From restaurant owners who are trying to kick a great new restaurant off the ground to chefs who are trying to make a name for themselves, everyone needs work/life balance. For restaurant managers, who are required to be at the restaurant during peak hours, including holidays and weekends, it can be even more challenging! If you’re struggling to find the critical balance between succeeding at work and still enjoying the rest of your life, these tips will help!

1. Give Work Your Best

When you come into work every day, give it the best you’ve got. Work hard. When you’re on the clock, be on the clock: not hanging out in the office with your favorite employees or texting, not giving your least favorite tasks to the employees you enjoy working with the least, but genuinely giving the best you’ve got to your restaurant while you’re there.

You know that’s great for your work life, but have you considered the benefits it offers to you in the rest of your life? When you work hard while you’re at work, your employers are willing to go the extra mile for you. This might include things like extra paid time off, being able to take off the hours you really need, and even scheduling flexibility when big life choices come your way. When you fail to give your best to your employer, on the other hand, you’ll find that they’re much less willing to give you those extra advantages.

2. Don’t Always Eat At Work

You get a great discount on work food, and it’s faster to just grab something off the menu than it is to, for example, pack a lunch for yourself. Unfortunately, restaurants are rarely geared toward the healthiest offerings–not to mention the fact that they often use very large portions that aren’t in keeping with what you should actually be eating. Instead, take the time to pack a lunch for yourself. If you must eat at work, know the healthier options on the menu or how to reduce the calorie count of your order. It will help keep you healthier, increase your energy, and make it easier for you to take on the challenges of balancing both your work responsibilities and your life.

3. Prioritize You

When was the last time you got in a great workout or went to a concert? Are you overdue for a haircut? When you prioritize self-care, you’ll discover that you’re in a much better position to give your all both to work and to your personal life. Take the time to get in a workout–every day, if you can. This will increase your overall energy and make you feel better equipped for everything else you have to do in the day. Make sure you have time to shower, to decompress, and to do the other things involved taking care of you. If you don’t take care of yourself, how are you going to be able to take care of everything else?

4. Set Boundaries

Boundaries are an important element of maintaining that critical work/life balance. Just like your kids or your spouse know not to call you at work unless it’s an emergency, work shouldn’t call you out of your home life for anything less. Be clear about the hours you’re able to work, including what you’re able to offer in the event of an emergency situation. If you need specific hours off–for example, you don’t have childcare on a certain day or you’re attending classes–don’t feel as though you need to compromise those activities in order to make the restaurant owner happy. It’s okay to say no and to stick by those boundaries!

5. Get Adequate Sleep

Working at a restaurant, your hours are often long. This is particularly true if you close late. You may struggle to find a schedule that allows you to sleep adequately–but it’s critical to your health that you do! Work with the owner and your coworkers to create a schedule that allows you time to sleep before you have to return for your next shift so you’re not sacrificing your health and alertness for the sake of your job.

Creating that balance between work and life can feel challenging at first. Over time, however, you’ll discover that you can have it all! By creating boundaries and prioritizing healthy self-care, you’ll quickly find that you can succeed as a restaurant manager while still having a life outside of work.

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