How To Have A Good Work Life Balance

by Rebecca Taylor

Having a balance with anything and everything is so important. You often hear the expression, “everything in moderation”, and this is somewhat true. Everything needs to be balanced and prioritised to live your most successful, happiest life. Below I discuss a few reasons why it is vitally important to have this work life balance before jumping into how to achieve it.

Why it’s important to have that balance:

To maintain your own mental health

It is unfortunate that many workplaces still do not seem to view much credit in mental health. With the statistic of 1 in 4 people experiencing mental health issues throughout their life, it should be something that every workplace should be taking into account. With that being said, there are things you can still do to look after your own mental health in the workplace. This can be achieved by taking care of your stress levels, taking care of your mental well being as well as your physical health, getting sufficient sleep and eating a well balanced diet.

To ensure you are looking after your physical well being

Similar to the first point, but a great way to look after your physical health is to actually look after your mental health too. Without a healthy body, you don’t have a healthy mind, and vice versa.

Become more productive and live a life that is well rounded

Every company wants their staff to work hard, but staying extra hours on a regular basis isn’t going to improve productivity or motivation. It is just going to cause serious burnout. Studies show that people who work less actually tend to be more productive, as well as happier.

How to have a good work life balance:

Prioritize your time

This is so important. I cannot stress prioritizing tasks properly enough to those who want to make the most of their time and be successful. Make your to-do list, then categorise your points into sections.

  • Urgent and important
  • Important but not urgent
  • Urgent but not important
  • Neither urgent nor important

Once you have put the tasks into these sections, it’ll be quite clear what needs to be done first and what can be left for another time. Another great thing to do is set a specific number of tasks you want to complete each day. This could be three, ten, or however many you want. But make it realistic.

Have set work times and stick to them.

Set out your work day, whether this is your traditional 9-5, 12-4 or anything in between. Just set out however many hours you wish to work and stick to it. Otherwise, before you know it, you’ll be working until midnight again with an 8am start.

Make your work space YOU

Whatever your job may be, especially if it is an office job, it is important to make your work space ‘you’. Invest in the things you like, that motivate you and the things that will support you. It can include things like a specific chair, cute stationary, a fancy keyboard or motivational mantras or quotes stuck to your wall. When a place feels like home and more comfortable, you begin to feel more comfortable and you work at your best.

Make exercise and meditation a must

As with any busy and ‘on the go’ lifestyle, it is so important to take the time to unwind and take your mind off work related things. Exercise is a great way to relieve any stress and tension as well as releasing endorphins, the ‘happy hormone’. Mediation goes very well with exercise, as it helps to connect you more with your mind and body. By doing as little as thirty minutes of exercise and ten minutes of mediation a day, you will be reaping the benefits and feeling a lot more calm, productive and on top of things.

Be realistic

Being realistic applies to everything. If something isn’t realistic, it won’t be achieved and you will just be filled with self doubt and disappointment. The best way to be realistic is to look at the goals that you hope to achieve and break it down into small steps. It is also useful to sit down at the end of each day and look at what has been achieved and what hasn’t. Ask yourself these questions: What worked well? Why wasn’t a task achieved? What can I do to make it more realistic and achievable?

Take regular breaks

When doing anything, it is vital to take breaks. Whether it is a set twenty minutes to pop outside for some fresh air and make a cup of tea, a morning off to get some well deserved sleep, or a short weekend away to recharge and reset. Whatever you are doing, no matter how strenuous, a little break every so often is needed.

Unplug and keep distractions to a minimum

Technology can and has helped us in many ways. Not only for our personal life, but also for our work life. However, it is very important to take regular breaks away from technology to connect more with the people around us and ourselves. Every evening, unplug and step away from your gadgets, turn your notifications off, sit in a different room to your phone whilst working, and just limit those distractions that can so easily swamp us.

Limit the time- wasting activities and people in your life

It is useful to identify areas in your life where you feel that you are not happy and are wasting time and energy. Is it people, activities, errands, things around you? Make a list of all of those things and limit them to the ones that are vital and beneficial. Then you can cut out the things and people that just do not benefit your life. If there are things and people that you don’t want to be around but cannot limit further, I think it’s the perfect time to try come up with solutions and ways to deal with having them in your life whilst still keeping your own personal energy and sanity. Some may think this is selfish, but this is not. This is your life, so make it the best life you can. Make it a life that you look forward to living.

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