We live in an age when most people encounter problems trying to achieve a healthy work-life balance. The advancement of technology means that there is always the opportunity to be connected to work, and the temptation to download emails and other work related documents means that it can become a struggle to separate ourselves from the office.
Employees and bosses wrestle with the conundrum of a healthy work-life balance constantly – employees wonder how they can achieve this balance while still putting in enough effort at work, and bosses consider how they can create a work environment that encourages their employees to reach this balance.
The truth is that no one size fits all, and each person will have a different way to reach their work-life balance goals. But these work-life balance tips are incredibly useful for anyone looking to achieve a better relationship between their place of employment and their personal lives.
Honesty is everything
Being open and honest about your needs is the first step towards a better balance and is one of the most important work-life balance tips. Honesty with those around you is an incredibly important part of achieving the goals that you have set yourself, as no one else understands your needs unless you communicate them.
If you need to get home in time for family dinner or bedtime – or you know that you need to take that five o’clock yoga class for your sanity – then you need to be open about your needs and discuss it with your employer. Obviously it depends on where you work and what industry you are in, but being open and honest about your needs with your boss should be your first port of call when you are looking to achieve a better balance.
Boundaries should exist for a reason
There is no point in establishing boundaries if you don’t intend to stick to them. Another important work-life balance tip is to keep to those boundaries that you have set. If you said you want to be home three times a week for dinner, then make sure you are – don’t open work emails after you get home if that is something that you have told yourself not to do.
It can be hard sticking to the boundaries that we set ourselves but it’s essential for a balanced lifestyle. Once you have done it enough you will find that these boundaries actually just become part and parcel of your everyday routines.
Remember that time is one thing that you can’t buy
It’s understandable that most people put their careers as their main priority, especially when trying to establish themselves on the career ladder. And it can become harder and harder to pull yourself away from work, especially when you’re the primary breadwinner in the family. However, you also need to remember that time is something that you can’t buy and once it slips away you can never get it back.
Our third work-life balance tip is to understand that you only have 24 hours in a day and you need to maximise all the time that you have. Focus on the parts of your job that make the biggest impact and work smart, not hard. Once work is over then it’s time for family – your time with them is even more important than those hours spent at work, so make the most of the special time that you do have with your loved ones.
Turn your gadgets off
In this day and age of constant connectivity it can be hard to remember that our devices actually have off buttons: the fourth of our work-life balance tips is to embrace this off button. Start by leaving your phone behind when you are at the dinner table and turn your tablet off while you are spending time with your family.
Disconnecting offers a rare moment of clarity in our lives, and by turning the gadgets off you will be able to concentrate and give the entirety of your attention to the issues at hand, whether that is spending time with your loved ones, going for a run or doing a puzzle.
Take time out
Don’t be one of those employees that eventually has to get forced to take leave. Don’t wear your long working hours like a badge of honour, because it may feel like you are being constructive by working long hours and not taking time off, but it’s guaranteed to have an adverse effect on your family. Taking time out is our last in the series of work-life balance tips, but is just as important as the others.
Take the time off that you are due in a working year and use it to spend time with your family. This can just be on a day-to-day basis –or better yet, take your family on a holiday somewhere in the UK or somewhere abroad.
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