Keeping a healthy work life balance is something everyone strives for. It sounds easy enough in theory but due to our ever evolving technological advancements, work often invades our personal time. However it is possible to have a successful career and an interesting personal life. It is all about having those things in the right perspective. So what can you do to keep a healthy work life balance? Here are my top tips.
Don’t think of it as a balance
Ok, so this is my top tip and it kind of goes against the title of this article. It’s still a balance but often when we think of our perfect work life balance we picture scales that are even. Like a balance beam that’s perfectly straight. But life isn’t that way. Sometimes we need to prioritize life and sometimes we need to prioritize work. That scale is constantly tipping in one direction and then the next and that’s the way it should be. The only thing is, we need to be more in control of what way we want it to tip and when. A 2014 study found that Australian workers donate $110 billion in free labour each year through unpaid overtime. If this is you, then you need to start tipping those scales in the opposite direction.
I don’t mean figuratively, I mean literally. Switch off your phone during personal hours. Of course we don’t want our phones switched off whenever we’re not at work but it’s important to have regularly scheduled breaks where work can’t interrupt you. Of course this may not be the best solution if you’re a heart surgeon or an obstetrician but for office workers, this is definitely a habit you should pick up. Schedule ‘you’ time and switch off. Who says it is not as important to get your work-life balance when you disconnect from all that noise sometimes? Enjoy.
Take a mental health day
It may still be taboo to discuss your mental health in the workplace but one in five workers has taken time off in the last 12 months due to stress, anxiety or depression. As 45% of Australians struggle with mental health during some point in their life, it’s a common problem and often a preventable one. If you’re struggling with your mental health it may be time to take a day off and reassess your work life balance. You may simply be overtired and overworked.
This one is a no brainer. Of course we need to exercise regularly to maintain our physical health but we also need to for our mental health. Taking care of your body, means you are interested in your all round success in life. Exercise is often the first thing we stop doing when our work life balance gets out of hand. Exercise reduces stress and fatigue so don’t skip that run, yoga practice or the gym to get more work done. You’ll burn out and end up even more fatigued and stressed. It’s simply not worth it.
Be more efficient
Oftentimes we just need to be more efficient at work to get more done rather than spending more hours in the office. Start your work day off the right way by setting manageable goals that you can do within your work hours and prioritize them. This will not only help you to get more done during the day but also give you a sense of accomplishment and one of control.
Yes, it is possible to attain a work-life balance even in a world where people find themselves in roles that can be considered to be “always on” the job. Time to apply the tips mentioned above.