Achieving the right a work-life balance can be tricky, we’re all guilty of late nights at the office and stretching ourselves to meet important deadlines. After all, we all need to pay our bills but pressure at work can take a toll on our physical and mental health. It can also affect relationships outside of work, which in turn just adds to the pressure and stress. So how do we strike the perfect work-life balance, and is there such a thing? The answer is yes, but it may take a little adjusting and work. Here’s how to get started…
Work Smarter Not Harder
Working longer hours in the workplace doesn’t always equate to greater output. Being the first one in the office and the last one out doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll achieve more than your co-workers. In fact, many employers now offer shorter working days and flexible agreements to increase productivity. The 9-5 still very much exists but it’s becoming dated, and more and more individuals are seeking alternative work arrangements that, in fact, boost their output and create a healthier working environment.
Use Your Annual Leave
We can’t stress enough how important it is that you use up all of your available annual leave. Your mind and body need a rest from the daily grind and escaping to enjoy an injection of vitamin D can do wonders for your health. Compare different holiday deals online to find an affordable break. Whether it’s a long weekend in Italy or a fortnight in Greece, give yourself the time off you deserve.
Learn to say No
It’s natural that you always want to do your best and keep others happy, but sometimes you just have to learn to say no. Whether it’s in the workplace or with friends and family, you need to understand your limits and not take on too much at one time to please others. Realise that your time is precious and sometimes we have to be a little bit selfish and put ourselves first. If you’re not contractually obliged to take on the task, then it might be worth learning to politely decline.
Make the Most of Your Weekend
Too often we fall into a monotonous routine of work, eat and sleep. By the time it gets to the weekend you may be feeling too tired and uninspired to actually make the most of your time off. It’s now time to shake off the old routine and learn to live a little differently. Embrace your time off, make memories, explore new places and just have fun! Otherwise, you risk falling into the trap of living your life around your day job. Utilise your spare time, you might even think about making plans for a midweek evening (fancy a game of bowling?) to break up the working week.
Prioritise Your Day
Start your morning by setting aside 10 minutes to prioritise tasks and workload, understand what needs to be done and what can wait. This will give your day more clarity and allow you to work more effectively. Organisation is key to enjoying an improved work-life balance so now is the time to become the ultimate list maker!