Having a great science job doesn’t necessarily mean you have to sacrifice your personal commitments and social life. Dedicating too much of your time to working can lead to burnout and have negative effects on your mental health. Therefore, it is important to know how to switch off and know what you can do to achieve your best.
Here are a few tips to help you both succeed in your scientific industry job and achieve a good work-life balance.
Start with the basics
It might sound simple, and you’ve probably heard it many times before, but having a healthy diet, taking regular exercise and getting all the sleep you need is very important to maintaining a balanced lifestyle and staying productive at work. You are more likely to stay motivated throughout the day if you start with the basic necessities each morning and evening, leading to a happier work life.
Manage your time effectively
Avoid procrastination and get organised! A good way to achieve this is to set yourself realistic, achievable goals and deadlines each day and stick to them. This will ensure that you are kept busy and feel a sense of achievement as tasks are completed, as well as prevent the workday overrunning into your personal time. Read more about how to prioritise, and cope with, your workload here.
Have a clear distinction between work and home life
It is highly recommended to avoid taking work home with you in the evenings or when you should be on holiday. Sometimes projects and commitments might require a few extra hours outside of work time, but you should avoid doing this on a regular basis as this could lead to extreme tiredness and eventually burnout.
Learn to say no
You might feel tempted to take on extra projects in order to impress your boss or get ahead with your career progression, however you risk becoming the go-to person in the office and losing your focus. If you feel you are too busy or have other important tasks to be working on, don’t be afraid to say no – you do not have to please everybody all of the time.
Switch off outside work
When you finish work for the day, you might find it beneficial to shut off your emails or work mobile to avoid thinking about your responsibilities 24/7. If you can, keep your evenings free for yourself so that your sleep schedule and family time are not interrupted. You might also want to take up a hobby if you don’t already have one that helps you relax, such as yoga or running.
Alter your working hours
Many employers within the science industry are flexible with working hours and will allow you to change your work schedule to meet family needs. It may be that you need an early finish so that you can pick your children up from school, or a later one to prevent clashing with your partner’s schedule.
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