Finding Your Work Life Balance
‘Work-life balance’ is a phrase you probably hear often – and it describes a goal that anyone who’s ever been employed relates to.
However a OECD report found that Australia ranks in the bottom third of all countries for work-life balance with one in five males and 7 per cent of females employees worked 50 hours or more per week.
Juggling the need to earn money and fulfilling the need to have non-work interests, and commitments is challenging.
In an ideal world, your professional and personal life should support and strengthen one another. Whether for family time, hobbies, fun, socialising or relaxation, having time and energy to focus on activities you enjoy, and your relationships is crucial for your wellbeing.
So, here are our top tips for achieving and maintaining a healthy work/life balance.
Play to your strengths
Don’t try and be all things to all people. Focus on your strengths and pass on the others. If you’re not a whiz at accounts or DIY, delegate them instead of wasting time.
Prioritise your time
You may have a to-do list with 50 tasks on it, so you need to prioritize those tasks into four categories.
Urgent and important
Important but not urgent
Urgent but not important
Neither urgent nor important.
Know your peaks and troughs
Are you a morning person?
If you are, assign tough, high-concentration tasks to the mornings. Don’t leave the tough tasks until its night time and vice versa.
Plot some time for those important to you
Positive relationships and social support have been identified as building resilience to cope with stress, but these take time to nurture and develop. Prioritise time with your family and loved ones.
Find time for your finances
Do you really need a new car? Could you be happy living in a less expensive home or location? Research has shown that once our basic needs are met, a higher income does not lead to happiness. Spending less money could mean fewer work hours and more time for a fuller life.
Tap into technology
Instead of driving to a meeting, use Skype or conferencing technologies like Teams. But remember to switch them off.
Make exercise a must-do, not a should-do
It’s easy to cancel the gym, the evening run or the yoga class because a client wants something done yesterday.
Instead, ensure exercise is given as much priority as your clients and making money. A healthy body means a fresh mind, which means you will function better and complete tasks in less time.
Sometimes, rest periods are important to recharge the batteries. Schedule a regular time for yourself each week, read a book, do nothing, go shopping or do an activity you enjoy.
Do what you love
Make time for something you love – other than work – and give it the time it deserves. It will energise and refresh you.
Have that holiday
Make time for a holiday and book in breaks. Even a long weekend every quarter is better than nothing.