As much as we strive to achieve all that we possibly can in the workplace, an unbalanced work/life combination is common in our modern-day culture. In this blog post, we provide you with our top tips on how you can maintain a healthy work-life balance.
What does a work-life balance mean?
In many ways, the typical, 'work-life balance' has changed dramatically – it was once simply a matter of achieving the balance between your personal and work-life. In other words, how does somebody find time to do the things they love doing for themselves or their family? But, you could say that the world has moved on.
Technology has played its part and has created a culture where we never really switch off. We’re connected socially when we’re at work and we’re connected to work when we’re out socially – it cuts both ways.
One view says that the days of a 'work and life balance' have long since passed – You are, after all, you, no matter where you are.
You only have one life and whether you’re at work or at home, you could say that it’s more of a matter of ‘how’ you spend your time and ‘why’, that really matters.
Why a work-life balance is important
Poor relationships, stress, work overload, poor time management and jobs we loathe... sadly, these are all results of an unbalanced relationship we may have between our work and personal life.
We strongly believe that a work-life balance is important not only for your mental wellbeing, but for your work performance too. If you're not doing anything other than working, then you're not paying enough attention to yourself, or your loved ones.
When it comes to your work performance, if you're overworked, stressed and juggling more than you can manage, you probably won't be performing to your best ability. Whilst it might seem like the harder you work, the more you’ll succeed – this isn’t always the case. In fact, not allowing yourself some time off every now and then could actually mean the quality of your work decreases, therefore jeopardising your progression opportunities.
How to achieve a work-life balance
Achieving the perfect work-life balance will look different to so many. Some will struggle with workload, whereas some will struggle with working outside of the office. The question is, what does a work-life balance mean to you? Is it the perfect set hours? Or allowing yourself to take some time off?
We asked the rest of the team at Primal Living for their top tips for improving your work-life balance, and here's what they suggest...
1. Have set work hours
Setting yourself work hours (both freelance and office workers) can be a really important key to setting yourself balance. Of course, these hours will be tailored to the individual, but the idea is to know when you're 'officially' at work, and when you're 'officially' at home.
2. Be realistic with your to-do list
Us Brits love saying yes to everything, don't we? Let's be honest though, that's not always realistic when we're burning the candle at both ends and struggling to come up for air.
Our advice? Be realistic. Know your limits for the day/week ahead. Be honest with your colleagues if you're not 100% positive that you'll get a certain job done by Friday.
Not only does a realistic to-do list minimise stress, but you're less likely to be working late into the evening to get everything done too.
3. Find a job that you love
You spend most of your life at work, so make them count! If the thought of Monday feels you with dread each week, then are you really sitting comfortably in the right job?
4 Set yourself an ideal daily routine
Our lovely Sian swears by this tip. Routines are great for balancing out daily activities and Sian swears by them! From your early morning alarm clock to planned dinner times, if routines can work for kids, why can't they work for adults too?!
5. Plan your workload the evening before
Before you sign off for the day in the office, plan your workload for the next day ahead. By giving yourself a list, you're able to start the next day with motivation and a clear mindset of what needs doing and in what order.
6. Have something to escape to after work
We love this one. Having something to escape to after work can be a great way to mentally leave your 'work zone' headspace.
Hobbies, the gym, meditation or simply a walk outdoors are all great ways to unwind in the evening. If this isn't quite an option for you, then dedicate one evening in the week where you can allow yourself a break to completely relax and switch off. Whether that's dinner out with friends, or simply catching up on your latest Netflix series, it’ll do wonders for your wellbeing.
7. Step away from your emails
We get it. Honestly. But stop it, ok?
Make a promise to yourself to either 1) put your phone away once you're home, 2) exit your email app or 3) no emails after 7 pm.
Of course, a one-size-fits-all approach to balance is unlikely to be suitable for all. But, when you start asking yourself how you spend your time and why. Only then will you start seeing the balance of work and life in a totally different way.