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How To Achieve A Good Work-Life Balance

25 March 2022

Are you feeling that your work-life balance is out of whack? Do you seem to spend most of your time either commuting or working? Post-pandemic many of us find ourselves working from home, meaning that we can never fully escape from the office. Modern technology may make our lives significantly easier, but it also means that we are always available, making it harder than ever to just switch off.

A poor work-life balance can negatively impact your relationships with your family, as well as your own mental and physical wellbeing. In all honesty, there is no ‘perfect’ solution for everybody, it is about finding the right balance for you. Here, we share some tips to help you improve your work-life balance.

1. Finish work at a specific time every day

Flexible working hours are fast becoming the norm, as we all work to juggle the demands of work and family life. This is all well and good, but flexibility is not always good. You might find yourself sacrificing family time to make sure you meet that tight deadline. Or you may decide to start work earlier than usual just to get ahead. By sticking to strict set work hours you will remain focussed throughout the day, knowing that you will get plenty of family time when you finish.

2. Unplug

Have you fallen victim to the ‘always on’ culture? Hidden in our pockets or handbags is the technology to check and answer our work emails, receive video and voice calls and read and produce documents. Set aside time each week to turn off your phone, unplug your computer and relax!

3. Take time away from your emails  

Do you check your emails even when you are on annual leave or have left the office for the day? You are not alone. Constant access to our emails through smartphone push notifications means that we no longer leave work at the office. The constant checking and reading of emails is a sure-fire way to interrupt your precious time with family and friends. Liberate yourself by turning off notifications and only checking your emails when you are back in the office. Chances are that your company will not fall to pieces if you have a few emails waiting in your inbox overnight. Make sure that your colleagues know that even if you do not reply to their emails straight away, you will get back to them as soon as possible.

4. Learn to say no

If you make yourself available to your boss’s beck and call 24/7, they are sure to take advantage of your good nature. Everybody needs a break away from work, and you are no different. Think carefully before you say ‘yes’ to everything asked of you. If you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed, it is OK to harness the power of the word ‘no’ sometimes. You don’t need to provide an excuse or justify your choice, as long as you have made the right decision for you, your boss should be more than happy with that.

5. Work smart

To strike the perfect work-life balance, it is important to use your time in the office productively. If you find yourself getting easily distracted and wasting time scrolling through the Internet aimlessly, then you need to sort out your priorities. Your work time should be carefully planned and efficient, making sure that any meetings are structured with key aims. If you achieve your work goals during office hours, there will be less incentive to log in to work in your own time.

6. Accept imperfection

Nobody’s perfect - and that is something that we need to remind ourselves often. We all need to accept imperfections in both our professional and personal lives. Instead of trying to achieve work that is perfect all of the time, we should give ourselves a break, and accept work that is ‘good enough’ from time to time.

7. Take frequent breaks

Regular breaks are essential for both your physical and mental health. Set a reminder on your phone, and make sure you get up and moving every hour or so. You could go and grab a coffee or go and have a chat with your colleague. Frequent breaks will help to boost your productivity, motivation and focus throughout the day.

8. Ask for help

We all need help sometimes, and you should not be afraid to ask for it. If you are struggling to stay on top of your work, and this is leading to long work hours, you should speak to somebody. There is no point letting your workload pile up as you just run the risk of burnout. Whether you need help from a colleague to ease your workload, or you need friends and family to help out with childcare, people are ready and waiting to help if you just ask.

Final Thoughts

These steps can help in your quest to achieve a better work-life balance, but you should spend some time considering what is important to YOU. Be sure to schedule plenty of activities that make you happy and help you to relax. After all, your mental and physical wellbeing is a vital part of both your professional and personal life.