How do you Achieve a Good Work-Life Balance? – Part Two
Here is the second part of our popular blog on achieving that perfect work-life balance.
If your work-life balance is absolutely tipped the wrong way – in either direction – you need to take charge of your life and make some major changes. But this can seem daunting. We have all been there: crash diets that fizzle out, New Year’s resolutions we forget by February. It is the same with work-life balance when we take on too much too quickly. Many people commit to drastic changes: suddenly cutting their hours from 80 hours a week to 40, bumping up their daily run from zero miles a day to five miles a day. It is a recipe for failure. If you are trying to change a certain script in your life, start small and experience some success. Build from there.
Even in times of COVID-19, vacations are still possible, and you need to think of them a necessary ingredient of your work-life balance, not an indulgence of weak people who cannot take the place of work. If large companies can make vacation time happen, then so can you. Remember, vacation time does not have to involve a week-long getaway to Port Douglas (although if you can afford the expense and the time away from the office, that is a great way to recharge). Even a day away from the office can be enough to leave you feeling re-focused and refreshed. Book a long weekend with the family or friends. It is not just the break itself that will do you good – it is the looking forward to it that will do wonders for your mood. However, although spending time in a different place indeed gives you a fresh viewpoint, travel is not for everyone. Some people would rather have stability, familiar places and faces and sleep in their own bed at night. There is nothing wrong with that. But bear in mind, being from everything you are used to, you will realise what is truly important in life and what is not. You will question your own assumptions by being in the middle of people and places completely different from you. By taking some time away from the people who normally surround you at home and work, you will get to reassess your likes, preferences and values. You might find out they are more influenced by your environment than you would imagine.
To sum up, here is a handy checklist to help you to see if your work-life balance is working.
Five signs you have work/life balance in your life
If you can answer yes to these five signs of work/life balance, you are probably some way down the road to achieving it.
- You do a job you love – Yes/No?
- You have time and energy for relationships and social life outside work – Yes/No
- You can manage your work schedule within work hours – Yes/No?
- You do not stress about work during evenings or weekends – Yes/No?
- Your health and fitness are not impacted by your work hours – Yes/No?
Seven tips to help you achieve work-life balance
- Scope out what your ideal work-life scenario would look like
- Identify the areas of your life that you would like to spend more time focusing on
- Take small steps and review – balance takes time to get right and needs to evolve
- Break the habit of staying at work past scheduled hours unless absolutely necessary
- Unplug – draw a line between work and leisure and make time where you do not answer your phone or check your email
- Prioritise exercise, leisure activities, family and social time as much as work
- Do something you enjoy every day.
When employees are balanced, everything in our life is balanced! When stress is managed, a more positive mood occurs, which has been proven to help protect physical and mental health. A happy, relaxed you equals more positive and productive times around the people you care about. In response to the management of many successful organisations, they have become increasingly concerned with maintaining a work-life balance and offer a range of initiatives designed to facilitate their integration of work and nonworking domains. Seek these out and take advantage of them – they are there to help you!