Tips for achieving a work – life balance
For many of us, juggling the demands of a career and a personal life is a constant battle. So, achieving that elusive balance is ideal, but it can seem like an impossible task.
What does it mean to have a work-life balance? Simply put, it’s the amount of time and focus you give your work versus the other aspects of your life – like spending time with family, friends, or spending time on your hobbies.
Maintaining that healthy split is important for overall happiness and wellbeing, so it’s not really a surprise that 71% of marketers say they would take a pay cut for better workplace culture.
With that in mind, we decided to list out our top five tips to help you achieve a better work-life balance:
- Maximise your efficiency
Just because you have a to-do list of 50 tasks, doesn’t mean you need to complete them all there and then; consider their urgency and importance and prioritise your time accordingly.
It’s all about efficiency, make sure you start your day off right by knowing exactly what you need to get done. If you’re overwhelmed, set priorities and avoid small things like checking social media throughout the day (we all do it sometimes…) Trust us, you’ll be shocked by how much extra time you’ll have in the long run.
It’s also a great idea to stop constantly flicking between that spreadsheet you’ve been slaving away on and your emails. It might seem like a positive to be keeping on top of your notifications so that you don’t miss anything, but it is arguably counterproductive. Constantly checking your inbox will only take away minutes that you could be using on actually completing your task.
By simply increasing the amount you get done during your work hours, you’ll have plenty more time to do the things that you want/need to do in the evening.
Work smarter, not harder!
- Just say no
Being able to say no to your colleagues may be a slightly daunting concept, but it is super important.
Many of us fall into the trap of working until stupid o’clock just to meet the demands of tight deadlines. So, take time to assess whether or not what your colleagues are asking of you is realistic and if the answer is no, just say no! You don’t have to be rude about it, but if you generally don’t have the time and you have other priorities, no one can blame you.
- Don’t be afraid to unplug
So much of our lives, including our work life, is centred around technology, so staying constantly plugged into our devices in order to avoid missing out on anything important is something a lot of us are guilty of.
Don’t get us wrong, we know technology has made our lives arguably a lot easier but it has also created an expectation of constant accessibility. The work day never truly ends. You need to take time to shut off your phone and enjoy the moment.
We are constantly attached to our phones no matter the situation, so next time you’re at your kids dance recital or out for dinner with friends, turn off your notifications and ignore your emails because let’s be honest, most of the time, it can wait!
Make quality time, true quality time.
- Take a break
Do the last few hours of the day just consist of you staring at the clock, counting down the minutes until you can go home? It might be because you haven’t actually taken any time throughout the day to allow your mind to rest, recharge and refocus.
Working straight through lunch breaks is something a lot of us are guilty of. Suddenly you look at the clock, its 4pm and you’ve only left your desk to grab a cup of coffee and maybe a banana. Ultimately making the last hour or two of work much less productive and, quite frankly, painful.
Simply taking your lunch break and going on a quick walk around the block is a perfect way to recharge your batteries and improve your productivity for the rest of the day. So be careful not to make a habit of working through your lunch!
Small but frequent changes can make a massive difference to your wellbeing.
- Leave work at work
While your job is important, it shouldn’t be your entire life.
A lot of us constantly walk around carrying our work with us, which often means we are not fully present and engaged in what is happening around us.
Leaving our work to focus on ourselves is pretty difficult because our desire to succeed professionally can leave us forgetting about our own well-being, especially when our work is only a thumb swipe away.
It is important to set boundaries for yourself to avoid overworking and burnout. Once you’ve left the office, try not to think about your upcoming project or next week’s meetings, try to engage in what is happening around you. Just remember, this is your time to recharge.
A simple tip is to write yourself a note at the end of the day listing the tasks that are on your mind, then shut your computer and go home.
When possible, leave work where it belongs - at work (the clue is in the name!)
So next time you’re considering skipping that spin class or your evening jog, don’t do it! Your emails can wait, but your health really shouldn’t!
3Search is an award-winning UK recruitment consultancy, specialising in marketing, digital and creative tech positions. Whether you’re seeking new talent or looking for your next career move, we can help.
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