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12 tips to help you find the right work/life balance

Finding the right balance between your working and private life is difficult at the best of times.

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect our lives in ever-changing ways, finding that balance is even harder.

In an earlier blog, we looked at work/life balance and family health. In our next series of blogs, we’re going to explore other ways to balance your private and working lives.

Finding the right balance is different for everyone

There is no perfect, one-size-fits-all solution to finding the right work/life balance.

It will be different for each of us, because we all have different priorities and approaches to living our lives. And everyone has their own definition of what a healthy work/life balance is.

But there are a few ways to ensure that you find the balance that’s right for you.

Here are our 12 tips to help you find the right work/life balance.

1. Let go of perfectionism

As you climb the ladder at work and as your family grows, your responsibilities will also grow.

It’s important to realise that seeking perfection while your life becomes more complicated can become destructive. 

The key to avoid burning out is to let go of perfectionism in both your personal and working life.

Remember; no one’s perfect.

2. Unplug yourself

Technology has helped our lives in many ways, especially when working from home. But it’s also created an expectation that people can be constantly available.

The workday never seems to end, with the added stress of tech-related issues like ‘Zoom fatigue’.

To create some true quality time outside of work, make sure that you shut your phone and other devices off.

3. Learn to say no

If you’re available 24/7 to your workplace demands and you tend to say yes without thinking, harness the power of no.

When you’re asked to do something that feels like too much for your workload, don’t answer straight away.

Say you’ll get back to the person asking, then use that time to think clearly about whether to say yes or no.

You can still say yes if you want to. But if you want to say no, say no and keep saying it.

4. Exercise and meditate

Exercise is often one of the first things to be sacrificed when our calendars fill up. But it’s an effective stress reducer.

Exercise pumps feel-good endorphins through your body and helps to lift your mood. 

Dedicate some time each week to self-care, whether it’s exercise, yoga, or meditation.

We’ve put together some simple relaxation exercises that could help.

5. Work smarter, not harder

Advice on work/life balance from the Mental Health Foundation suggests you should work smarter, not longer hours.

In practice, this involves prioritising tasks and giving a certain amount of time for each.

Try not to get caught up in less productive activities, such as unstructured meetings that tend to take up lots of time

6. Limit time-wasting activities and people

Make a list of what’s most important in your life.

Now devote quality time to the high-priority people and activities on your list.

You should also highlight the things that send you into a time-wasting spiral. This could be surfing the internet, looking at social media or chatting to a particular colleague.

It’s important to be truthful and then set yourself rules to limit these time-wasting activities and focus on the things that reward you the most.

This may seem selfish, but it isn’t.

The better you are feeling, the better you are going to be as a friend, spouse, parent, or worker. 

7. Leave work at work

Before you leave your workplace or finish work for the day, write a list of outstanding tasks that are on your mind.

Then shut your work diary, turn off your PC, store the list and leave it.

You could also try a stop-breathe technique.

Take a slow breath and tell yourself that this is the end of your working day.

Closure is an important part of having a healthy work-life balance. So, if you work from home, make sure that the place you work in your home is somewhere that you can close the door on and leave.

8. Change your habits and delegate

Sometimes we fall into a rut and assume our habits are set in stone. Take a birds-eye view of your life and ask yourself: What changes could make life easier?

Instead of trying to do it all, focus on activities you specialise in and value most. Delegate or outsource everything else. Delegating can be a win-win situation.

9. Start small and build from there

Make sure you don’t take on too much too quickly.

Committing to drastic changes like cutting working hours or starting a daily run from zero miles a day to five miles a day are recipes for failure.

Start small, experience some success and build from there. 

Research shows that the happiest people are busy people who don’t feel rushed. Feeling in control reduces anxiety and is key when it comes to creating a healthy work/life balance. 

10. Don’t be a martyr

Feeling like a martyr gives some people a great deal of pleasure. They feel they’re powerful and busy because they’re sacrificing their own time for the good of others.

However, doing everyone else’s work is not good when you’re trying to create a positive work/life balance.

11. Make them wait

One way to avoid being seen as ‘always available’ is to make it clear to your colleagues that you will reply to emails within 24 or 48 hours.

When you combine this with learning to say no, you can start to improve your work/life balance and limit the amount of work queries outside working hours.

Admittedly, this is easier said than done.

12. Set your own rules

You really need to find your own work/life balance.

It’s important to get help from other people to do this but you must also rely on your own intuition.

In a work environment, you can also look for support from your colleagues and managers.

Our occupational health services can help organisations improve the work/life balance of their staff. To find out more, contact the team at Fusion.

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Categories: Health & WellbeingMental HealthOccupational Health

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