How to achieve a better work/life balance in 2015
Achieving a better work-life balance is essential to maximizing and enjoying your time both in and out of the office. According to the HSE, 39 percent of all work related illnesses in 2013-14 were caused by work stress, depression or anxiety. This can cause early burnout amongst us careerists. But we can take steps to reduce this number next year. Here are seven ways to achieve better work-life balance in 2015.
1. Enjoy the little things.
Having a healthy work-life balance involves appreciation of two things: work and life. This seems like a no brainer, right? You can enjoy things at work to make the week move along nicely. We at Your Coffee Break like to treat ourselves to our favorite cup of Joe to start the week off right. It certainly isn’t a bad way to start a Monday. Don’t forget, the fun doesn’t have to wait until the weekend. Go get a gourmet cocktail with your friends, or see a new movie at the theatre. Do something fun to break up the week.
2. Manage your time well at work.
When we’re burning both ends of the wick, we tend to forget why we started some tasks in the first place. Helen Taylor, head of Human Resources at the Instant Group, suggests to, “Practice good time management and ensure you take time away from work to rest and re-energise. We can often get caught up in low priority ‘easy’ tasks and using our best hours for the most important tasks does help.” Taking some time to step back and regroup your thoughts can help with time management, a key component in achieving work-life balance.
3. Know when to stop.
There is always going to be work to do. There is always going to be a phone call to make, a client to help, a project to perfect. While many 9-to-5ers may pride themselves on working until 8 or 9 p.m., it ends up being pretty pointless in the end, much less a stride toward work-life balance. When you get to the point of feeling overwhelmed, that’s a sign that you may need to re-evaluate how much you’re working compared to the quality of work being paid for. Many employees are overworking for their companies or clients, so take appropriate chunks of work to tackle each day rather than taking on a laundry list of endless tasks.
4. Acknowledge your achievements.
We tend to focus on what doesn’t get finished, or things that fall through the cracks. Don’t put all your attention on the bad. Focus on what you do well, the goals you have accomplished, the clients you have pleased. Likewise, praise those around you for their achievements, which is a great way to boost employee morale! Take pride in your work. Let your boss know your achievements. Those are the things that matter. Remember: no one is perfect.
5. Disconnect when you’re off the clock.
This concept may not always be possible, but any effort to disconnect from the office while you’re away can help with work-life balance. We live in a connected world, yes, but there’s also a great tool in this tech-savvy world: it’s called “settings.” So if that means uninstalling your email app or stopping notifications from your smartphone, or resisting the urge to answer client calls after a certain time, do so. It’s kind of like a dirty sink. If you keep washing everyone’s dishes, they’re going to keep leaving dirty dishes. Take actions that best fit you to disconnect, which will allow you to decompress.
6. Use your vacation days.
This may also seem like a no-brainer. But you’d be surprised how many people fail to take some quality time away from work to unwind and de-stress. Taking time away from work is just as essential as time management because it keeps you sharp. No one can go at full speed indefinitely. Taking adequate stretches of leave and the odd long weekend is essential to staying energised and focused.
7. Get with the times.
The times are certainly changing. Employees are now seeing the benefit of work-life balance, and companies are making great strides to help them get there. In the UK, employees now have the right to request to adjust their schedules according to their needs. This could include options to work remotely, stagger hours to avoid high traffic times, and the like.
At the end of the day, a job is a job. We can love our jobs or be dissatisfied (hopefully the former), but in the end it’s still just a job. So do what makes you happy. The world could use a lot more people who have come alive outside of business hours.