Successfully achieving a healthy work-life balance can support greater achievement in the workplace, as well as improved wellbeing and happiness. In contrast, not achieving a healthy work-life balance can result in increased stress levels, exhaustion, illness and burnout.
Finding the right balance will vary depending on circumstances such as having children, starting a new career or business, or simply going through a busy period. Achieving work-life balance doesn’t mean you have to stop working hard, as many professions require us to do so. It is however, about getting the balance right and knowing how and when to switch off from work.
It’s essential to maintain a healthy balance between work, rest/relaxation and having fun, in order to perform at your best both at home and in work. Ensure you aren’t sacrificing your free time to work overtime daily, especially at the expense of your personal wellbeing or health.
Five ways to improve work-life balance:
Cut out activities that drain your time and energy
When time feels restricted it’s important that we are mindful of how time and energy are being spent. At times we can be drawn into tasks or habits that make us less efficient and can drain our energy without even realising. An example could be clicking on push notifications whilst trying to complete an assignment or spending hours scrolling through Instagram when you could have spent quality time with a loved one. If you are easily drawn into activities that are not serving you as you wish, learn how to say no. This can be difficult however, when you do give your time you will be more positive and productive.
For a healthy work-life balance, it’s important to set clear boundaries. This could be turning off push notifications and refraining from checking emails outside of working hours. In addition, minimising the amount you talk about work at home could help you switch off from the day.
Make time for the things you most enjoy
Once you’ve cut out activities that are no longer a good use of your time, you may find that there are still a number of tasks that you don’t enjoy but are required. Examples could be cleaning your home, managing your books or preparing healthy meals. If this isn’t something you enjoy or feel is time well spent, then outsourcing could be a great option. Your time could then be spent on tasks that you are good at and most enjoy.
Find time for self-care
Self-care is an important task that we should perform regularly in order to help maintain good health and wellbeing. Imagine having time to yourself to relax with no other demands. How would you spend this time? Read book, go for a massage, meditate, exercise, catch up with friends or go for a walk. All of which are a great way to help switch off from work, relax and recharge.
Ask for help
It is essential that we have a strong support network around. Surround yourself with like-minded, positive and supportive people that you can reach out to. Sometimes a chat with good friend is all you need to offload and feel more positive.