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7 Secrets to A Healthy Work-Life Balance

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7 Secrets to A Healthy Work-Life Balance

Do you feel like something is wrong with how your days are turning out?

It seems you’re on the edge of burnout, or you’re hearing loved ones complain about your “workaholism.”

You should probably consider if you’re having a healthy work-life balance, or work-life integration. If that is truly the issue, then you can do something about it. And you might want to learn the secrets to transformation.

These secrets are principles or data you can use to approach work/non-work. They are not specific steps because everyone differs in their circumstance. And so, everyone also differs in their approach.

1. Know If You’re a Segmentor or an Integrator

Sociologist Christena Nippert-Eng suggests there are two types of people when it comes to boundaries set between life and work. These are the segmentors and integrators. Other studies support these categories, although it’s a common theme across the existing corpus to not think about them as fixed or opposing poles.

  • Segmentors – People who draw a clear line between personal life and work. Forgetting about their job once they have left the office comes more naturally to them. Some show this tendency by having a separate calendar for professional commitments, or deliberately not choosing to prop family photos on their work desks.
  • Integrators – People who mesh work and life with ease. One of their strongest points is the ability to engage deeply with work. They can transition seamlessly from responding to work emails to having dinner with their spouse at dinner. These are also the workers who are likely to benefit from a company having onsite childcare.

Most people are not 100% segmentors or 100% integrators. But knowing which side of the spectrum you’re leaning toward can help you customize a balancing strategy. Why? There is always room to become better. For instance, segmentors can be okay with bringing their family to company parties. And integrators can prioritize their spouse over a work email during dinner.

2. Change From Within

I’m sure you’ve heard about people embracing digital detox (avoiding devices tied to work). Or you’ve encountered someone being mindful about the time they spend in the office. These individuals have seen some negative consequences of their past actions and are trying to change the present. It doesn’t matter much if they’re doing this or that. The point is they’re working toward more favorable results.

One of the things that can stop you in your tracks is copying another person’s idea of change. It could be their lifestyle, eating habits, and even opinions about work-life balance. It’s because you’re also likely to expect the same results they’re having. 

Change must come from within. That means looking inward, being honest, and aiming for a realistic assessment. Only then should you seek the advice of people who have gone through a similar experience. Because now you have probed the cause of your problem.

3. Practice Mindfulness

Whether you’re a segmentor or an integrator, practice mindfulness. This ancient practice traces its roots to eastern religions. However, these days, it can also simply mean intentionally bringing your attention to the present. That is, deliberately causing your mind to return to a task if you’ve been distracted.

If you’re with your spouse, then give your full attention to him or her. Be fully aware of his or her presence. Whether you’re in a restaurant having a date or in the bedroom conversing. That sounds more applicable to integrators since segmentors are good at compartmentalizing. But mindfulness also enables everyone to become productive.

7 Secrets to A Healthy Work-Life Balance

4. Make a To-Do List Before You Sleep

Well, didn’t I say no sharing of specific steps? You might be thinking “make a to-do list” is not a principle or data. It is a step. But before you grill me further, let me give you the rationale behind this fourth secret. This habit is about taking control, which is in our nature to desire.

Having an overview of tomorrow’s tasks offers you that sense of control. You’re more eager to let go. You won’t be going to bed anxious. Your brain is convinced by the list you made and won’t cause you to lose sleep over a problem at work. That can wait till morning.

5. Determine Your “One Simple Thing”

People at Google have a goal-setting practice that prioritizes personal well-being. They call it the “One Simple Thing.” Some examples are “I will take a one-hour break 3 times a week to work out” and “I will not read emails on the weekends.”

Employees share what’s in their “One Simple Thing” worksheet with their boss. And their boss will hold them accountable to their goals. It’s a simple tool that encourages you to be proactive about your work-life integration. And the involvement of your boss adds a more personal and connected component to it.

6. Get Help From Technology

Productivity tools abound on the web. But not all of them are effective. Otherwise, we should all be masters of productivity by now. On top of productivity, however, you should also be seeking tools that force you to stop when you don’t know how to stop.

Boomerang for Gmail is one. It prevents you from reading emails after work hours. You can also set the Do Not Disturb mode on Slack to pause notifications. Further, if you’re a manager, you can set default DND hours on the app for your entire team. Let technology help you regain control over your life, not the other way around. 

7. Remember that Balancing is Like Riding a Bike

Life is chaotic. It’s impossible to achieve perfection on all fronts. It’s impossible to even be okay on all fronts most of the time. So I want you to think of balance as a continuous effort. It doesn’t actually end. It’s like riding a bike. If you keep pedaling, you keep moving forward. But riding a bike is not just a means of transport, it’s also a balancing act.

7 Secrets to A Healthy Work-Life Balance

That said, pursuing a healthy work-life balance is necessary for you to keep moving forward. So don’t worry if you’re not that good at it yet. One day, it’ll be as natural for you as breathing. And balancing will have become a way to live.

Entrepreneurs

How Does Time Management Affect Work-Life Balance?

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Work Life Balance

We are living in a rapidly changing world with a lot of uncertainty looming around us. We set specific goals and milestones for ourselves and hustle and grind incessantly to achieve them. We, as millennials, have been living in a competitive and digitalized society. There is a constant need to prove ourselves and succeed in life. The fear of missing out, or as the millennials say FOMO, is accurate and brings anxiety and stress. The need to be everywhere, please everyone and emulate a particular kind of lifestyle and personality takes a toll on your mental and physical health. This tug of war between managing your time, achieving your goals, and being present for your family and social circle inadvertently affects your personal life and relationships. 

It is perfectly healthy to have ambitions, but at the same time, it is necessary to strive for balance in life. How would you feel to miss out on those special moments and happenings that no camera or social media app can capture? The simple pleasures of life are too precious to be missed out on to meet another deadline. Rather than getting pulled in both directions, be smart and devise a time management plan. It will not only help you be organized and keep your work life in check but will gradually strengthen your ability to carve out that much-needed “me” time and some time for your family and friends. Be smart about your time. 

Some essential time management tips :

Planning

Spend the initial 20-30 minutes of your mornings planning your day. Use the various planner apps available online to create your schedule, or use the simple and old-fashioned pen and paper formula. It will aid you in creating a timeline for your day and prioritize your tasks better. Creating a timeline for each job and working in tandem with the plan you chalk out for yourself is necessary for the program you devise for the day. 

Be practical

Every individual wants to tick off their wish-lists points, more commonly known as the bucket list. Be it travel-oriented wishes, work-related goals, specific experiences they want to have, or a simple buy they wish to make. It is different for every person. While making a list is appreciated, be practical about your goals and do not live for them. Life will sometimes throw in some surprises that you can experience only when you are present to live them and not chase your dreams. 

Delegation

Learn to delegate work. It is advisable to have a strong sense of responsibility to succeed in your professional life. Still, it also requires you to wise and divide and assign duties to your team members. Build a trustworthy team and have faith in their abilities to make things happen. You cannot be a one-person army, be it in your personal life or professional life. Society needs to thrive and grow together as a unit. 

Planning, Practicality, and Delegation will help you grow and devote time to yourself. Time management will maintain that much-needed work-life balance and open your mind to various other opportunities and life experiences. 

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Why Diversity is Key in Business Marketing

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Diversity in business

Diversity and inclusion have become essential to businesses as they allow a mix of people from different backgrounds and cultures to provide the diversity of thought required in marketing. However, many businesses do not place enough emphasis on ensuring that they have a balanced, diverse and inclusive team, especially in their marketing departments. This needs to change, and this article will look at reasons why businesses should focus on diversity and inclusion and why they are both essential for businesses.

Improved Creativity and Innovation

Having a marketing team filled with people from different backgrounds and who have different experiences, skills and knowledge leads to an increase in creativity and innovation. This is because each member of the team has different, unique ideas that can greatly benefit the organization as a whole. Additionally, employees feel more comfortable sharing their ideas in a diverse environment.

It Protects the Business

In the past, businesses have gone viral for the wrong reasons, mainly because they did not understand how their messaging would come across. This negative publicity impacted the businesses that went viral for the wrong reasons, and it takes time for businesses to recover their image and marketing positioning once something like this happens. All of this negativity would have been avoided if different diverse voices had been listened to, and this is another reason why businesses should have a diverse marketing team.

Understanding Diverse Demographics

Having a diverse and inclusive team helps businesses understand diverse demographics better. This is because businesses can market their products and services as well as themselves better once they have people on their marketing teams who understand the demographics that the business is targeting.

The diversity of thought, opinions, and representation helps a business have different perspectives that they can incorporate into their marketing messages and that shape how the business and brand present themselves. Diversity Equity and Inclusion drive the decision-making process because businesses can use the members of their marketing teams to better understand different demographics and their differences.

Filtering Biased Data

Marketing teams have lots of artificial intelligence and machine learning tools at their disposal. These tools help businesses build campaigns, tailor their message, understand their customers better, and a lot more. However, the results you get out of these tools largely depend on the type of data you feed them.

A diverse marketing team can help the business filter data to remove biased data. If the marketing team reflects your customer base, they are in a great position to point out which data is correct and which would lead to unwanted results. A business should not be making decisions using insights gleaned from data that was flawed in the first place.

Businesses that understand the need for inclusion and diversity in their marketing teams do a lot better than those that do not. Their marketing campaigns do a lot better with their customers, they avoid negative publicity due to insensitive messaging, and they only make decisions based on the right data.

Image Source: Royalty-free image

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How to Use User-Generated Content

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How to Use User-Generated Content

For a business to remain relevant on the internet, especially if you are a small business, it must constantly create content. And, just any content won’t do. The content you create must resonate with the followers and engage them thoroughly. 

This can be pretty tough to pull off consistently all by yourself. I speak from experience. No matter how good you are with content, no matter how much knowledge you possess about your niche, and no matter how driven you are – constantly coming up with ideas can be draining. Being consistent requires discipline along with creativity, and sometimes, creativity just wants to stay stagnant.

However, you can solve this problem by using social media followers to create content for you. Social media is full of precious information for businesses. It has become easy to directly connect with the customers and use data to make data-driven decisions. Let’s use what is available and look at eight simple ways how we can use the help of users to generate relevant content.

Hashtag

How to Use User-Generated Content

An easy way to make users create content for you is by using hashtags. For this, you need to first create a branded hashtag that gives off a strong vibe about your business. 

So, for a gaming company, hashtags like #LetsPlay, #PickUpTheGamepad, or something similar will make sense. Plus, if you can ensure that the hashtag is related to some kind of cause, then all the better. 

For example, a new government regulation might result in restricting the gaming industry. So, creating hashtags revolving around this topic will give you a better chance at attracting users and ensuring that lots of quality content is created.

User Photos

How to Use User-Generated Content

Text content alone will not help you widen your reach on social media. You will need images, as well. And these, too, can be sourced from your followers. Ask them to send in photos of them using your product or service. 

You can then select a few that look good and have a chance of being shared the most on social media to feature on your profile page. Ideally, photos should depict them enjoying or benefiting from the product. 

So, if you provide online gaming service, then photos showing people smiling while gaming is far more preferable than people just holding a gamepad in their hands and taking a selfie.

Post Comments

How to Use User-Generated Content

When you post content on your social media profile, you will most likely generate a massive amount of comments from followers. And while most of these comments will often be one-liners with no substantial content, there will be a few comments that can be deeply impactful or thought-provoking. 

So, when you see such comments, take a screenshot and post it on your social media page. You can also contact the user and ask them whether they wish to be tagged.

For example, you may post an article on how best to use your brand of nail polish. And among the many comments, the post will attract, you might come across one user who has narrated a story about how using the nail polish has helped her feel more attractive. These are the type of comments that you should screenshot and share.

Polls

How to Use User-Generated Content

You can also conduct a poll and use it to create excellent content. The best way to implement this is to conduct a poll wherein the participants are asked about your product or brand, and the results of which can be turned into an infographic. 

For example, if you sell internet security software, then the poll can focus on questions like how many people feel that their computer has become safer after installing the software; how many think that your security software is better than the rivals; how many feel that the pricing is okay, and so on. 

Once the poll ends, you can tabulate the results and get a good graphic designer to convert the statistics into an attractive infographic that has the potential to go viral.  

Questions

How to Use User-Generated Content

Asking your followers some questions about the product or service is also a good way to create user-generated content. The question must focus on evoking a response that highlights how good your offering is. 

So, a question like ‘How much weight have you lost by using our product’ should be used as compared to ‘Do you think diet is essential for weight-loss?’ 

The former will mostly evoke an answer that will reflect the quality of your product while the latter will only lead to a more generalized answer. You can then select the best answers and post them on your profile.

Events

How to Use User-Generated Content

If your business is conducting an event that has the potential to attract the attention of the general public, then that, too, is an opportunity to generate user-created content. You can spread the news that a special event is being conducted, and invite people to attend. 

When they do come to the place, encourage them to share their experience of it online. They may publish a text post about how the event was or may even live stream their experience on Facebook. Whatever way they choose, it will benefit you by getting your business more exposure.

Testimonials

How to Use User-Generated Content

Another excellent way to generate top-notch content is by inviting testimonials from users. Just ask customers to provide their experience with your product or service detailing how using it has changed their life for the better. 

So, if your business manufactures shampoo, you can ask followers to send in their experience of how the shampoo helped them get rid of dandruff and made their hair lustrous and healthy. 

The best thing about this is that you will easily get so many responses since many people will jump at the opportunity to see their story featured by a business.

Influencer Marketing

How to Use User-Generated Content

Maybe you don’t have sufficient social media clout to create user-generated content successfully. So, what do you do? The best alternative for you is to use influencer marketing

Contact an influencer in your niche and use them as a tool to create content from the public. As a starting point, you can ask the influencer to use the hashtags discussed above so that your brand name gets sufficient exposure. You can then move on to using the influencer for collecting testimonials, conducting polls, asking questions, and so on. 

However, do make sure that the influencer you associate with has a good reputation so that your business will be seen in a more positive light by the people.

Final Thoughts

How to Use User-Generated Content

Building a brand presence on social media can be a great deal because it has the potential to make more sales than direct marketing. Social media helps you make customers feel a connection and trust your business. They are more likely to convert into actual customers when they see how others have benefited and how well you understand your customers and care for them.

Use a combination of all the ways that I have talked about. Reaching people and then showing them how helpful your product or service can be to them has never been this easy. If you play your cards right, you might not even have to spend much on elaborate marketing.

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