How to: Achieve a work-life balance

Feeling burnt out? Check your work-life balance…

Whilst having a successful career is an important part of many people’s lives, it’s also important to find a good balance between your job and your personal life. Not only is this great for your wellbeing, it also ensures you’re getting the best out of both aspects of your life.

Here’s everything you need to know about work-life balance (and our advice on how to achieve it):

 

What is a work-life balance?

Put simply, a work-life balance is the amount of time and focus a person gives their work versus other aspects of their life – whether it’s raising a family, hobbies, relaxation, or anything else.

By maintaining it, you’ll improve your overall happiness and wellbeing, and in turn contribute to a healthy environment whilst at work.

The exact balance you have between your work life and personal life may vary depending on your age, career goals, and other commitments – but no matter what work you do or what your responsibilities outside of work are, it’s absolutely key to keep the balance as even as possible.

 

Why do I need a work-life balance?

A lack of work-life balance can take its toll in many ways; physically, emotionally and financially. Not only could it cause a break down in relationships, it could also impede your work performance.

Here a few reasons to pay attention to your work-life balance:

  • To avoid burning out. In addition to creating problems in your personal life, working too hard could also affect your career. After all, you never do your best work when you’re exhausted (and/or short-tempered). It also doesn’t look good from your boss’ perspective.
  • To reduce stress: A person who doesn’t achieve a satisfying work/life balance can end up generating extra stress in their life. As we all know, stress, when allowed to linger, often causes side effects that can lead to health issues and personal distress.
  • To fulfil your personal and career goals. Whilst it might seem like the harder you work, the more you’ll succeed – this isn’t always the case. In fact, not giving yourself a break could actually mean the quality of your work decreases, therefore jeopardising your progression opportunities.

Five benefits of work-life balance

 

How can I achieve a better work-life balance?

The first step to achieving a better work-life balance is to think about the current demands of your professional and personal life.

Then, you’ll be able to establish your own set of rules that allow you to strike the right balance between each one.

You can do this by:

  • Creating realistic boundaries between work and non-work items. Whether it’s by giving yourself a clear working day (e.g. eight hours) and ensuring you don’t overdo it, or resisting the urge to check your emails on your days off – there are a number of ways to keep your work and personal life separate.
  • Prioritising tasks and events within both. From setting achievable goals to organising your tasks, there are many key ways to ensure your focus on always on the most important/time sensitive thing – whether it’s at work or at home.
  • Setting time aside for you. Give yourself a break to relax and enjoy yourself at least once a day. Whether you go for dinner with friends or simply catch up on your latest Netflix series, it’ll do wonders for your wellbeing.
  • Learning to say no. It can be easy to overwork yourself simply by saying yes to every task that comes your way – but don’t feel like you have to do everything. Instead, figure out if you really have the time and energy by assessing your workload first. It’s OK to say no sometimes.

Six tips to improve your workplace wellbeing

Six things productive people do every day

 

Why would my employer encourage this balance?

It’s not just you who’ll benefit from a good work-life balance.

Your employer also has a vested interest in your happiness, and will strive to encourage it in any way possible.

This is because:

  • A happy workforce results in increased productivity for a company
  • If an employee leaves the company due to being overworked, there are costs
  • Offering a range of flexible working options are a great way to beat the competition and attract the best candidates

 

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