Maintaining A Healthy Work Life Balance
What is a work life balance?
A work life balance is about maintaining and prioritising a healthy balance and separation between your personal and professional lives. It will look different for everyone, and an unhealthy work life balance can cause dissatisfaction in the workplace or your personal life, and lead to decreased productivity, health issues or having to find other work. Ensuring you continuously look after yourself will be beneficial in the long run and potentially prevent problems that stem from workplace issues occurring.
How to maintain a good work life balance
If you struggle to find a healthy balance between work and your personal life, these tips may help you out…
- Manage your time and prioritise your commitments – think about what’s most important to you and why and act accordingly. It is easy to get swept up in work and life, so it is beneficial to take a step back and evaluate. Remember, your priorities will change depending on your circumstances, sometimes certain work commitments will take priority whereas other times personal commitments will come out on top.
- Delegate tasks when and where you can. Think about swapping tasks with others, hiring outside help or teaming up with someone else with whom it would be helpful to work with.
- Communicate with your manager or someone on your team. You should be comfortable enough to speak up when you’re struggling so they are aware of what issues you are facing and are able to offer you the right support.
- Make sure you take frequent and proper breaks; this includes holidays and ensuring you use all your available days off. You are more likely to be productive if you are given the chance to clear your mind and take some time away from work, even if it is just a quick 5-minute break to get some fresh air. Making the most of your breaks also means you are more productive and able to focus better when you are working, making better use of your time and energy.
- Stick to your working hours and don’t feel guilty about completely switching off outside of work. Some people may not like the total separation and would feel less stressed being easily reachable outside working hours however you shouldn’t feel any pressure to do so. Boundaries between your personal life and work can be even more difficult to maintain when working from home and it’s important to ensure you don’t let your working hours bleed into your evenings.
- Work smarter not harder. Finding efficient and effective ways to get tasks done can be good for time management and allow you to minimise the time spent on tasks without compromising on the execution.
- Gratification. Avoid comparing yourself to others and take time to acknowledge your successes. Understand your work life balance may fluctuate and vary; sometimes your work will take priority and sometimes your personal life will, it doesn’t always have to be 50/50 and that’s okay.
- Make time to unwind and engage in things that you enjoy. Leisure time doesn’t always have to be relaxed and involve staying in, having hobbies or activities to take part in outside of work, or socialising are all examples of good downtime.
- Learn to say no – no is a full sentence. You don’t need to constantly explain yourself and give excuses and reasons for things, something many people often find challenging in a work environment.
Why you should prioritise your work life balance
- It increases your productivity. Maintaining a good work life balance means you are much more productive when you are working, and the quality of your work is likely to be of a higher standard. You will also enjoy working a lot more if you have a good balance of time away and time at work.
- Better mental wellbeing. Burnout has become increasingly common and may have lasting effects which can have a severe impact on you. Other issues can arise as well, and it is important to speak to a manager and/or a professional if you feel like you need the support.
- Better physical wellbeing. Stress can cause issues that manifest as physical symptoms and your physical wellbeing can also have an impact on your mental wellbeing, so it is important to take care of yourself. Your health should always be a top priority of yours and your employer should support that.
- As cheesy as it may sound, life is short. You only get one chance at life and spending it continuously prioritising work and overworking yourself is not healthy and often leads to regrets later on. This is not to say don’t work hard, you should care about what you do and be passionate about it, but don’t let your work take over your life.
- Better relationships with people in your life. It is hard to be present and attentive with others when your mind is never fully switched off from work and you’re overwhelmed and tired. The lack of quality time or communication can have a negative impact on the relationships you have with others which in turn can cause stress and other issues for yourself.
Overworking yourself, or being overworked, will eventually catch up with you and the consequences shouldn’t be understated; maintaining a healthy work life balance is crucial to your physical and mental wellbeing.