Erratic work hours, the never-ending pressure to meet deadlines and less time for yourself. Add the uncertainty of the current circumstances to the mix, and the work-life balance becomes non-existent. Sounds like you?
Working longer and harder is not synonymous with achieving more. If you find yourself having no time to spare for yourself or your loved ones, it might be time to reconsider. We understand how much stress this lifestyle can create, especially if you are a fresher trying to find your feet at work. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all approach, but here are ten tips that can help you strike that coveted work-life balance.
⌛ PRIORITISE YOUR TIME
You may have a dozen things to get done in a week, but that doesn’t mean you get them all done in the first two days. Prioritise your tasks based on how critical they are and how many must be done that very day. If you have too many on your list and you’re unable to complete them, your energy levels will naturally decrease. Start with the top 3 tasks for the day so that when you achieve them, you are filled with a sense of accomplishment!
🧘♂️ DON’T SKIP THE “ME” TIME
With our ever-so-full calendars, it’s easy to say “Oh, but I just don’t have the time!”. The second step to achieving a good work-life balance is to change is very mindset. Start by dedicating one hour to yourself. Use this hour to do something that you love. It can be an hour of reading, cycling or just brushing up one of your old skills! Plotting some personal time for yourself will recharge your energy levels and refresh you.
👪 CARVE OUT MORE FAMILY TIME
Recognise that your job is just a part of your life and not your whole life. Seconding #2, prioritise yourself and your relationships. You will see a massive difference in your mood if you create just a bit of space for the people that matter to you. If it helps, plan a fun weekend getaway with your family or a nice dinner with your loved one. It may seem unnecessary but will ensure that this time is spent without any work conflict. You may be a part of a fantastic organisation, but no one can probably love and appreciate you as a family does.
📚 PRACTICE END-OF-DAY HABITS
With most of us working remotely of late, it is hard to switch off after work. In a recent remote working study we conducted, 50.5% of people said their biggest obstacle was switching off after work. It is hard to unplug, primarily if you work and live in the same space. A simple tip here is to develop ‘end of day’ habits. Tidying up your workspace or making a list of your top priorities for the next day can help you wind down at the end of the day. This is also a great way to let your brain know that the evening is yours to spend with friends and family!
🙅♀️ KNOW THAT IT IS OKAY TO SAY “NO”
If you are already overwhelmed at work, and your manager gives you additional work, know that it is okay to say no. It is essential to be extremely honest about how much work you have going on. If you think that you need time to think, let them know that you’d like to check your availability and get back to them. However, if you find yourself in a position where you cannot refuse, work with them to figure out how to re-prioritise your schedule to fit in this new task. Remember, every problem has a solution.
💪 KNOW YOUR PEAKS AND STRENGTHS
We all have our peaks and troughs, along with our strengths and weaknesses. Knowing these positives and playing to your strengths will make your work a lot easier. If you are a morning person, assign yourself high concentration tasks to the morning. If you know that you always fall prey to the ‘afternoon slump’, assign easy tasks to the afternoon. Focus on your strengths, and you’ll be making the most of your workday.
🏋️♀️ PRIORITISE EXERCISE
A healthy body is a healthy mind. No matter how strongly you feel that your work deserves just one extra hour, discipline your mind to stick to the schedule. It’s easy to postpone that evening run because you haven’t met your daily goals. But remember that exercise will improve your health and release happy hormones that lift your mood.
☕ BREAKS ARE IMPORTANT
We sometimes feel like breaks will set us back. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Make sure to take time out during the day. Some days are easier than others, so taking breaks can seem doable. But on other days, you may not have time even to go get a glass of water. On days like these, try to give yourself a lunch break if not small 5-minute breaks. You can also try to get up from your desk, even if it means just for a minute or two. Stretches during the day will also make sure your body isn’t tensed up, and you’ll be able to function better.
🌄BOOK THAT HOLIDAY
According to a study conducted in 2018, 768 million vacation days were left unused in the US alone. This statistic tells us that employees are often worried that taking time off from work may disrupt their workflow. The fear of returning to a backlog of work should not stop you from taking holidays that you deserve. It is essential to understand that there is no nobility in not taking these days off. Yes, you can take that vacation, and no, you won’t have to battle a vast workload when you return. All it needs is a bit of planning.
🧠 HEALTH BEFORE WEALTH
Bear in mind that your physical, mental and emotional health is above everything. Overworking yourself prevents you from getting better, and it is a definite lose-lose situation. Prioritising your health will make you a better employee. This way, you will listen to your body, take time off if needed and come back happier and more productive. Check-in on your mental health from time to time. Especially if you work remotely. If you’re battling loneliness, here are some tips that can help you out.