There is no denying the importance of hard work. Whether you are a dedicated employee or a budding entrepreneur, working hard is a vital part of succeeding in life. But, it’s not the be all and end all. It’s just as important to have a personal life that you are happy with, friends and family to see, hobbies to pursue and time to unwind.
Striking the balance between work and personal lives is something that a lot of us struggle to achieve. This is especially true now that working from home and flexible work arrangements are growing in popularity. Thankfully, there are things that you can do to help find a healthy balance between building a successful career and enjoying some downtime.
Tips for Achieving a Healthy Work-Life Balance
Manage Your Time Effectively – When you are faced with a dozen urgent tasks, it’s very easy to feel overwhelmed and stressed. This can prevent you from using your work hours effectively. To give yourself time to relax at the end of the day, you need to manage your time well during your working hours. This means prioritising tasks, delegating where possible and getting rid of anything that could distract you from the task at hand. Managing your time boosts productivity, which prevents work from spilling over into your personal time.
Determine Your Priorities – It’s easy to feel swamped with the pressure of balancing work and personal life, but this feeling can be reduced by determining your priorities. Identify what your main focuses are at work, and then do the same for your life at home. Think about what matters most and allocate your time accordingly. You might decide to prioritise time with your children, and focus less on working out or socialising with friends. At work, you might choose to prioritise getting a promotion, or perhaps you are a business owner and growth is the goal.
Put Your Health and Wellbeing First – When you put your health and wellbeing first, you will find that you have more energy and focus. Things such as exercising regularly, eating a balanced diet, getting a good night’s sleep and meditation can all make a big difference. Another thing you can do to put your health and wellbeing first is to unplug at the end of the work day. Disconnect from any work related devices, avoid replying to emails outside of work hours and enjoy uninterrupted personal time. Regardless of whether it’s an evening or the weekend, or you’re on holiday abroad, disconnecting is equally important.
Consider Outsourcing – If you have the option to outsource, take advantage of doing so. This will free up a lot of your time, giving you the chance to stay on top of things that can’t be delegated to someone else. You could outsource key parts of your professional role – such as marketing, advertising and recruitment – or you could enlist help with various personal tasks, such as cleaning and childcare. Sharing the workload can help to reduce stress, whilst freeing up time for relaxation.
Make Time for Self-Care – Self-care is a phrase that has been used a lot lately, and with good reason. Self-care is a time to relax, unwind and give yourself exactly what you need outside of work. This could be exercise, spending time with loved ones, reading, enjoying a hobby, watching or playing sports or travelling. It could be something as simple as taking a long bath or walking your dog. The aim of self-care is to relax, recharge and switch off from the demands of your job.
Set Clear Boundaries – If you work from home, as many of us do, you probably find that your work life and personal life have slowly started to merge into one. This is one of the major downsides of flexible working arrangements and hybrid working, as your home is also your workplace. To combat this, set clear boundaries between both parts of your life. Set yourself specific working hours and stick to them, avoid doing work tasks during your personal time and learn to say no to taking on more than you can handle. If you over commit yourself, you are more likely to find yourself working late into the evening, which takes away from time with family and friends.
Why Time Management is Especially Difficult for Those With Flexible Work Arrangements
Though balancing work and personal life can be troublesome for everyone, it’s especially difficult for those of us who work from home. This is because flexible work arrangements often blur the boundaries between home life and personal life, as there is a lack of clear separation between the two. It’s difficult to switch off at the end of the work day and get into ‘personal’ mode when the location hasn’t changed.
Plus, as working from home usually goes hand in hand with a lot of schedule freedom, a lack of routine is common. You have a say over when and where you work, and sticking to a schedule isn’t easy. When you have the freedom to be flexible, it’s hard to prioritise tasks and manage demands.
There are also a lot of distractions at home. You might have chores to do, pets to play with, family to hang out with and there’s bound to be something on Netflix you want to catch up on. These are all things that hinder productivity, but a flexible working arrangement makes it hard to say no and easier to procrastinate.
Do you manage to balance your work and personal life? Get it touch and let me know your techniques.