Although work pays the bills and gives you professional fulfilment, it shouldn’t detract from the rest of your life. Here’s how to achieve a better work-life balance.
Paying attention to achieving a work-life balance is crucial for wellbeing. As well as ensuring you have time when you can truly switch off from work, a healthy work-life balance can also help you become happier and more productive when you are working too.
Here are our top tips on how to achieve a better work-life balance.
Lengthy to-do lists can sometimes do more harm than good. Prioritise tasks according to how urgent and important they are – you should soon be able to whittle the list down. Creating an achievable to-do list that you have completed by the end of the day will help you feel fulfilled and able to switch off from work until the next day.
Make some time in your day to do some exercise and it’ll boost your mood. Exercising is also linked with improved self-esteem, better sleep quality and increased energy. It also helps to lower your risk of stress and improves mental wellbeing. Building exercise into your day just a few days a week will help you feel happier and healthier both at work and away from work.
3. Make the Most of Company Policy
Many workplaces offer opportunities for flexible working and other perks that can help you achieve a great work-life balance, so educate yourself about exactly what your company offers. If working remotely or altering your hours would make a difference to the way you manage your day – and your workplace has a policy supporting this – make the most of it. Also knowing how much break time you’re entitled to during the working day can help achieve a work-life balance. For example, an hour-long lunch break could be the perfect opportunity to go for a swim.
4. Know your Energy Patterns
You can make your day a lot easier and more productive if you plan your work according to your energy patterns. If you know you’re a morning person, set yourself tasks that require more brain power for this time, and easier admin tasks if you tend to have a post-lunch slump. This is a great way to get everything done that you need to in a day so you’re not worrying about unfinished tasks in the evening.
5. Be Realistic
When planning your work week, be realistic about what you’ll be able to achieve, remembering to consider meetings and other time you may have away from your desk. If you set an achievable task list, you’re much more likely to get everything done, reducing the risk of stress. The same goes for your personal time – make sure every evening isn’t filled with social engagements so you have time to rest.
6. ‘Me’ Time
The pressures of work and life often mean we get caught up in helping others, while our own needs go on the back-burner. Make a conscious effort to have some ‘me’ time in your day. It could be as simple as treating yourself to a walk or coffee away from the office at lunchtime. Practicing mindfulness is a great way to focus on the present moment too – download a mindfulness app to guide you when you have spare moments of time. Yoga is another brilliant way to slow down and focus on yourself.
7. Be Comfortable
Ensure your desk is set up as well as it can be to reduce physical aches and pains and aid productivity. This includes making sure your chair is at the optimum height for you and gives you proper back support, and that your computer isn’t causing you any problems. Ask for extra equipment if it’ll make a difference to your day, whether it’s anti-glare screens, foot support or ergonomic tools. Being physically comfortable at work means you’re more able to focus on the task at hand. You’ll feel a lot better when it’s time to go home too.
8. Let Technology Help You
If you’re struggling to manage your workload or feel stressed from too many distractions in the workplace, look for apps and other online tools that can help you better manage your day. For example, manage your to-do list efficiently in one place with the Todoist app, keep on top of project work with Trello, or install an app to remind you to take breaks during the day, such as Take a Break, Please. A helping hand from technology will support you in achieving everything you need to in the working day, so you can properly switch off when it’s time to go home.
Striking a great work-life balance is crucial for wellbeing and helps you feel more fulfilled both at work and at home. Making even small changes to your day can make all the difference.