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5 ways to improve your work-life balance

20th May 2019

Work. It’s a word many associate with a headache. But it doesn’t have to be that way, and in fact it shouldn’t. Your career should be regarded with pride and admiration, not stress and restraint.

If that sounds like a dream that you gave up on years ago, then keep your chin up! We’re hoping to help you with that today. Work isn’t just a way to make money; it should serve you both financially and emotionally.

Too many obsess over success and nothing else, while some shy away from making any goals at all. So, what’s the balance here? How do you bring it all into a nice healthy circle of routine, content, and good health? Well, you take both extremities and meet in the middle.

You should create goals that you’re passionate about, while keeping in mind the importance of maintaining a social life. Because while striving for success is important, without healthy relationships and a bit of socialising, stress will rear its ugly head.

Whether this sounds familiar, or daunting to think about, don’t worry. Keep reading and with any luck you’ll be giving a big sigh of relief – and have a solid game plan at the end.

You’ve got to start somewhere, so here are five ways to improve your work-life balance.

1. Realise there is no such thing as a perfect work-life balance:

You may think the perfect work-life balance is getting up early, going to the gym, being 100% motivated and productive at work, to then come home to do all of the household chores, cook dinner and be ready for it all again tomorrow. However, that seldom ever happens in the real world. A routine is very valuable to make sure we are on track to hit our goals and objectives; however, they can also be very draining and cause more damage in the long term if we don’t shake things up now and again.

Make sure you create a realistic schedule that you will be able to commit to. Now things will crop up that will stop you from going to the gym or being 100% productive at work, but that shouldn’t put you off achieving your goals. This balance will allow you to keep to your routine when you would have otherwise given up.

The key to this balance is to make sure your routine is fluid and adaptable. If you worked extra hard at work to hit a deadline and don’t feel like going to the gym make sure you go when you are less busy. Make sure to remember that there will always be these interruptions and slight changes to your routine and that is ok. As long as over time you are working towards your goals it doesn’t matter if there is a slight hitch now and again.

2. Look after your health:

Your overall health should always be your top priority. Whether that be physical or mental health. If you think therapy would be beneficial for you make sure you fit these sessions into your schedule. Also, if you suffer from chronic illness, don’t hesitate to call off work when you can’t make it in. The healthier you feel in yourself, the happier and more productive you be will at both work and also in life.

3. Work in a fulfilling and enjoyable job role:

If you despise work, you are unlikely to be happy where you are at. However, you don’t need to find every aspect of your work fun for you to enjoy it. It does need to be exciting and challenging enough to keep you engaged and not dread work. A bad job can affect your mental and emotional wellbeing.

If your work begins to affect your personal life, it may be time to think about looking at pastures new. You might be working for a bad boss, working in a toxic environment or you simply may not enjoy any aspect of your work. If you resonate with any of these things you should consider looking for an alternative job. Even the same job at a different company can make you feel pride and excited at the work you are producing.

Of course, we know that sometimes it simply isn’t that easy, especially with responsibilities to pay for or loved ones to support. If this is the case, make your new job a long-term goal, and in the meantime (while this may sound cheesy) find something likeable about your current job. Something that makes the day just that little bit easier. Maybe it’s the journey to and from work – maybe the view is calming. Maybe you have a good work friend and can look forward to the work banter. Or maybe you like to let it all out after work, by blasting music in your car, or journaling about it passionately – hey, whatever works for you!

4. Try to limit your time on social media:

Social media is great for connecting with friends and family, seeing what other people are getting up to, however it can also be damaging to our mental health and create emotions of envy or jealousy. To reduce the amount of time you spend on social media can be done by doing little things like not having your mobile phone with you at the dinner table, or in your pocket at work can help to condition you not to use your mobile as much. Also, avoiding using your phone, tablet or TV 30 mins before bed can drastically help your sleeping habit.

5. Create some ‘me’ time:

Your job and work shouldn’t be the be all and end all of your life. You should keep doing the activities and hobbies that make you happy outside of work. Be sure to leave at least an hour a week for your own personal ‘me time’. Whether that be going for a walk, reading a book or getting a massage done. You should also make sure you surround yourself with your loved ones and spend as much time with them as you possibly can.

Final thoughts

With any luck you’ve gotten some fresh clarity from this read. Maintaining a good work-life balance is one of the great challenges of modern life, but it is achievable. Similar to financial planning, knowledge and discipline is key, and reading this article is a great first step!

Reference – Bl062 – May – 2019

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