Feeling exhausted? Checkout some tips on how to achieve a good work-life balance
We often spend a lot of time pursuing a healthy work-life balance, however, sometimes it can seem like an impossible goal. Being always on the job does not help you achieve tasks quicker, it can actually slow down productivity. We know it can be tricky striking a balance when the normal 9-5 has changed. We feel like we are constantly playing catch up. Finding a healthy balance between work and your family is essential for good mental wellbeing.
What is work-life balance?
The Cambridge Dictionary gives a simple but effective definition of work-life balance: the amount of time you spend doing your job compared with the amount of time you spend with your family and doing things you enjoy. Follow these tips to maintain a good work-life balance.
1. Step away from your emails
Why is it so difficult to maintain a good work-life balance? Harmonizing work and family life can be difficult with the advancement of technology. As we are now chained to our desks and forever reachable with mobile phones.
However, it is important for our well-being to clock out of work and switch off in the evenings to maintain good work-life balance. Incessant checking of emails and work-related tasks can decrease productivity, and lead to burning out.
2. Leave work at the door for ideal work-life balance
When you leave the office in the evening commit to leaving your stress behind. Sometimes it can be hard going from work mode to home life mode, and it can be difficult to separate the two. Whatever may be happening in your work life, avoid bringing home negative situations that can impact your mood.
A negative mindset can impact your time with your family or friends, so try to focus on the positives when you are home. Implement a strict no work policy in the evenings and on weekends without any exceptions to achieve a good work-life balance. It is important to unplug from work as it allows us to recover from weekly stresses, and gives your body and mind a chance to rest.
Read to know more how to switch off from work completely?
3. Make time for you
When we are busy at work, it can be easy to think ‘I’ll just answer one more email and then go home’ or ‘I’ll just finish this task first’, but it’s vital to make an effort to leave on time and prioritize time for yourself. Whilst your job is a big part of your life, it shouldn’t be your entire life.
Make time for you, and the hobbies you enjoy. Immersing yourself in something can keep your mind occupied. Embrace a new hobby and gain some new skills with exciting activities like sculpting, sailing, cooking, photography, baking, learning to play an instrument, or dancing. We are never too old to try something new, so take the plunge and try a new hobby! It will do wonders for your wellbeing, can help you relax and maintain a good work-life balance.
4. Set manageable workload goals
Writing yourself a list of tasks a mile long won’t be achievable in a day. Try to set manageable goals for each working day for good work-life balance. It’s important to be realistic about workloads and deadlines, as not only will you burnout trying to do everything at once but it can make you feel down.
A reasonable to-do list can help you feel in control and give you a sense of accomplishment once you get a task done. Try to organise your workload by deadlines and what your manager would like you to prioritise. If you are completely stuck where to start, why not go and talk to a colleague about it?! It could help provide you with clarity and they may have some words of wisdom for you.
This is how to achieve a good work-life balance.
5. Keep physically active to maintain healthy work-life balance
It can be easy to neglect your exercise routine, and instead opt for staying late at work to finish a project. However, regular exercise is good for your physical and mental health. Even when we are busy, we still need to make time for crucial things in life.
Physical activity can help reduce stress levels, depression and anxiety, as it helps get endorphins pumping through your body and helps lift your mood. NHS guidelines advise that adults aged 19 to 64 should try to be active at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity every week.
Incorporating exercise into your life doesn’t have to happen overnight. It can start with small changes like walking to the shops, taking the stairs, planning activities which will keep you moving or going out for a walk on your lunch break. If don’t like exercising alone or would prefer to do something a little bit more fun, why not try an exercise class?
Finding a fitness buddy to workout with you, can make exercising more enjoyable and fun. Not only will it provide you with more motivation.make you more accountable to keep exercising as you won’t want to let your buddy down, but it also creates a little bit of healthy competition. This is how to improve work-life balance.
6. Communicate effectively
If you are feeling snowed under with work, why not ask to have a chat with your line manager to discuss about how to balance work and family life? Don’t bottle it all up until you reach a breaking point with your workload and become really frustrated with your job. Have an open discussion with your line manager and offer practical solutions for where you are struggling. They will want to help you as they don’t want to lose you as an employee and will want you to succeed.
Don’t shut yourself off from everyone, if you don’t want to speak to your line manager, how about a colleague, they may understand what you are going through and could help you in having a good work-life balance. It’s also important to communicate effectively with your family, friends or partner, what you are going through at work. You don’t want to isolate yourself from your loved ones and create a negative atmosphere at home where work is a touchy subject. Don’t let it dominant your feelings or life!
Overall it’s important to maintain a healthy work-life balance, not just for your physical health but for your mental wellbeing. Follow the above tips to help you achieve a healthy work-life balance. Having a good work-life balance helps you to reach your goal in both the workplace and in your personal life.
How important are vacations for work-life balance?
Well, the same rules apply when you’re on holiday as when you’re at home. Leave your work phone behind, along with all the struggles you are facing at the office. It is essential to create a divide between your different lives: personal and professional.
Do you have good work-life balance?