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5 tips for achieving work-life balance
Technology has changed the way we live our lives. From the touch of a button we can order food, take a taxi and even go on a date. Everything has become infinitely easier to do in the technological age but this has also meant we live in a world of constant connectivity. It’s great that we can FaceTime someone in another country at a moment’s notice but is this level of always being online helping or hindering us?
Everyone talks of finding the balance between your work life and your personal life as though the two exist separately but when you enter work in the morning your personal life doesn’t stop. And it doesn’t start again when you finish in the evening. Yet this is how the majority of us think. This thinking has lead us to working far too much and neglecting to prioritise our own wellbeing.
While the work-life balance isn’t a one size fits all and some people need more flexibility while others need the regiment that office live gives, it’s still important to find a very necessary and helpful balance. Here are 5 tips to help you strike a blend between when you’re at work and when you’re not.
Be open about what you need
It’s important that as you try to change your situation at work that you make an assessment. Ask yourself if you are being as productive as you can be (and note: staying at work until 8 pm does not equal productivity). Are you and your boss happy with your performance? Can some changes be made to improve your situation? When you assess your situation you will able to take a wide view, step back and really look at what can be done to truly improve your work situation. A lot of us are not aware that there is a lack of balance. You have the power to decide what the right balance is for you. Then once you’ve made an assessment and seen what needs to be changed you can address the issues with your boss.
Respect the balance
When you’ve understood the changes that need to be made, spoken to your boss and come to a point where there is a good understanding of everyone’s needs, you need to respect the balance. If you’ve decided that leaving work at 5 pm on the dot is what you need to be more fulfilled, then you should to leave work at 5 pm. But it isn’t set in stone but forming the habit will mean you won’t be tempted to stay much later. The emails can wait until the morning, nothing is really as urgent as people make it out to be and ultimately you’re doing this for you. It won’t be easy if you’ve spent a long time leaving at 6 or even 7 pm but routines can be broken and changed. Persevere. You deserve it.
Manage your time
A lot of us are overworked because we forget to manage our time properly. We are quick to fill our to do lists with things like write that email to John or start presentation brief for team yet when it comes to things like exercise or taking care of yourself, these things don’t appear on your to do list. If you want to really manage your work life balance you need to prioritise and manage your time so that you can dedicate time to your work and to yourself. Tip: stop multitasking! Focus on one task at a time, do it well and then move on to the next one.
Learn to say no
Often we find ourselves drowning in work and when a colleague or manager asks us to do something, we are compelled to say yes. We are all guilty of saying yes when in reality we mean no. Whether it’s down to a desire to please, fear of hurting someone, duty or even a need for power saying yes can lead to us being overworked and taking on more things than we can handle. Learning to say no guilt free is not a simple task but will benefit you infinitely. A good way around this is simply saying no giving a brief explanation why and, if necessary, propose something else you can do (or would prefer doing) as an alternative solution that is realistic in the given timeframe requested. Steve Jobs once said “focus is about saying no”, so if you want to focus, start learning to say no.
Pursue your passions
While time management and learning to say no at work will definitely help you to manage your life at work, it’s also important in a world where we spend most of our lives at work that you detach from that and pursue your passions. So if you like rock climbing or karaoke, make sure you schedule yourself some time to let your hair down, disconnect entirely from work and just focus on you and what you really love doing when you’re not drafting emails or sitting in a meeting. Passions shouldn’t just exist outside of work, however. Having a passion for the things you do at work will also lead to greater balance overall. You don’t need to love every aspect of your job but finding elements that you really enjoy doing will empower you. When you give yourself a little love, everything becomes a little brighter.
If you’re still struggling to improve your work/life balance after trying out our tips, maybe it’s time to consider changing roles – browse Michael Page jobs today.