Working too hard? Not seeing enough of your family. It doesn’t have to be that way
A good work-life balance is not unlike a unicorn. We’ve heard stories, some people swear they’ve seen them, but in the end… You may be thinking that you have a better chance of taming a unicorn than achieving a good balance, but luckily for both your stress resilience and the unicorn population, this is not true.
It’s actually deceptively simple – if not easy to achieve. The basic steps are as follows.
- Decide how much and when you want to work
- Decide how much time you want for yourself
- Decide how much time you want for your family or hobbies
- Be a little flexible but stick to it as much as you can
Now, in practice it isn’t as easy as making a plan and sticking to it…or is it? Well it can be. The first step is to have a healthy relationship with your job. What that looks like is unique to you…it certainly isn’t doing work on your days off though. Unpaid overtime or working in your downtime is something you should avoid at all costs. It may not be possible 100% of the time, but try to stay away from your work-phone or emails when you have time off.
Business People hangout together for stress resilience at coffee shop. Try mixing work with pleasure and get away from your office or desk and out to a cafe – a different environment, change of pace or some company can do you the world of good.
If you absolutely can’t, that’s ok – sometimes it is necessary or unavoidable. Still, avoid it as much as you can. The next step is keeping your mind off it when you’re not at work. If you find yourself thinking of your projects every five minutes while having dinner with your family, that isn’t good for your mental health at all. Distract yourself.
With practice, you’ll find it easier to steer clear of work topics in your time off. When trying to sort your work-life balance, you’ll also want to keep some time just for yourself. Alone time is just as important as time with family, and the same rules apply – no work allowed.
You can use this time however you’d like, for hobbies, even asleep, but it’s important to plan it in. Once you really make a commitment to improving your situation and actually start getting used to putting phone and laptop down, you’ll find that it really gets easier, and you may even find that you end up performing better when you’re at work.
The goal here is to find BALANCE people.
Turns out spending too much time obsessing over something isn’t good for you – who’d have thought? If you can, you should also ask the people in your life for help. Tell your colleagues they won’t be able to reach you on weekends, and ask your partner to remind you not to check your emails.
If you don’t know where to start, look at taking a few days of holiday and ban everything work related from those days entirely. Switch off your devices for stress resilience, put away those documents you’ve been hoarding and put yourself into the right mindset and get a running start on enjoying your time off.. As a last tip: If you feel your work is forcing its way into your private time, consider changing jobs – that’s really not ok, and you are entitled to downtime!