Life in the modern day can often feel like spinning a lot of plates. With our constant access to people in both our personal and professional lives, the lines between work and life can become a little blurred. When you throw life admin, socialising and exercise into the mix it can be incredibly difficult to balance everything even though we want to put 100% into each part of our lives.
There are, however, some actions we can take in order to seperate and get the most out of our work and personal lives.
Here are a few tips to help take a step towards that mythical work-life balance!
Restrict your access to work emails
If you have access to work emails on your personal smartphone or tablet, you should think about putting this out of reach. Your mind should be focussed on relaxing, your passions/hobbies and spending time with your loved ones when you’re out of the office. Temptation to look at your emails can be spurred on by anxiety over a certain project or boredom. By detaching yourself from that access you won’t even consider it a possibility.
Whilst this isn’t always possible around busy periods it should be avoided in general day-to-day working life!
Organisation and priorities
If you find yourself working past normal hours frequently then perhaps your workload or work ethic might need to be questioned. If you feel you are overworked then you need to sit down with your boss to discuss resources and staff. It could also be down to your work ethic, or you might need some help to organise and prioritise your tasks a little better to get everything finished?
Prioritising is key. Prioritise your list of to-dos with the most in-demand and time-sensitive tasks at the top with the less important and ongoing tasks at the bottom. One thing to keep in mind is that you’re only paid for the hours you work, so try and be strict with yourself and don’t let work breach this timeframe. Prioritise your personal time in the same way that you would your work - time spent relaxing with your family and friends is valuable to your health and wellbeing.
If you do find yourself in stressful situations at work frequently then you should consider making use of these everyday mindfulness techniques to keep yourself balanced - it’s easy to perform at work, on your commute or at home.
Have a word with you inner perfectionist
In most cases there could always be more work to do on a project or task - a thought that our inner-perfectionist clings on to. In times like these you need to teach yourself to leave your work in the best state you can get it to with your available time. Perfectionism can cause unnecessary stress due to its potentially never ending pursuit for satisfaction. If you’ve done your best, be kind to yourself and move on.
Lay down the ground rules early on
When we start new jobs, we are naturally eager to please - this can pull management and colleagues into a false impression of your work output. Obviously this rests on your passions but be sure not to overwork in those initial weeks to the point where the expectation surrounding you is far greater than your capabilities. This can pull you into a cycle where both you and the other party are left disappointed.
Don’t be a ‘yes’ person 24/7
None of us are superhuman and we can’t do absolutely everything. If you get asked to do a task whilst you’re already juggling several others don’t feel obliged to say ‘yes’ straight away without question. It’s great to help out your boss and colleagues but if you feel your work is going to suffer as a result then ‘no’ isn’t a bad thing. There are busy periods in many lines of work and sometimes you are required to do more than usual but if every weekend is getting taken up by those extra “yes” tasks then you need to put you first once again and create more of a balance.