How to Improve your Work-Life Balance

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We spend the majority of our adult lives at work so it’s important that you enjoy your time there and also make sufficient time for your home life. In saying that, work-life balance has graduated from balancing two opposite sides of a scale and has morphed into more of a blended situation. Work sometimes encroaches on home life and home life will sometimes sneak into our work lives, so we like to think of it more like mixing different spices rather than keeping them in completely different dishes.

So, maybe the title of this blog should be ‘how to create the perfect blend of work and life’.

Here are some of our top tips.

Find a job you love, or big things you love about your job

Working on something you love or having things you deeply enjoy about your work will not only help you get up in the morning, but it will make it easier to enjoy work and not dread waking up and leaving the house. You’re not going to love every aspect of work, but when you find the light in most situations and feel passionate and purposeful about at least part of your work you will definitely have a happier time.

Accept that the balance (blend) won’t always be perfect

At certain times, work-life may take over and at other times home life might! It’s wise to not set your expectations on a perfect balance too high. It’s helpful to accept sometimes things will just be a little crazier than we thought they would be, but those times won’t last forever.

Put your health and family’s health first

Don’t get too caught up in having to excel and be successful at work, and especially don’t place that above your health. Keep this as a top priority and know your own limits. Don’t risk your health for work, as in the long run this will only hinder the blend between work and life tremendously.

Make time for those you love

When you spend a decent amount of time with the ones you care about it really helps re-balance and re-set. It’s helpful to set firm times to step away from work and actually make time to spend with your family or friends. A great tip is to schedule in dates or activities in the calendar and make sure you commit to them like you would an important work meeting.

It’s okay to switch off

Don’t be afraid to not answer that email that came through on the weekend! Don’t feel pressured to answer every call or even be available all the time via your mobile device, unless of course, you are ‘on-call’ in which case you probably shouldn’t switch off your phone.

Take time off

Don’t forget to get away. If you don’t get away from your routine every now and an again you may end up burning out or getting stuck in a rut. Take time off to rejuvenate and avoid losing motivation and productivity from overworking.

Create priority lists

To help prioritise work and life, create a list of all the most important things to do at work and at home. Make sure to allocate the right amount of your time to each task. It can help to set boundaries for yourself so that you can maintain the balance or blend between work. It can be useful to notify your colleagues of these boundaries so that they know, for example, that you can’t work late or overtime because of familial priorities. It’s also good to notify family or friends that there is an especially busy time at work, and they may have to be patient with your later hours or tiredness.

Talk to your employer

On that note, it can really help to discuss the best work schedule for you with your employer. This is extremely helpful to sort out especially for your own peace of mind and to ease guilt around flexible work that can sometimes still have stigma around it.

Learn to say ‘no’ or ‘that will have to wait’

Don’t take on everything. It’s important to learn that sometimes things aren’t worth taking on if they are going to stress you or burn you out. Don’t get caught up pleasing people or scared to disappoint. Some things can wait, and you can say no to things that don’t sit well in your priority list.

Give yourself an easier time

Don’t feel bad about missing out on certain events at work or at home. You can’t be two places at once, and you aren’t a superhero who can fly around within no time. Don’t be hard on yourself, sometimes you’ll miss out on things you wish you didn’t like a soccer game or a work Christmas party. Remember, the blend won’t always work perfectly and that’s okay.

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