We all strive to achieve a work-life balance. It can be easier said than done, and will at times seem impossible to achieve. By following the points below, you can start to get your life back under control and achieve the work-life balance you wish to achieve.
1. Have a set routine
Never underestimate the importance of a routine; getting into a routine that suits your schedule is half the battle, as it will allow you to prioritize effectively, and manage your time well. Set aside certain days of the week for errands such as the weekly shop, or the gym. A routine once in place will soon become second nature, and the more disciplined you are with it, the more likely it is you will stick to it, meaning you will be able to differentiate your work life and personal life more easily.
2. Have time for friends
When work becomes slightly stressful or demanding, it can be easy to forget other matters such as catching up with friends. This time is just as important. Make it a priority to send a message to a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while; organize a phone call or a coffee, and switch off from your other worries during this time. You can share your worries and concerns with a friend, as you never know how they may be able to help. A problem shared is a problem halved, and you can be there for them, too, with whatever struggles they may be facing. There are plenty of ways you can spend time with friends that don’t break the bank and can see you trying something new or keep it simple, and just chill at one another’s houses.
3. Allocate time for yourself
Time to yourself is as important as giving time to others. Whether this be going to the gym to work out the pressures of the day, reading a book for an hour of an evening, or having a bath to relax and unwind on a weekday; self-care should never be overlooked. You can’t hope to be there for others and give 100% effort at work if you, yourself, are not in the best mental place to do so.
4. Prioritize your time
Prioritizing your time is essential if you wish to achieve your perfect work-life balance. This will mean understanding that sometimes, work commitments will take precedent. Similarly, if you have a family commitment that requires your mental energy and time, understand that this is acceptable sometimes, and you may have to be strong and prioritize family.
Compromising will become a part of everyday life; you may want to watch that new program but making sure you get a good night’s sleep, so you can make sure you are alert enough at work is also important. This will take a fair amount of planning, but it is achievable.
Prioritizing your time will mean you need to have a general to-do list for your day to day tasks. You can then put these in order of priority, like so:
• Important and urgent tasks
• Important, but not urgent tasks
• Urgent, but not important tasks
• Other tasks that don’t need priority but should be completed
The tasks may involve work deadlines, sorting birthday presents, organizing a meetup, dealing with personal finances, sending or returning items, cleaning the house, or buying groceries, for example. It’s impossible to remember everything, so try to utilize what is available and write things down. It will become so much clearer once you have done so.
5. Be realistic
Being realistic with what you’re able to achieve goes hand in hand with prioritizing your time. If you try and put too much on your plate, not only will you burn out, but you may end up feeling guilty for letting people down or not achieving what you set out to do. For example, if you agree to meet with a friend, don’t arrange it on the same day as an important deadline or family commitment. It’s easy to say, “I’ll work around it,” or “I’ll fit it in” at the time. When the day finally arrives, however, you will regret saying “Yes” to everything. Saying no is okay.
6. Keep your mind active
Keeping your mind active aside from work is a great way to get engaged with new challenges so you are not only mentally focused on one thing. Some great mental stimulants include:
• Online games
• Books or magazines
These can engage your brain in a different way that can be more stimulating and interesting than what you focus on at work. Casino games such as those available to play with Maxim99 can see you rise to the challenge, test yourself and potentially win some money, whereas picking up a newspaper can see you expand your knowledge, catch up on the important news, and educate yourself in matters you may not otherwise have time to think about.
7. When you switch off, switch off
Mentally switching off from work is easier said than done, but is still important. When you get home and are spending time with friends, family or loved ones, don’t waste this time by concerning yourself with work emails or a last-minute job you forgot to do. Allocate time in your day so that you avoid having to cross over your work and personal life. One idea is to switch off your notifications when you get home. Similarly, try to avoid replying to personal messages at work. This will only distract you and mean your focus shifts from the task in hand.
8. Incorporate exercise
We are all familiar with the suggested amount of exercise we should do each week. The general goal of 30 minutes a day may seem daunting if you have a busy schedule, but there are some easy ways to achieve this. Go for a walk on your lunch break, and maybe go for a 30 minute swim or cycle twice a week, for example. Slowly over time exercise will seem as intrinsic to your routine as eating and sleeping.