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Now, more than ever, workers are becoming increasingly concerned with work-life balance. More and more people are rejecting the romanticisation of long working hours and an obsession with work and instead embracing a more well rounded life. As a society, for years we have let work take over far too much of our lives and it’s time to shift the scales and give a little less time to work. So whether you’re aiming to achieve a better work-life balance for yourself or wanting to encourage and support your employees pursuit of balance, here are some tips for you!
If traditionally you’re quite the workaholic, reducing your hours can actually be quite a drastic change and a hard goal to achieve. That's why setting yourself some small and realistically achievable goals to start off with can be the best course of action and set you up to actually achieve a healthy work-life balance.
By scheduling routinely, you’re setting yourself up for success! If you aren’t already making use of (or making the most out of) a virtual calendar, now is the time to start. You can add events, tasks, activities, out of office hours and more to establish a strict and helpful schedule for yourself and your coworkers who might want to schedule time in with you. Make sure that if you are using a calendar, that you actually are actively using it every day.
You need to take some time to assess what is most important to you in both your work and personal life. Consider how you can fit these priorities into your day. You only have a total of 24 hours in a day, so you need to know what you should be doing more of, what you should be doing less of and what you need to change in order to get the best from each day!
Whether that be the actual office, the home office or the makeshift office you’ve made out of your dining room table. Once your working day is done (whatever that clock off time may be), put all the work stuff away and tune out. This is one of the harder ones to stick to for many people, so a great rule of thumb is scheduling an activity immediately after your workday has finished. By having an activity scheduled after your workday, it is much easier to put the work down and commit to the balance.
Most of us would be guilty of this one; checking and answering work emails late at night, on weekends or during lunch breaks. You need to establish boundaries between your own free time and work time otherwise you’ll be barrelling towards burnout. So turn those notifications off and tune in to your personal time!
Work can really take its toll on your health, particularly when you’ve been stressed and overworking for some time. Your mental and physical wellbeing should always be your number one priority. A lot of people still feel uncomfortable taking days off for illness (particularly when it's mental and not physical), but by taking the time off that you need, you’re going to come back revived, happier and more productive.
Saying no doesn’t mean being negative and not doing your share, it just means not taking on too much. If you’re the kind of person who is always saying yes to taking on additional tasks, it can be hard to learn to say no. In order to achieve work-life balance, you have to be able to recognise when you are overloading yourself with tasks and when you need to say no to them.
You have sick leave and annual leave for a reason! You’re entitled to use those days when you want or need to. So take a little holiday (if you’re allowed to travel) or just take a little time off to tune out from your daily grind. Doing so will allow you to come back refreshed and raring to go!
Now, we are starting to see a real trend of people wanting to minimise the impact work has on their lives. Many people are starting to acknowledge that being a workaholic is not as attractive as the movies have painted it to be and that we should all strive to hit a healthy balance between work and our personal lives.