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12 Top Tips for Work/Life Balance – Essential for Health & Wellbeing written by Melanie Eager
How many times do you hear your friends or colleagues say that they can’t seem to find a work-life balance? Increasing pressures of modern living and concerns about job stability mean employees are working longer hours and working harder than ever. Modern technology, which was supposed to make our jobs easier, has put increasing amounts of stress and demands on us so that we need to be available 24/7. It’s no longer possible to walk out of the office and leave your job until the following morning.
Work-life balance can be difficult but not impossible to achieve. More importantly it is essential for our health and wellbeing that we are able to achieve this. Work out what your priorities are and what is important to you. Sit down with family members to make a plan that works for all of you. It is a very individual thing so don’t compare yourself to others. Just do what is right for you and those around you.
After 17 years working in a corporate environment, here are my top twelve tips to help you on the path to achieving a healthy, happy and more balanced life.
1. Finish early one afternoon per week (Friday if possible) and treat yourself (massage, coffee, walk on beach).
2. Make a plan at the end of each week for the following week. Build in FUN time each week.
3. Ensure that you use your holiday leave. Switch off your (work) phone and e-mail, even if you are at home.
4. Schedule long weekends a few times per year and make it a no-technology weekend.
5. If you are able to, work from home a couple of times per week, to cut down on commuting and use this time wisely!
6. Work out where you are spending (and wasting) time (Facebook? E-mails?). Have a look at the RescueTime website which not only tells you where you spend (or waste) your time, but how you can be more productive.
7. How many times a day are you disrupted by e-mails? Check your e-mails at the start of the day, lunch time, end of the business day and if necessary last thing at night. Make sure e-mails contain as much information as possible so that there is no back and forth. Remember if it is that urgent someone will call you!
8. One of the top regrets of the dying: ‘I wish I hadn’t worked so hard’. (Bronnie Ware, 2012). Remember that!
9. Leave all your work thoughts in a ‘box’ at your office. Don’t take them home with you.
10. Hire an expert. Don’t waste your time on tasks that you are not an expert in. Hire a PA or VA (Virtual Assistant) to attend to social media posts, accounting and paperwork, diary scheduling, gardening, cooking or cleaning. Consider the time it would take you and your hourly rate to assess if this would work for you.
11. Choose the hardest task on your list and get it out of the way. You won’t be stressed at the end of the day trying to achieve that deadline.
12. Join a class/course so you have a reason to leave work on time at least once per week. Tell your colleagues so that you stick to it!
Achieving a work-life balance is an ongoing commitment. It’s important to keep checking in with yourself and your family and re-assessing your priorities. Unfortunately it isn’t something that can be done once and forgotten about. But remember not to get overwhelmed. Don’t try to tackle all twelve suggestions listed above at once. Implement a few at a time and before you know it, you will be on the way to achieving that work-life balance you’ve been yearning for.
B Ware, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying – A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing, Hay House AU, 2012.
Author of this article:
Melanie Eager is a nutritionist and wellness coach with a passion for helping you live life to your full potential. She has two science degrees from the University of London and with nearly 20 years working in a corporate science environment, she is well placed to guide you through the maze of health and wellness choices so that you too can be Eager for Life. For more information contact Melanie through her website.