By Esmée Hardwick-Slack
Everyone has a different definition of what a good work-live balance looks like, an equal 50/50 split isn’t for everyone. The key thing is to ensure that neither side begins to negatively affect the other, once this happens your levels of stress will rise and you will begin to have a negative outlook. Here’s some advice on how to give both your wellbeing and career a positive boost.
Set boundaries to protect your private time
Setting yourself boundaries in very important when it comes to a healthy work-life balance. Many of us take the office home with us, even if we don’t realise it because there will always be an email to respond to or a query to answer. You need to set yourself boundaries, set your work hours, allocate time for yourself and your family and stick to it.
The best way to respect your boundaries is to make use of the off button on your devices. This is a big ask for many, but checking your emails once in the evening can switch your brain back into work mode and disrupt your time to recharge. Don’t bring your phone to the dinner table and stop taking your tablet to bed. Unplug, look away from the tiny screens and make the most of your private time.
Know what really matters to you
Time is precious. It’s the one thing in life that you can’t buy more of, so don’t waste what you have. Focus on what really matters in both your working and personal life. Be organised and prioritise what needs doing throughout the day. Keep a written ‘to do list’ so you’re not overloading your brain, assign timeslots for things like checking emails and returning calls, really scrutinise your day so you know which tasks are more important and thus allowing you to prioritise. Having a high level of structure and planning in your life will encourage a good, healthy work-life balance by ensuring one doesn’t leak into the other.
Take care of yourself
Many of us don’t understand the importance of “me” time. We get so wrapped up in deadlines and workloads that we put our own care before everything else. Be sure to set aside an hour or two to yourself. Relax, make some dinner, do some exercise, put on a film, whatever helps you unwind.
It’s also important to keep on top of your food habits. It’s not unusual for full time workers, especially those working in an office, to snack throughout the day or have unhealthy lunches because it’s quicker. The types of food you eat can have a massive effect on your mood, sleeping pattern and overall health. Just one week of fast food can make you irritable, run-down and exhausted. Take the time to make packed lunches and health snacks, as well as your mood, your wallet may thank you as well!
Learn to say no & fight the guilt
Remember that you can politely decline offers to work out of hours. When you stop doing things out of guilt, you’ll find more time to focus on the important things. We can’t devote 100% to everything we do, so don’t feel guilty declining certain offers because you’ve already got a lot on or because you want some time for yourself.
How do you maintain a healthy work-life balance? Is it time to shake up your schedule? Let us know in the comments or join the discussion on our Twitter.