What to Do When You Seriously Can’t Leave at 5 p.m.
Sometimes work and life simply cannot be balanced. There are times when seasonal demand requires more work. Or, you might be on a tight deadline with a new product launch, which requires long hours. It happens. So what are some things we can do to make sure we don’t lose our minds or damage relationships when it’s all work and no play?
John Boitnott provides a few temporary tactics for Inc.com. The goal here is to avoid burnout. You’ll never achieve your best work if you are frayed and frazzled.
“What you eat has a huge effect on how productive you are,” Boitnott reminds us. Just say, “No!” to empty calories, such as juices, sodas, breads, pastas. “Doctors recommend eating more nutrient-dense foods instead (complex carbs like beans, brown rice, and vegetables), because they take longer for the body to digest, and thus give you a more steady flow of energy, which can help with productivity. Additionally, make sure you’re drinking enough water. Doctors say you should have around one gallon daily.”
“One area many people sacrifice when confronted with heavy workloads is exercise,” Boitnott writes. But, DON’T! Exercise is “linked to lower stress, greater creativity, sharper memory, improved concentration and more.” Just shorten your normal workout time. Some is always better than none, so don’t guilt-trip yourself for not doing enough. If you don’t even have time to make it to the gym, try some short routines at your desk, or spend 10 minutes on squats or crunches in the morning before you leave for work. At the very least, do some stretching throughout your long day. Boitnott suggests using an app that allows you to tailor short workouts that fit your allotted time.
It boils down to not sacrificing your mental health. Remember to prioritize yourself and your needs. And definitely don’t neglect the people most important to you in your life outside of work. They’ll understand it’s your “busy season,” but you still need to put them at the top of your list for at least a five-minute text convo, or a FaceTime session during lunch.