10 Ways To Improve Your Work-Life Balance
You’ve heard of the saying ‘work hard, play hard’, but what happens when all you seem to be doing is working? Today, many of us work long hours, which leaves us feeling too exhausted to do anything else. Are you feeling overworked? Are you conscious that you’re missing out on seeing people, or letting your interests slip by the wayside? If so, this guide can help. Follow these ten simple steps to achieve a fairer work-balance. Adjusting the way you work and switching up your schedule will ensure you devote time to your passions and the people you love, as well as your job.
- Plan ahead
Effective planning enables you to get to grips with what needs doing at work and what you’ve got on at home. If you’ve got a busy week ahead or deadlines approaching, organise social activities for the week after. Note down important dates in your diary and update your schedule as soon as new commitments are confirmed.
- Set your own deadlines
Every day, write yourself a list of things to do and finish once you’ve ticked everything off. In the modern world, when people are contactable 24 hours a day, it can be tempting to work around the clock. However, it’s essential to cool time on work when you step out of the office. By all means, if you’ve got a horrendously busy few days ahead, take an hour or so at the weekend to relieve a bit of pressure. But don’t have your work head on constantly. Once you’ve finished, switch your attention to seeing friends, spending time with the kids of simply chilling out.
- Get into a routine
It’s wise to try and impress your boss and do a good job, but don’t let work take over your life. If you are paid to work 9-5 each day, you don’t need to stay behind until 7 or 8 o’clock every night. It’s fine to work overtime from time to time to do your bit for the company, but draw a line. If you feel like you’re doing too much, and you’re not getting any recognition for it, speak to your boss. If you are busier than usual, try to start earlier. Most people are more productive in the mornings and there’s a higher chance of leaving on time.
- Be willing to say no
If you’ve got a special dinner or a family birthday celebration planned and you get asked to work overtime, don’t be afraid to say no. Sometimes, you have to put other people first. Explain that you’ve already got plans and offer to help out another time instead. If you feel uncomfortable talking to your boss or they are making you feel guilty about your decision, seek advice from blogs such as chartcons. If problems persist, speak to your line manager.
- Make the most of your weekends
For many of us, the weekends are sacred. This is a time to devote to hobbies, travelling and catching up with friends and family. When you have time away from the office, spend it wisely. Don’t sit in bed checking emails or thinking about what’s going to happen at work in the coming week. Get out and about, socialise or enjoy the freedom of staying in your pyjamas all day and watching movies.
- Switch off when you get home
It’s essential to differentiate your home and work environments. When you arrive home after a long day at work, turn your mind to your partner, kids or pets. Take at least half an hour every day for yourself. Run a bath, read a book or catch up on the soaps. Try not to talk about work-related issues or grumble about people or problems at work. If you’re stressing out about your job or a meeting, this is likely to make it difficult for you to get to sleep.
- Take your holidays
Everyone is entitled to days off and holidays. Booking a trip gives you something to look forward to and aim for in the weeks ahead. Get organised so that you can everything done in advance. You can then start thinking about exploring or zoning out and recharging your batteries. Book holidays in advance to prevent last-minute work stress. If you’ve been under pressure, taking a break will help to revive you and make you feel refreshed. When you get back, you’ll probably be much more focused and energetic, once you’ve got over the first couple of days of holiday blues.
- Set time aside for activities
When drawing up your weekly schedule, make sure you include some activities or outings. Arrange dinner with the girls or a trip to the cinema with your boyfriend. Take time out to go to a yoga class twice a week or join a book club. Give yourself events to look forward to and stick to your plans. You don’t want to be that friend that always cancels at the last minute. If you find that you can’t get home fast enough after you leave work, get up earlier. Go for a run with a friend, meet for breakfast or enjoy an hour to yourself with a coffee and a paper.
- Save yourself time
Technology offers us the chance to save time on many activities. If you’re always frantically rushing around, think about simple jobs you could eliminate. Do your food shopping online, for example. If you struggle to fit in household or gardening chores, consider paying for a cleaner or a gardener to come once a week. Narrowing down your list of tasks will enable you to spend time doing things you actually enjoy.
- Find time to exercise
Exercising is not just essential for good physical health. It also helps to boost your mind and make you more productive. Half an hour of physical exercise every day will stimulate your mind, release tension and help to eliminate stress. Exercising on a regular basis reduces your risk of heart disease, strokes and some forms of cancer. You’ll also find that you sleep better.
Achieving a perfect work-life balance can be tricky, but it is doable. Hone your time management skills and devote time to your work and your downtime.
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