintaining friendships is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Friends provide social support and can help us through difficult times. However, it can be challenging to find the time to keep in touch with our friends, especially if we are busy with work or other commitments. That’s why scheduling time on your calendar specifically for contacting friends is a great way to ensure that you don’t lose those valuable relationships!

Research into human relationships shows the importance of friendships. In the everyday hustle of our lives, we become a follower to what is on our calendars. If we want to stay connected with our friends, we must schedule a time to talk and catch up. Even a 30-minute phone call with a friend can have huge, lasting impacts on our mental health.

When we make time to talk with friends, it strengthens our relationships. Research has shown that people who speak on the phone more than once a week are less likely to experience depression and loneliness. This is because talking with friends releases oxytocin. Oxytocin makes us feel good, and it helps to reduce stress levels.

Additionally, unlocking time off on your calendar allows you to have more control over what you do in your day. When you know you have the appointment time blocked out, you are less likely to schedule other activities or meetings in its place. This way, you can make the most of your time with friends and not feel guilty about taking some time for yourself.

One of the reasons people tend not to schedule open blocks of time out on their schedule is the phenomenon of negative forecasting bias. This is the idea that we tend to think negatively about the future, and so don’t bother making plans because we assume they won’t happen. Or, we dread not having an open space in the future.

For the police world, the best example of negative forecasting bias is when we dread going to or attending a training event. We think, “I don’t want to go. It’s going to be terrible.” It could be as simple as in-service training, which is nothing more than annual updates and maybe firearms qualifications. By all means, it is typically an easy day.

Yet, despite this, we dread going. We see it on the calendar and immediately get anxiety over attending. Once we attend the training, we think to ourselves, “that wasn’t so bad.” However, when it rolls around again next year, we are back to dreading it.

Negative forecasting bias can also prevent us from taking time for ourselves. We might think, “I don’t want to block out any time on my calendar because something might come up.” But by doing this, we are more likely to have something come up. Having time blocked out for you on your calendar gives you a sense of ownership over that time and shows that it is crucial.

When it comes to our relationships, we should be proactive and schedule a time to catch up with friends. This will help us maintain those valuable relationships and reduce stress levels. Plus, it just feels good to talk with friends.

In a chaotic world, it is easy to feel lost. Control what you can; schedule a time to call a friend. It’s not intrusive and can easily be accomplished. By taking some control over our lives and improving interpersonal relationships, we are preventing mental anguish for ourselves in the future.


Taking control of your life can help improve your relationships with other people. If we are busy or overworked, the best way to maintain relationships with friends and family is by scheduling time on our calendars specifically for them. This helps us avoid the pitfalls of negative forecasting bias and not having any open blocks of time in the future. This can lead to reduced stress levels and a better overall feeling.