Did you make a resolution to have a better work-life balance in 2018? How’s it going? The New year and Christmas festivities that brought 2017 to an end probably seem like a long time ago now. It did however present us with the opportunity to spend quality time with family and friends.
Now that you’re back into the routine of work again. You might be struggling to find the balance between work, family and your social life. In this world of longer working hours and increased pressure at work, it’s recognised that having a healthy work-life balance can help our mental and physical health.
Therefore, if you feel unhappy about the number of hours that you spend at work and worry that it is impacting on your home life and mental health, it’s time to re-dress the balance. There are a number of steps that you can take to ensure that your work is more manageable, allowing you more time to spend on the other important things in your life.
Work smart, not long
This involves you being strict and prioritising your work. You should allocate a certain amount of time to each of your tasks, so that you’re not spending too long on any of them. Also cut down on unstructured meetings, they can waste a huge amount of your time. If there isn’t an agenda, decline the invitation.
Take personal responsibility for your work-life balance
Often employers/clients are under pressure, so will impose unrealistic demands and deadlines on us. You need to be aware of your limits and the detrimental effect it could have on your mental health and speak up. If you feel that you can’t complete the work in the time allocated, draw up a realistic plan of the work involved and your estimation of the time it will take and present it to them. Most employers/clients will be understanding when you talk to them and if they’re not, maybe it’s better that you don’t work for them.
Draw a line between work time and “you” time
Do you work from home or bring work home occasionally? Make sure you have a designated work area, so that you can switch off from work wnen you’re done. If you find yourself working on your laptop whilst watching TV, you are not focussing on your work, your family, or relaxing. This means that your body is in a constant state of alertness, which over time can wear it down.
Make time for exercise and friendships
Our extra-curricular activities can make all the difference to our work productivity and mental and physical health. Ensure that you make the time for them in your life. Taking part in exercise can give us more energy and better sleep. It can also be sociable and provide us with headspace away from the pressures of work. Friends allow us the chance to switch off and talk about un work-related things. If our only focus is our work, we are storing up stress-related problems for the future.
You might think that working longer hours is more productive but in reality, it is just wearing our bodies out, leading to mental stress and keeping us away from the other elements of our life that make it all worthwhile. Productivity is affected by the quality of the work that we do, if we’re constantly worn out and unhappy, productivity can decrease. Make sure you take steps to get the balance right between your work and your life. If you want even more quick tips to get a great work-life balance you might like this post 25 Ways to Achieve Balance In your life
If you’d like to get regular hints and tips to live a more balanced life why not join me an over 1900 Small Business Owners in my free Time Management Academy.
Till Next Time
Mike Gardner – The Time Doctor