How Do I Get a Better Work Life Balance?

Life Balance Pyramid

Do your holidays never seem long enough? Are you starting to forget what your nearest and dearest look like? If work’s always on your mind, you need to get some balance between work and home life.

  • Work is for work – leave it there
  • Working Smarter, not harder is really Smart
  • Just say No – a hard one this I know!
  • Your Free Time is precious, make the most of it

 

Here are some strategies to consider. Weigh them up, apply those that relate to your particular goals – most of all don’t just add another layer of stress!

Leave work at work

If you don’t watch out, work will follow you out of the office. Here are a few tips to help you leave it where it belongs – at work.

  • If you can, try not to read or reply to emails when you’re at home.
  • Set a cut-off time each evening when you’ll stop looking at your inbox and stick to it.
  • Ask someone in your family to remind you (nicely!), when you’re peeking at your laptop, tablet or phone.

Ignoring emails is a great start, but if you’re always thinking about work it’s hard to really feel relaxed.

If you work from home it can be even harder to let go of all that’s been going on during the day. Try and take a few minutes to clear your mind with something completely different – a half hour walk does it for me.

Work Smarter, not harder

Too much work or not enough structure = feeling there aren’t enough hours in the day.

  • Plan your day.
  • Set a time limit for each task, do the most important work first.
  • Don’t sweat it if you don’t finish the small stuff, don’t worry about it.
  • When you get stuck on something, move onto the next task and pick it up again later.

Learn to say No

It’s too easy to say ‘yes’ to everything that’s asked of you. In the end you may easily overload yourself with work and feel that you’re achieving nothing and impressing no one.

  • Saying ‘no’ occasionally will help keep a manageable workload, and you’ll feel great!
  • Be polite.
  • If you’re not sure, say ‘Can I get back to you on that?’
  • Give yourself time to consider why and how to say no.

Fight the Guilt

Superwoman–and Superman–are fictional characters. Real people can’t devote 100% to everything they do. Stop feeling guilty if you miss an occasional football match or can’t attend a colleague’s going-away party.

Make the most of your free time

Get back to your social life (if it’s sneaked off to have fun on it’s own!)

  • Pick a night to meet your friends – and go!
  • Don’t put off fun.
  • Take your partner out for a meal.
  • Go for a walk with your children.
  • Do something you enjoy, that doesn’t involve work and divert yourself completely with a different subject (my husband and I keep bees!).
  • Make specific time for the things you love.