Do you feel like you have the right balance of work and play? Or are you one of the many struggling each week just to reach the weekend and grab 5 minutes of unwind time – and even then, failing badly at that? Mastering work-life balance is a challenge.
With today's fast-paced and demanding world it’s not surprising that more people than ever cite a lack of work-life balance as one of their biggest stresses. But there are many reasons why better separating your personal and professional lives can only be a good thing.
MAINTAIN MENTAL HEALTH
Unrealistic and demanding workloads, feeling undervalued for the work you’re doing, struggling to feel enthusiastic – all can lead to issues with mental health and maybe even burnout and chronic stress.
PHYSICAL HEALTH and WELLBEING
Feeling healthy in your mind has a correlation to your improved physical health (and vice versa) and finding the time to exercise (even taking a walk occasionally) will help to keep your heart and blood pressure healthy.
Taking some time off from work will actually make you MORE productive. Recharging those brain cells and bodies is great for putting things back into perspective and achieving more when you do return to work.
But whilst it’s all very well knowing just how much better your life could be with the right balance, actually achieving it seems to be somewhat harder.
So, before you find yourself at ‘burnout’ point what can you do to address things?
Prioritize - Look at the areas of your life you can easily change – have you over-committed to the PTA or volunteered for one too many roles? Even one evening in the week that you can dedicate to yourself or spending time with your family can help.
Learn to say No! Always accepting those invitations or extra work isn’t a good thing and quite often things that should be enjoyable become just another commitment to be dreaded. Actually, blocking out time in your diary for YOU can help you to keep some hours for yourself.
Work-Life – make sure that you take the holiday you are entitled too, even plan an occasional long weekend to do nothing. Set some work boundaries – switch that mobile off or stop answering emails after a certain time – you would be surprised how happy people are happy to accept this, as long as you reliably reply the next day. On a daily basis try to structure your working day, maybe a To-Do List? Or engage the support and guidance of a business coach to give yourself some direction…. This article from Timeeven suggests a way to make your ‘work-life’ more enjoyable, why not give it a go?
Work Smarter– We are surrounded by technology and services designed to help us and improve our lives. From online grocery shopping to Virtual PAs, learn to delegate and trust other people, especially for those jobs that aren’t your forte.
Set manageable goals – Not just at work but in your personal life too. Schedule in that cinema trip, take a weekend off to decorate the spare room (even better arrange for someone else to come and do the jobs you don’t want to!)
Be YOU– not a martyr or perfectionist. A lot of pressure is actually self-inflicted as we seek approval from our peers. Try to take a step back and stop trying to prove something to those around you. A lot of them are far too busy worrying about their own achievements to notice what you’re doing anyway.
Work-life balance may feel unobtainable at times but by actively scheduling some downtime into your life and taking back some control you can at least start to address it.