Work-life balance- it’s a term that’s often bandied about by everyone from politicians to busy mums but I’m willing to bet that there are very few of us who have actually obtained the holy grail of perfectly balancing our time at work with time spent at home relaxing, working on hobbies and spending time with our families.
If you’re content with seeing your office colleagues more than you see your partner/kids and working more than you do, well anything else, then that’s great. For the rest of you reading this, who would love to strike a better balance between your obligations and your desires, check out these tips to help you achieve the perfect work-life balance that everyone’s talking about:
Turn Off Work Notifications
To start with an easy way that you can get more of your personal life back and redress the balance between working and relaxing is by turning off your mobile phone once you leave work- or at the very least turning off work notifications. You might feel under pressure to check your emails every five minutes or check if your colleague has finished that report, but do you really need to do it now? Your free time should be just that and you shouldn’t be scared into giving it away by bosses and colleagues who can’t ever switch off themselves. In fact, you might want to point out that the more time spent working the less productive and more stressed out you’ll be, which is hardly going to do your work any favours!
Learn How to Say No
Similar to the above, if you have a boss who’s very demanding and always wants more than it is reasonable for you to give do yourself a favour and learn how to say no. Just because you work for someone doesn’t give them the right to encroach into your private life and unless it’s written in your contract they have no right to ask you to stay behind to do an extra job, complete an extra project or answer emails at midnight. So, if you don’t want to do something say so. Be polite but be firm. The time spent with your family is more important than time spent trying to impress your boss, hands down. I mean, few people ever wished they had worked more on their death beds!
Say Goodbye to Perfection
If you’re a perfectionist you probably spend considerably longer on tasks than your peers who know that good enough really is good enough most of the time. Therefore if you can fight the urge to make everything you do absolutely perfect you can claw back some considerable free time to spend with family, friends, pets or even a good book.
Work from Home
More and more companies are allowing their staff to telecommute- working from their own homes. If you can swing this it’ll mean that you no longer have a daily commute to contend with and you’ll possibly be able to create your own schedule which in turn means more time spent doing the things you love.
Retrain or Start Your Own Business
Whether you’re working for an employee or running your own business it always makes sense to find ways that you can work smarter rather than harder. For example using software programs to automate your most monotonous tasks or creating new spreadsheets that can process data in a fraction of the usual time will mean that you can get things done much more quickly, giving you more free time to do what you truly love. Many employees don’t much care when you’re in the office as long as everything gets done so this is a really good option for any of you who don’t want to leave your jobs but do want to have more free time.
Do you have a great work –life balance? What steps have you taken to achieve a better life?