How To Manage A Hectic Work-Life Balance
Work-life balance is a term which often gets thrown around, but what does it actually mean?
Simply put, having a good work-life balance means that your lifestyle does not impact your work, and that your work does not encroach on your personal life. However, for many people, this is easier said than done, especially if you are juggling a career with the responsibilities of raising a family.
Here are our best five tips for managing a hectic work-life balance:
1. Have clear boundaries
It can sometimes be all too easy to let work and life merge into one, especially if you are self-employed.
- Avoid the temptation to check emails or answer calls outside of your set working hours.
- Try turning off message alerts on your phone when you are at home to avoid that nagging feeling that you should be doing more.
- Keep separate social media accounts for work and your personal life.
- Think carefully before adding business contacts on Facebook or you could end up talking shop when you should be relaxing.
2. Schedule in quality time
If you have a family, try to spend some quality family time together every day, even if it is just a few minutes. Eating together is an ideal opportunity to catch up and talk about your day. Dedicate one evening each week to doing a family activity. Watch a film together, play a game or take a walk. You could even rope your kids into helping you with household chores — the important thing is that you are together and present in the moment rather than distracted and thinking about work.
Even if you live alone, it is important to have some quality “me” time to do something you enjoy. If this means scheduling in time to take a long soak in the bath or go to yoga class, then go ahead and do it. It will make you less stressed and more productive in the long run.
3. Finish work on time
It’s 5pm, and you are off the clock. But you just have one more email to send....
Try to resist the temptation to stay late to finish tasks as this will seriously impact your work-life balance. If you have unfinished jobs at the end of the day, make a quick list and address it first thing in the morning. Ask yourself whether it is really worth rushing to send that last email when nobody will see it until tomorrow anyway. (Check out our other tips on managing time better and what to do if you’re feeling burnt out.)
4. Learn to let go
Most people have experienced lying in bed at night and suddenly realizing that something they did during the day could have been done better. It can be difficult to train yourself out of this habit, but losing sleep over something which cannot be changed does not help anybody. So, let go of perfectionism and give yourself some credit. Your work was probably much better than you think. (See also: Understanding when it’s time to let go.)
5. Learn to say maybe
Saying yes to all of your bosses’ demands can leave you feeling overwhelmed, but saying no to everything could make you unpopular in the office. If you are asked to do any extra duties, especially overtime, tell your boss that you will get back to them and take a few minutes to think it through. If you have no other plans and feel like doing some extra hours then go for it, but if you are already feeling like you are spread too thin, simply apologize and say that you already have plans. The important thing is that you take a moment to consider your decision and don’t rush into saying yes to everything.
Check out our articles on simple ways to feel relaxed, starting a low stress lifestyle, daily things you can do to feel calm, and keeping relaxed during your day. See our productivity topics here. Or simply scroll down.