Balancing work with a social life, family time, household chores and everything else can be difficult. If you feel like you might be falling, making a few small adjustments can help you regain your balance and improve your mental wellbeing.
Here are our tips for maintaining a good work–life balance.
The first step to improving your work–life balance is to consider what’s actually important to you. Do you want to spend more time with your family? Take up a new hobby? Or simply have more opportunity to relax? Make a list of the things you want to devote your time and attention to, and then find ways of doing so.
Setting yourself time limits is a good way to increase your productivity. If you know you only have two hours to finish something, you’ll be less likely to procrastinate or let yourself get distracted.
While not doing everything may be good for your peace of mind, things will still need to get done. Finding others to help you is a great way to make more time for yourself.
One of the best examples of this is finding ways around chores and errands. Having your groceries and dry cleaning delivered can save lots of time. You can also swap chores with friends and neighbours, such as mowing the lawns or batch cooking meals.
When you feel as though there aren’t enough hours in the day, it can be tempting to rush to get everything done. However, moving a little more slowly can actually give you more time in the long run.
Rushing can lead to mistakes, meaning that you’ll have to go back and spend more time fixing things. And while your colleagues may appreciate your speedy email responses, setting a precedent of waiting 24 or 48 hours before replying means you won’t have to stop what you’re doing every time something comes into your inbox. We’ve previously mentioned some great apps for tidying your email.
Every gymnast knows the importance a good routine. Creating a regular schedule for yourself will give your life consistency, so you won’t have to worry constantly what’s coming up next. Making a routine can be as simple as arranging a regular date night with your spouse or coming up with a weekly schedule for your recurring tasks at work.
Making others aware of your routines can also benefit you. If you have to leave at 3pm every Wednesday for the school run, let your colleagues know so they don’t start handing you new tasks at 2:30.
Break bad habits
While routines can be good, some habits can waste time and energy. Chatting with gossipy colleagues or spending time on the web or social media while at work can limit your productivity. You don’t want to find yourself forced to stay at work to finish a project that could have been done on time if only you hadn’t spent an extra hour on Facebook.
Leave work at work
When it comes time to shut down your computer and close your diary, focus on those images and not the unfinished tasks that await you tomorrow. It’s important to separate work from the rest of your life, both physically and mentally.
Equally important is to not get sucked back into work during your time off. Don’t check your emails in the evenings or on weekends – use that time to unplug and focus on the things you value most.
*Image courtsey of Flickr user Ricardo Liberato and used under the Creative Commons license. The original image was modified.