The other day I was speaking with a client about a situation they are facing that I know many people can relate to.
They were feeling like work has started to take over their life.
In challenging times like this where many people are adapting to working differently, it can be even more important to set healthy boundaries around work.
Looking at how your time and energy is divided across different aspects of your life is super important.
And there’s not a way of getting things perfectly equal in all areas of your life, it’s a give and take.
Leisure, time with family or friends, and pursuing other activities outside of work are all important to us in different ways. Sometimes you might really have to give your job extra attention, or you might feel work has held you back from getting all the activities you want into your week.
But when too much of your energy constantly goes into work, the effects can add up over time.
We’re talking burnout and general ill health from stress. There are some signs you should keep an eye on to see if it’s time for a balance check: Working for long periods without leaving your desk,
checking emails when you should be present with family or friends,
working weekends and eating lunch and/or dinner at your desk are all signs that you don’t have a good work-life balance.
And how do you feel physically, emotionally and mentally? These are important to take note of too.
Below are five tips for better balance:
- Take stock – Think about what your most important values are and how you want to spend your time. Even small changes can have a big impact, such as forcing yourself to have a lunch break several times a week to exercise or chat with a friend.
- Revisit your boundaries – It can be a little awkward but tell your colleagues and clients when you will and won’t be working. No one should be expected to be available 24/7. And can you protect the regular activities in your personal life that are non-negotiable? Such as putting your children to bed or doing yoga – whatever it is that really matters for you.
- Make self-care a priority – Ensure you get enough sleep and exercise by including it in your schedule, and make sure to reward yourself for your hard work by treating yourself every now and then.
- Use the word ‘No!’ – Speaking up is important. If your workload is already full on and something else comes your way, ask for guidance as to what needs to be dropped or pushed out. Knowing your values will also help you say no to new projects and events and other commitments that eat up your time and don’t contribute to achieving your work or personal objectives.
- Schedule in fun things and honour commitments you make for yourself – Schedule in your family time and socialising and treat those appointments as you would a meeting or doctor’s appointment.
Get your rhythm going
Balance can feel tricky to get right. It takes time to get in touch with what we need and practice to support our needs. Once you’ve got a rhythm going. It does get easier.
If you need support. Please reach out.