About the author: Lamar Watson, CFP®, is a Fee-Only Financial Advisor in the Washington, D.C. area that works with clients virtually across the country. Lamar's work with his clients focuses on budgeting, employee benefits, paying down debt, buying their first home, and investing. Lamar is the Founder of Dream Financial Planning, a virtual Fiduciary Financial Planning firm specifically designed to help young professionals and minorities take control of their finances and fulfill their dreams. Feel free to schedule a complimentary consultation to learn how we use the DREAM Financial Planning Process ™ to help our clients achieve their goals.
With Labor Day here, it’s time to start saying our goodbyes to summer. More than just an extra day off of work, it’s important to remember what Labor Day is really meant to celebrate. While we recognize the hard work of our labor force, we’ll also explore five ways that you can improve your work-life balance, because there is more in life to enjoy than just our careers.
Why Do We Celebrate Labor Day?
The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Sept. 5, 1882 in New York City, in accordance with the Central Labor Union to celebrate workers' contributions to the well-being of our country and the economy. Many years later, on June 28, 1894, President Grover Cleveland signed a law to make Labor Day a national holiday.1 Now, the first Monday in September is annually dedicated to the hard work and achievements of American workers.
Improving Your Work-Life Balance
We all know how it feels to be overwhelmed by work, and sometimes it can seem like it’s taking over your life. Especially if you own a small business or are still working from home due to COVID, it’s easy to feel pressured into making your job your everything. If you find yourself working overtime and constantly thinking about work, it’s time to evaluate how you can change your habits to have a more balanced life.
Plan for Personal Time
Set aside some time for you to do something for yourself. Whether that is going on a hike, reading a book, or just unwinding by watching a movie, do something small that makes you happy every day.
Let Yourself Unplug
Stop checking work emails during all hours of the day. Instead, communicate with your colleagues and customers so they can know when you’ll be working and when you won’t be available to respond. Creating, communicating, and abiding by these boundaries is crucial when it comes to maintaining a work-life balance. Take a few hours each day to shut off your phone and enjoy the moment.
Prioritize Your Health
Keep yourself physically, emotionally, and mentally healthy by taking steps to put your health first. Eat healthy meals, especially breakfast before work, sleep at least seven hours each night, and schedule time into your day to exercise and move your body. These practices will help you to be more energized and productive while boosting your immune system and overall mood. Running yourself ragged will only push you closer to burning out, which can be hard to recover from.
Invest in Relationships
Don’t let work keep you from your loved ones. Plan for quality time with your family and friends, even if you live with them. Make room in your schedule to see loved ones throughout the week when possible, not just on the weekends.
Leave Work at Work
With some of us working remotely, this can be easier said than done. Wherever you spend your time working, make it a point to stick to your scheduled work hours and have a designated workspace. Making plans for shortly after your workday ends could help you to stop working for the day and get on with the next activity.
Creating a work-life balance doesn’t just happen overnight, you need to gradually integrate these healthy habits into your life. Let yourself have fun, relax and prioritize yourself and your personal relationships. You may even see your work and productivity benefiting from these changes. Enjoy your Labor Day weekend, and remember to prioritize your health and happiness this year.
Dream Financial Planning Process ™
Whether you're managing student loan debt, starting a family, or considering buying your first home, the DREAM Financial Planning Process™ is tailored to the unique needs of busy professionals in their 30s and 40s. This process focuses more on short-term goals while you grow and evolve in your personal and professional life. So if you're looking for guidance on Financial Planning, optimizing employee benefits, budgeting, student loans, and managing your 401k or investments, we can help.
With uncertainty surrounding the economic stability of our country, it's okay to have fears and anxieties surrounding your own savings and investments. The most productive course of action from here is to reach out to Dream Financial Planning (or whoever your trusted advisor might be) and discuss your options. It's easy to have knee-jerk reactions when it feels like the bottom is falling out, but it is imperative to make decisions using research-backed data and a level head. If you'd like a Complimentary Review and risk assessment of your investment portfolio, feel free to send me an e-mail.
In the August Newsletter, I explore how you should invest money for your short-term goals after you've established an emergency fund. I also discuss how a Financial Advisor can help you avoid emotional decision-making with U.S. News and World Report and how to know if your Financial Advisor is the right fit for you. There are also blog posts where I outline how to complete a mid-year financial check-up and 5 college planning mistakes to avoid.
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