Discipline and hard work are necessities in the working world, but doesn’t mean you should allow your responsibilities to overwhelm you completely.
Here are ten ways to maintain a work –life balance.
1. What does ‘balance’ mean to you
On any given day, balance is not about it being equal. For example, you can still maintain your balance whilst standing on one leg. Sometimes, either work or your personal life will take more weight, but that’s okay. What is more important is the self-awareness when one area is continually taking more of your energy, leaving you depleted in other areas.
2. Rest and repeat
When your work day draws to the end, go home, rest and start again tomorrow with more energy and vigour. Even if you’ve left several items unchecked, you have another opportunity to work through it tomorrow.
3. Schedule personal activities and exercise
Gym sessions and date nights with your spouse can quickly fall by the wayside if they aren’t purposefully scheduled. Block out your calendar for important personal events such shows, school events, networking events or even going to the movies. They can be tough to focus on in the middle of a busy business period, but they are just as important as any meeting.
4. Set Boundaries and know your limits
Set firm boundaries for yourself. Decide when you are available for your clients or colleagues and when you are not. Doing so, will help you relax when you are off the clock and avoid burn- out.
5. Switch-off technology
With constant access to the internet, our minds are continually being stimulated by information. You still have power to choose what is best for you. Take regular technology breaks by switching your phone and laptop off. It will give your mind a well-deserved rest and will increase your focus when you really need to.
6. Energy management vs time management
This has everything to go with knowing yourself. Identify what time of the day, you are most productive and feel focused. Then schedule your tasks according to your energy cycles. Do lower-energy tasks such as admin when you are feeling low and more important tasks when you are energised.
7. Take a regular vacation
According to Forbes the workplace benefits of employees taking vacation time include: higher productivity, stronger workplace morale, greater employee retention, and significant health benefits. Health benefits include: reduced levels of stress, improves mental health and improves relationships with family and friends.
8. Block off time in your calendar
Plan your week, by allocating calendar blocks to specific important tasks. Turn off your phone, close your office door or close your email to avoid those regular interruptions.
Meditating regularly is similar to taking several short breaks. Meditation reduces stress and will improve concentration. If you are just starting out, I recommend you meditate for anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes every day. You can start with even less. Maybe try it for 1 minute in the morning. And when you can sit still and relax for that long, move to 2 minutes.
10. Limit your work hours
We were made to work so if you are looking to finish everything, you’ll be busy forever. Working long hours isn’t good for anyone – including you, your relationships with family, friends or colleagues.