As the days get shorter and the nights get longer, striking the right balance between work and life can be more difficult than usual. With looming assignments, deadlines and also everyone wanting last-minute projects completed before Christmas, finding the time to see your friends, take care of yourself and excel at work can be a challenge. On the other hand, you might be struggling to find the motivation to work and instead find yourself being tempted by club nights and festive parties. Whichever side of the fence you sit on, we’ve got some handy tips on how to make sure you strike that perfect work-life balance.
1. Plan Your Day
Say hello to lists. Lists are your new best friend. Setting out realistic goals and mapping out what you need to do, want to do and would like to do at the start of every day helps focus the mind. Another added benefit of a list is that you can have a sense of progress at the end of the day when you see what you’ve managed to cross off. Staying organised and feeling in control is vital to achieving a healthy work-life balance.
2. Stick To Timings
This is for those of us who can’t log off; the work from home brigade who would happily tap away late into the night. Try setting yourself a cut-off point and sticking to it. Stop yourself from “just getting one last email” sent. In the same way that you ensure you aren’t late for work, take that attitude with your own personal time by stopping when you say you will. Don’t let one aspect of your life commandeer the time you have allotted for other activities. If you respect the timings you put in place, it will eventually lead to you respecting your own personal time and treating it with the same importance as work.
3. Remove Email Notifications From Your Phone
Notifications are designed to grab our attention, break our focus and get us thinking about clicking on the app. Turning push notifications off for your work email gives you back control. You decide when to look at your emails and you don’t have them blinking and pinging at you impatiently interrupting you during your downtime.
4. Learn To Say No
Saying yes to everyone and everything because you feel that is what may be expected of you is so easy to do. Spreading yourself too thin and taking on too much are key drivers for stress and burnout. This can happen with both work and in your personal life. The phrase ‘burning the candle at both ends’ is well worn but still rings true. Learning to say ‘no’ is a skill that’s worth learning as it makes saying ‘yes’ even more amazing.
5. Make Sure You Do Something That Matters To You
Carving time for yourself is very important to personal wellbeing. Allocating set time for yourself for hobbies, cooking a nice lunch or putting on a face mask is defo something we all need to do more often. Taking time for you to enjoy something you love, even for a short period of time, will release endorphins long after the event.
6. Make A Dedicated Workspace At Home
With hybrid working becoming the new model for most, businesses are allowing employees to work from home regularly. The benefits of hybrid working and working from home have been talked about extensively over the past 18 months. Whilst there are huge benefits to the new flexibility, working from home has meant blurring the lines between home and work. A large proportion of workers have been logging longer hours working from home and reporting difficulty switching off. Setting out a dedicated workspace at home to delineate between the two is crucial to ensuring your home environment remains somewhere you can relax and unwind.
7. Stretch your body
Taking 5 to 10 minutes once or twice a day to stand up and stretch your body can have profound effects on your joints and mental wellbeing. Stretching regularly also keeps blood flowing around our body and helps clear the mind. If you can end the workday feeling fresh, you’re well on the way to establishing a healthy work-life balance.
8. Manage Your Mind
There are a number of ways we can do this: meditation, mindfulness or simply turning off your phone. There are a number of apps that support meditation and teach us how to be zen. Like our bodies, we need to make sure our minds are not only fighting fit but also level if we are going to be achieving the perfect work-life balance.
9. Get Outside
The amount of time we all spend inside staring at screens is scary. Work, play and home time are dominated by activities that involve sitting and staring. Getting outside, even if it is for a walk at lunchtime, is clinically proven to reduce stress, clear your mind and improve your mood. Getting into nature during your time away from work will also amplify these benefits. Try going for a hike with some friends or joining a club that requires being outside.
This is the most important thing you can do to help improve your work-life balance and we have put it at the bottom of the list to emphasise how often it is overlooked. We spend on average a third of our lives asleep and if you don’t, it means you haven’t slept enough! Our lives are often so busy and so demanding that the first and easiest thing to sacrifice is sleep. But the benefit of regular, quality sleep cannot be understated. It is the crucial healing time for your brain and body and is THE crucial element for a healthy work-life balance. What are you waiting for – get to bed! If you aren’t taking care of yourself, you can’t be your best self. Selfcare is defo needed when it comes to a great work-life balance. Make sure you create some time for yourself during this busy period.