Keeping a healthy work-life balance is important for everyone who works. It can, however, be very difficult to achieve, especially for those who work for themselves or are really keen to see the business that they work for be successful.
Being hard working is often seen as a good thing, but for many people it can be difficult to get the balance between working hard, earning enough money to support them and their family, staying stress-free and enjoying a personal and family life. Being overworked can not only have an impact on your physical and mental health, but also on your family and others around you.
For good overall health and happiness, it is important to get the balance right and here are a few tips on how to maintain a healthy work-life equilibrium.
1. Get better at time management
Being organized with your time management can be very useful when you’re trying to get that balance right. By ensuring that you are using your time effectively – whether you’re at home or at work, you can ensure that everything gets done and you can close off your work time when you should be on ‘life’ time – as well as turn off your personal life when you’re at work.
Try to prioritize what you’re doing at work and at home so that the most important things get done first; meaning that you don’t have work on your mind when you’re at home or vice versa. Likewise, try to say ‘no’ to things which aren’t really worth doing or that you physically can’t fit in.
If you’re not particularly good at time management, try setting goals or keeping a diary with details of everything you plan to get done each day and cross them off as you get them done. Not only will this help you to be organized, it can also be a good way to keep yourself motivated.
2. Use local amenities
If you work in a major city, there are almost always amenities close by. Find a workplace close to a gym, supermarket or childcare facilities, which means that you can use your lunch break for a workout or do the weekly shop before or after work and not waste a minute of your work or personal life time.
3. Separate your home and work
With the growth in technology over the past few years, we expect to be able to get hold of people straight away. In fact, it doesn’t have to be like that. Make it clear that you’ll only respond to work issues when you’re working – which means turning off your phone or email when you officially stop working. Likewise, ensure that you only respond to personal issues when you’re at work if it’s an emergency. It might help to have two phones so that each can be turned off when you’re not using it.
As long as you make it clear that this is your policy, people will learn to cope, and you’ll be better off for it.
4. Take care of yourself
You’ll never do well at work unless you’re fit and healthy, and you probably won’t enjoy life as much either. Make taking care of yourself a priority – think eating well, exercising, doing things that you enjoy and being with the people you love. If you’re happy and healthy in your personal life, you can guarantee this will reflect well on your work life too.
It’s important to remember that sleep and rest are vitally important to our wellbeing, so make sure that you give yourself time to do both – a jam packed calendar isn’t necessarily the happiest one, so give yourself time to rest, rejuvenate and recharge.
5. Get the help you need
If you find yourself getting stressed or anxious, you’re not alone and there is help out there. Getting your work-life balance right isn’t easy and neither is managing everything that life throws at us. Stress, anxiety and depression are more common than you think, and your company should be able to help you if you think that you have a problem. If you don’t want to speak to your work, your GP should be able to get you access to services which can help you.
Striking the balance between work and life isn’t always easy and sometimes means standing up to people, especially at work. Fortunately, however, businesses are beginning to understand the importance of having happy (and therefore more productive) employees and are starting to help their employees create the work-life balance that they need.