Balancing your work life and your personal life is a difficult challenge, but it is essential for a happy life. We often prioritise our professional life as we all want to succeed and get to where we want to be in life. Having a busy professional life can have you missing a lot of different milestones with your family and can in turn result in mental health issues. Having a healthy work-life balance can result in improving not only your mental health but your physical and emotional health.
What is Work-life Balance and its importance?
A work-life balance is where a person equally prioritises their professional life and their personal life. It is common to have a work-life balance that is not healthy where a person will prioritise their professional life over their personal life which can be bad for mental health or the other way around and cause drastic effects to your family. Some common factors that can lead to an unhealthy balance include:
- Increased work responsibilities
- Longer working hours
- Increased responsibilities at home
- Having children
A healthy work-life balance has a range of different benefits for the person involved including lower stress levels, a lower risk of burnout and healthier and more positive wellbeing. This benefits your employer just as much as you. It can also benefit your workplace in a range of different ways such as saving costs, experiencing fewer sickness absences and also experiencing a more loyal workforce. Companies that offer working from home and flexible working hours improve their employees’ work-life balance.
Work-life balance is not solely based on the number of hours that you split between your professional and personal life. It is more about the flexibility to get things done in your professional life as well as having the energy to get everything done in your personal life without being exhausted. Here are just some ways in which you can create a better work-life balance.
Keep Home & Work Separate
Firstly, to find a healthy work-life balance, it is key to separate them both. If you carry on how you are, you will not be able to excel in either environment. An example of this is in the morning, rather than reading your work emails, spend some time with your children before they go to school. If you try and do both, you will miss out on a lot with your kids and you will probably make a mistake with your responding to emails and also have less concentration. Instead, make your children their breakfast, get them to get dressed and whilst they are, you can give their mucky post-breakfast faces a quick wash with some super soft and reusable baby washcloths and send them to school so you can get to work.
Switching your phone off when you come home so you can go to the gym, yoga session or something that you can enjoy on your own is a great way to improve your work-life balance. Having something that you enjoy can improve your mood dramatically. It reduces stress by allowing you not to think about work and concentrate on your personal life.
The best way to do this is by having a set routine. 7 am-9 am is your time to get organised with your personal life as things should also be prepared the night before and get to work. 9 am – 5:30 pm is then for your work life, and then 6 pm – 11 pm is time for your friends and family. This will provide much more happiness in your life as well as structure.
Pre-Book Fun Things In Advance
There is nothing wrong with loving your career, but when you don’t have anything else going on it can seriously affect your mental health. Plus, it’s difficult to get motivated when you are working all hours under the sun. The best point of action to resolve this is to make sure that you have things to look forward to, so get organised. Try and have something booked every month, whether it’s just going for a meal with friends, having a date night or even going to a concert. Having a holiday once a year can also improve your well-being.
Days where you simply don’t want to get out of bed are the toughest of days and can feel like they drag. When you have something to look forward to on the weekend, it helps you get through the week. There is so much more to life than work, enjoy your money and enjoy your life, you only get one of them. Obviously, it is important to succeed in your professional life, but having a personal life is just as important.
Set Goals & Priorities
Setting goals and priorities is a great way in which you can manage your time effectively inside and outside of work. By implementing time management strategies like the 12 hour week, analysing your to-do list and eradicating tasks that have no value will significantly reduce your workload.
By paying close attention to when you are more productive, you can use this to your advantage by blocking that time off for your most important tasks. Checking your emails and phone every couple of minutes can severely reduce your productivity and waste time which derails your attention. A structured day can increase the chances of you being able to spend more time relaxing outside work and not worrying.
Don’t Be Afraid To Unplug
If you have a habit of checking your emails after work, then this needs to stop immediately. Understandably, you have a busy work schedule, but from time to time, don’t be afraid to cut off from the world. This allows you to recover from a stressful week and gives you space to think clearly. This will result in a more productive week as you have given yourself time to recover. Taking time to unwind is key to success, a burnt-out person is not a productive person.
Having a busy schedule is fine for some, but for most, it can be taxing to our personal life. Learn to let go when you are out of work whilst following these steps and it will have some great benefits. These include being less stressed, having more time with your family and also being more successful in your career.