How to master the work-life balance

Working is important, it pays the bills, it keeps us focused, it helps us to play our part in society and it helps us to reach our goals and dreams. But work is just a small part of our lives, it shouldn’t take up all the room.

So how do we find the right balance between work and enjoying life?

1). Make the most of your ‘after work’ hours- If all we did was work, eat and sleep, the only thing we would think about in a day is work. Yes you may want to just relax after work but if you’re part of the 9-5 gang, I’d say you have at least 5 hours to do whatever you’d like. Do something you enjoy, something that will take your mind off work and something that’s good for the soul. Go to the gym, go for a long walk, go out with friends or have a cozy night in watching your favourite movie. Whatever it is, make sure it fills your heart with joy and gives you thinking space away from work. If you have kids and time alone is more difficult, take the kids out for a walk or let them join in with the evening cooking.

2). Remove ‘work’ applications from your phone- I think most of you would agree, our phones are our down time, our time to switch off from all things work. Try to remove anything work related from your phone and keep it as separated from work life as possible. Maybe put LinkedIn on your work phone or just use it on a desktop, this also applies to any work contacts, keep them on your work phone away from your personal life.

3). Make plans for the weekend- We might have to catch up on a few jobs over the weekend, but make sure you’re having fun overall! Book a concert, go out for food, go for a walk with friends or take a weekend break in another place. Whatever it is, make sure you have something to look forward to, it really helps, especially when the work week has been a tough one. Also, by doing something completely different to work/home, it helps us to switch off and take our mind elsewhere.

4). Try not to work after hours- We all have days where we end up working a little extra, but don’t make a habit of it. Really try to finish at a set time. The more overtime we do, the more work creeps’ up to a whole new level in our lives, it becomes our every thought and we forget how to switch off from the stresses it brings. Work hard in the day, but as soon as its 5 o clock, its time for you to switch off from the day.

5). Use your annual leave wisely- I don’t just mean take all your annual leave, try to spread it out throughout the year as best as possible. Think about when your body and mind most need a break. I try to leave some annual leave for January, the time of year I find it the most mentally difficult. I will also try to take random days rather than full weeks, this means throughout the year I have a few 4 day weeks, sometimes a 3 day weekend is all we need to de stress. Also try to take a big chunk, at least one week, maybe even two weeks away. Having a big chunk of time off gives you real time away, time to fully detox and not think about work for a good while.

6). Take your LUNCH BREAK!- Sometimes in a busy day we like to tell ourselves we are “too busy” for lunch today. But you must make time! Even if its just 20 minutes, we all need time away from our desks to refuel and reset. If you do have time for the full half an hour/hour, try to do something that switches your mind off. Go for a walk near the office, eat your lunch with friends, watch something on your phone or ring a loved one. Having this much needed switch off in the middle of the day just helps us to keep that work life balance present in our day.

7). Be honest with your employer- If your workload is too much/ you are struggling with the pressure, let your boss know. The right boss will always put your wellbeing first. Don’t be afraid to let those around you know if things are too much. Reducing your workload a little is much more sensible that not saying anything and experiencing burn out. Your boss is human too, always remember that : ).

It’s important that we enjoy working as much as we possibly can. If you are feeling rubbish in your job and it hasn’t change for a while, consider a job that will be better for you. Life is to be lived, and we must remember that. We deserve to smile everyday, no matter what.

Thanks so much for reading guys, remember to take breaks, keep smiling and enjoy all the amazing things life has to offer : ).

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