A balancing act

By at home

Oh, it’s tough juggling work with a personal life, but it can be done. Take 20 ways to an improved quality of life…

Striking a balance between your work and home life is something that takes practice, but once you start to make changes, it can enrich your whole life. 

A good work-life balance makes you feel recharged, positive and focused.

Businesses can benefit, too. According to research from the firm Morgan Redwood, companies earn 20% more from their staff if they have a healthy work-life balance. Follow these tips to achieve a more rounded and fulfilling life.

1 Share your feelings
Be clear about what’s important in your life by sharing your feelings, hopes and dreams with people close to you so that they can begin to support you.

2 Refocus your goals
If you’re devoting a lot of time to work and not committing enough to family or to hobbies, it’s time to act. Think about areas of your life – such as your career, relationships, hobbies, finances and health – and identify those that have lost focus so you can find ways to addres the balance.

3 Stamp out bad habits
Stop checking your emails every half hour and only deal with them three times a day, which encourages better time management. Also, leaving work at a decent time will boost your mood and you’ll have more time for things you want to do.

4 Job done!
Being organised at work means you’ll get jobs done far more efficiently. Write a to-do list every day to ensure you get through all your jobs and stop getting sidetracked. List tasks in order of priority, set time limits and try to stick to them as much as you can.

5 Do not disturb…
If your days are interrupted and you’re not as productive as you’d like, you need to manage your time better. Emma Donaldson-Feilder, a chartered occupational psychologist says: ‘When the phone rings, it seems urgent to pick it up but it’s not necessarily important. It may be more important to continue with what you were doing and to let your voicemail pick up the message.’

6 Leave work at work!
Try to switch off while you’re at home so you don’t clutter up your mind with work-related issues. And remember to turn off your phone and unplug your laptop when you’re spending quality time with your family or partner.

7 Hone your skills
Take advantage of every training opportunity the company offers you. Learning and development keeps you happy and will give you more job satisfaction. Training days will also help to improve your skills and show you ways to become more efficient.

8 Make a date with a mate…
In order to reach a happy medium between work and play,
it’s important to make time to see friends. Hanging out with mates, whether it’s a shopping trip or a night out, makes you feel good.

9 Think f-l-e-x-i
If your current working hours are too much or they don’t fit in with your other commitments, approach your employer to discuss flexible working options, such as starting an hour later or working from home one day a week.

10 Enjoy ‘you time’
Do something for yourself one evening a week. Whether it’s reading a book, doing a yoga class or catching up on what’s happening in your fave TV soap, time away from your computer will help you to focus and encourage you to be more productive once you’re back at your desk.

11 Unchain yourself
Getting out of the office during the day will do you good – it’ll make you less stressed and get your creative juices flowing again. Some people use their lunch break to go the gym or take a walk.

12 Make your house a home
If your place feels more like a hotel – somewhere to sleep before you rush back to work again – then make it feel more homely by decorating it so it has a personal touch. Or if you work from home, create a study area so that work doesn’t invade your whole house.

13 Whistle while you work
Enjoy your time at work. Make friends in the office and go out for lunch once or week. The better you get on with colleagues, the easier it’ll be to ask them for advice or assistance when you need it.

14 Lighten the load
Delegating tasks sets your mind at rest and allows you to focus on more pressing tasks, while giving others the opportunity to do the job well. Hand over household chores, too. Instead of cleaning the house by yourself, get the family to chip in.

15 Take a real break
To stop work taking up all your time, make zero commitments one weekend every four to six weeks. Avoid plans or to-do lists so you can spend it with your partner, kids or friends or just chill at home.

16 If you don’t ask…
When you’re behind with your work and feel stressed, talk to your manager. He or she can advise a better time management programme or suggest a support system. Ask for what you need, whether it’s an extension on a deadline or an intern.

17 Learn to say ‘no’
Taking on too much work can be bad as you may not be able to deliver the work as well as you’d like to and you can let people down. So the next time someone asks you to do more, consider whether it’s realistic.

18 Say it loud ‘n’ clear
Time-consuming mistakes can often arise from bad communication. To avoid these issues, concise communication is necessary so that you’re much more efficient at work and therefore have more time for yourself.

19 Go to bed!
Sleep is vital for your productivity and wellbeing so set a reasonable time to shut down and get some shut-eye.

20 Treat yourself
Once you start focusing on your work-life balance, acknowledge all your small achievements and set up a reward system. Whether that’s treating yourself to a new outfit or having a lie in on Saturday.


Pictures: getty images 

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