Have you been working extra hours especially since switching to work from home during the pandemic? Are you expected to take calls, reply to emails way beyond office hours?
If you’re finding it more challenging than ever to juggle the demands of your job and the rest of your life, you’re not alone. Longer working hours, more pressure to get things done quickly, more pressure to succeed and less personal time are bound to create more stress and plenty of daily struggles.
Maintaining a positive work-life balance is an essential component of a happy and healthy life. It helps individuals feel fulfilled both personally and professionally. Creating a balance between how you think, how you work and how you spend your time is essential to your long-term health and mental wellbeing.
A lot of countries such as France took strict steps in the recent past to ensure that employees are able to maintain work-life balance. Moreover, European Union (EU) lawmakers are now pushing for the ‘Right to Disconnect’ which would mean that employees will no longer be obligated or expected to reply to emails, take calls or do any work after their working hours or on holidays.
Here are 10 tips to help you achieve better work-life balance:
Define Your Balance
Work-life balance means different things for different people. So, the first step is to figure out what your perfect balance looks like.
Establish Clear Boundaries
Establishing boundaries at work is an effective way to create work-life balance because it ensures you have time and space available for meaningful aspects of your personal life. You need to set clear boundaries about when you are and aren’t available for your clients. Other possible boundaries include not taking work home, not checking work email on weekends and leaving work on time each day, even if you are in the middle of a task. While there are likely to be occasional exceptions or last-minute emergencies, do your best to stick to these boundaries.
Set Daily Manageable Goals
Start with high priority tasks and make a list of your goals for the day. If your high priority task is difficult or overwhelming, sometimes it helps to complete a few easier tasks first. Check those off your list and move to the higher priority tasks. This works out much better than setting big goals that are not easy to manage and you end up working in a directionless manner which is more time consuming and less productive.
Manage Your Time Efficiently
Effective work-life balance requires that you spend your time meaningfully in each of the respective spaces. Managing your time efficiently and channelising your efforts at work will get you out of the office sooner and give you more free time. It would make you more productive instead of slogging 24/7 which would lead to frustration and discontentment.
Build Downtime Into Your Schedule
When you plan your week, make it a point to schedule time with your family and friends, and activities that help you recharge. If a movie night with your family or a football game with friends is on your calendar, you’ll have something to look forward to and an extra incentive to manage your time well, so you don’t have to cancel.
Take A Break
Most people can only sustain maximum concentration for 90 minutes or less. To maximise productivity, add both short and long breaks to your routine. Take five-minute breaks after every 60 minutes at work or while switching from one task to another. Also, make sure that you take ample time to have your lunch in peace instead of eating while working.
Having a work-life balance does not mean that work and life always represent exactly 50% of your time and energy. Ask your employer about flexible hours, a compressed workweek, job sharing or other scheduling flexibility. The more control you have over your hours, the less stressed you’re likely to be.
Learn To Say “No”
Evaluate your priorities at work and at home and try to shorten your to-do list.
It’s important to decide what you want to do, who you want to build relationships with and where you want to spend your time. Cut or delegate activities you don’t enjoy or can’t handle — or share your concerns and possible solutions with your employer or others. When you quit accepting tasks out of guilt or a false sense of obligation, you’ll have more time for activities that are meaningful to you.
Take Time Off To Rejuvenate
When was the last time you took some time out from work to completely rejuvenate?
One of the best ways to create an environment for higher productivity, creativity and motivation in the future is to remove yourself completely from work-related activities to ease your mind. By taking more rejuvenation days, you are investing in yourself which naturally means you are creating more balance.
Follow The “One Hour Rule”
One of the best ways to bring more balance back into your life is to recommit to doing the things that give you the most pleasure.
Create one hour a day to think and relax. This could be reading, walking, meditating, learning an instrument or a language; or anything that you are passionate about.
The priority, in this blog, is to supply the reader with clear and unambiguous information. However, neither The New Me nor Gagan Dhawan makes promises, or guarantees regarding the completeness of the information found here. The content is not a replacement for advice of a licensed professional. The opinions expressed in this blog are solely that of the writer’s.