No matter how hard we try, getting and maintaining a healthy work-life balance can be a tall order. It might be that your job is incredibly busy, it might be that you love your work and want to spend as much time immersed in it as you can, it might be that your home life has changed recently and your responsibilities have grown there. Whatever the reason, getting into the habit of balancing these two parts of your life is an important long-term endeavour. Striking the right balance between your home life and your work life is crucial for everyone – it doesn’t only apply to those with children. Our team have some advice on finding a sustainable happy medium between the two.
Figure out your priorities
Write them down. You might think you have them all squared in your head but you may be surprised the effect it has to see them written down in front of you. Writing them down in order of importance can help to get things crystal clear in your mind, which is important for all other steps to achieving a balance.
Look at your time management
You might think you’re an expert at managing your time everyday, but there can always be improvement. Conversely, you might be terrible at time management and by taking a step back and looking at how you are spending your time, you might be surprised by how long you spend on unimportant tasks, both in your work life and your home life. For example, how long does it actually take you to leave work at the end of the day? Do you get out as fast as you can or do you stand around chatting about weekend plans and the like? Things like this are time-killers and very easy to overlook.
Are you taking on too much at work?
Hard as it might be, saying no to tasks outside the scope of your role is sometimes important. Yes, we all need to be team players, and we certainly do not advise you become a ‘not my job, not my problem’ type of employee, but sometimes generosity at work can be taken too far. Consider extra tasks carefully and if a plan can be made without your involvement then pick that route.
Make sure your work time is productive
Take breaks, go for walks, eat properly, stay hydrated. All of these things are crucial to your productivity at work, and the more work you get done in a day, the easier it will be for you to leave your work right there – at work. One of the hardest aspects of a work-life balance to master is the switching between work mode and home mode. If you’re worried you didn’t get enough done on any given day, it’s going to encroach on your enjoyment of your home life.
Schedule things to do (and stick to them)
Whether you’re a singleton, with a partner, or have a trio of kids at home, make sure you schedule things to do in your free time. You might not be the most active person, but there are plenty of options for things to do that are going to really make you feel as though your home time is never wasted. You might feel like you just want to sit and watch TV all weekend, but that is unlikely to make you feel as though your free time was well-spent. Get out and do something and you’ll be surprised how much better you feel when you start the next working day.
No work talk at home
Ok, so you might want to talk to your partner about how both your days went in the few hours after you get home, which is normal and certainly healthy. However, once that conversation has taken place, zip it. No more work talk.
Getting the right work-life balance for your situation is not always simple, but by taking a few preparatory steps and having a good look at how you spend your days, weeks and months, you can get to a place where you and all other parties in your life, are happy.