Do you head home from work feeling drained each day? Or worse, do you head home from work only to turn on your laptop and keep working from the comfort of your couch?
Balancing work and lifestyle commitments may seem difficult in the modern world but our professional team at Nine Twenty has come up with a variety of tips to help achieve a worthwhile work-life balance, no matter what your employment situation may be.
Step away From The Internet…
Whether it's work emails at home or personal social media accounts in the workplace, limiting time spent online is an important aspect in achieving a good work-life balance. It is easy to get lost on LinkedIn for hours at a time, or to head to YouTube to watch a shared link, only to find yourself falling into the dark abyss of watching endless cat videos for hours and questioning how you got there. It takes more self-control to limit yourself but it is worth it- think of the lost working hours you could have used and probably left on time had you ditched the social media. Or the extra hours sleep you could have got from turning the laptop off- surely worth a try? Set a limit and stick to it!
Learn to Prioritise
The ‘Work hard, not smart’ phrase has been around for a while but the meaning is still relevant. Allocating a set amount of time to jobs and reducing time spent in unproductive meetings will increase productivity so it's well worth planning in advance what your main priorities are. Some businesses are adapting to a new shorter working day to try and increase productivity; while your company might not be there yet, follow this lead and get super organised. Spend 10minutes each morning prioritising realistic objectives for yourself and at the end of the day note what you have actually managed to achieve. The less important things will likely fall away and those things that cannot afford to be missed will highlight themselves. Be careful though, sometimes creating a list can be another procrastination tool in itself…
Eat the Frog
Ever heard the expression before? Mark Twain famously said that if the first thing you do in the morning is eat a frog, you can go through the rest of the day knowing the worst thing you will do that day is over. Disgusting? Yes. True? Probably. Sometimes the smallest task on your list takes the longest if you try to ignore it. Take the bull by the horns, do the things you don’t want to, then you can enjoy the rest of the day! This way, hopefully you won’t find yourself starting at your screen at 6pm and wishing you had just gotten things done.
Accept that Life is Never Perfect
Anybody striving for perfection in the workplace can often find it difficult to leave jobs undone and may even repeat tasks done by others in order to achieve better results. If you are meant to delegate work, make sure you do. While tempting to try to control everything to ensure work is completed to your own high standards, delegating where possible will help in the long term and allow you to carry on with other tasks that need your full attention. Striving for perfection in the workplace often means working long hours or taking work home; this doesn't always pay dividends and can lead to anxiety. For the most part, if you do the absolute best you can in the allocated time you have, you should be able to be proud of your work.
Sometimes, You Just Need to say ‘NO’
If you are available 24/7, be aware that people will both take advantage of this and also come to expect this as the norm. If you reply to work emails at 2am tonight, understand that next week, if you don’t reply at ridiculous o’clock, your boss could well be disappointed. Remember it is not rude to have a life- as long as you are working as hard as possible during office hours; it is okay to cut yourself some slack. Set yourself boundaries as to when you will check and respond to work emails and when you need to, turn the phone to silent.
Likewise with friends and peers, maybe you are the type of person who loves to be a shoulder to cry on. While this is great, you might find that with social media and messaging apps now telling everyone in real time when you have read their message, it can make you seem a lot more available than you really are. Remember it is okay to not have to respond to every message immediately.
The weekend is fast approaching- are you the kind of person that plans breakfast lunch and dinner activities before the clock even hits 5pm on Friday? Try and do nothing! Give yourself a weekend off, don’t make plans, don’t schedule your days, take two days to yourself and see what happens. Relax around friends and family or stay home alone and binge watch TV. Whatever helps you relax, take a weekend and treat yourself. Hopefully this will give you a chance to recharge, catch up on sleep and feel refreshed Monday morning.
Let It Go
The workplace can be a stressful and competitive environment and it can be very tempting to say yes to every opportunity or project that crosses your path. It might be great to impress your boss by volunteering to take part in everything possible, but don’t over commit. Take a look at your workload right now and give yourself and honest evaluation. If you are drowning in work, make your current tasks your focus and give them 100%. If you can afford to step back from some things without compromising them, try it. In the words of the famous Disney princess Elsa- ‘Let it go!’ We can guarantee your boss will prefer quality over quantity when it comes to getting results from you.
So there you have it, 7 helpful tips to help you balance your workload with the rest of your life. It might seem simple and it might seem obvious but sometimes you just need to take a step back and look at the bigger picture!
If you are looking for any advice on how to create a good work life balance in your workplace, feel free to get in touch with Nine Twenty via firstname.lastname@example.org
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