It’s important to look after yourself and one of the key factors is paying attention to your work-life ratio. This is more important than ever now that so many of us are currently working from home. Improving this vital balance will help you feel happier and be more productive.
Balance Is Important
It’s crucial to find a successful balance between your working and private life. Failure to do so can lead to significant problems, including stress, poor sleep and anxiety. It can damage both your career and personal life, with declining motivation and productivity at work, along with friction and feelings of alienation from loved ones when you aren’t present to spend quality time together.
It’s not likely to become any easier in future. Surveys of businesses around the world show that the majority plan to continue remote working practices even after the pandemic ends. This means that now is the time to establish good habits that will allow you to get the best from both your professional and your private lives.
Busy Is Good
Studies by psychologists have revealed that having nothing to do does not result in greater levels of happiness. Instead, we humans thrive when we have objectives to fulfil. The challenge is to keep your workload at a manageable level. With this in mind, here are our three steps for establishing a better work-life balance.
Step 1- Recognise Your Limits
How do you achieve this? A key step on the journey to a balanced work-life ratio is to recognise the fact that you won’t be able to do everything put in front of you. The truth is, even if you were somehow able to successfully tick off everything on your to-do list, there would simply be more tasks added. Therefore, it’s vital to change your approach to your workload. There should be a hierarchy to your tasks, so take a minute to think before you dive in. Prioritise which tasks are the most pressing, either in terms of importance, deadline or value to your role. Tackle these first.
Step 2- Identify Your Down-Time
This can be the most difficult step to put into practice, but it is crucial if you hope to gain an achievable work-life balance. Think about when you will be “switched off” from your job. This includes thinking about work challenges, planning or “just checking emails”. This will vary from person to person and naturally there may be times that you have to bend your own rules a little.
If you are working from home, choose a starting time and a finishing time and stick to them. Be sure to include regular breaks and do step away from your desk during that time. At the end of the day, include in an activity that will act as a cue for your brain to transition from working to relaxing. This can be anything you like, from going for a walk or run, watching a soap opera, or calling a loved one. On your days off, flag yourself unavailable for work and turn off your email notifications if necessary.
Step 3 -Delegate
If there is a lot on your plate and you are already following the first two steps, you may start to feel concerned that some tasks, both professional and domestic, are falling by the wayside. Don’t be afraid to delegate. In a professional capacity, it shows good management skills and faith in your team. At home it will free you from mundane worries such as cleaning the bathroom.
Software that allows automation of business processes can save a considerable amount of time. Arranging supermarket deliveries can also free up your time. There are of course some jobs which you are the best placed to tackle, but for everything else, there is likely to be another option. Safeguard your time for what is most important to you.