Having a good work/life balance is essential for you to thrive. All work and no play makes for a very dull existence and all play and no work is just not a sustainable way to live. I wouldn’t go burning the candle at both ends either, that’s a sure fire way to reach burnout at top speed!
Balance is not always an easy thing to achieve, especially when you have a demanding job and a family to support. Somewhere along the line something has to give. Compromises have to be made to make sure that you’re getting the most out of life.
For me, working from home has proven to be a challenge of epic proportions in relation to creating a decent work/life balance. First and foremost I am the primary carer of our two young daughters, they come first no matter what. That doesn’t mean that I don’t have to work though. It doesn’t mean that I don’t have deadlines to meet on a regular basis and that more often than not I’m spinning plates.
In my experience, there are ways to help yourself. At particularly busy times in your life, when you feel like those plates are going to crash to floor any minute, you can regain your balance. All it takes is putting a little thought and action into the following:
Be realistic –
Know what you can and can’t achieve at any given time. If it helps divide your day up in to time slots and dedicate an activity to each. Don’t try to fit in tasks that you know you won’t be able to finish and don’t let tasks that should take you a little amount of time, spill over into the next time slot.
This may seem like a very regimental way to live, but being realistic with your targets and abilities keeps you feeling on top of the game. You won’t feel overwhelmed by the intensity of your workload as you’ll have it all planned out and ready to complete in due course.
This plan doesn’t just have to be for your work life, allocate time to leisure activities too. The more balanced your planner appears when you look at it, the more balanced your mind will feel. Ah the power of organisation!
Learn how to say ‘no’ –
Saying no can be really hard. If you’re a people pleaser, you want to take on everything that comes your way to keep the guys on the other end happy. Now I’m not saying that you should become uncooperative and decline everything. Just have a clear idea of what you can and can’t fit in to your already busy schedule.
It’s a common misconception that people will resent you for saying no. Often people respect you more. Look at it this way, how can you expect someone to respect your worth and abilities if you don’t respect them yourself? Be strong and fair, you’ll feel so much better for it!
Utilise time saving technology –
These days there are apps out there for everything, reminders, planners, lists, schedulers – you name it. Use them! You’ll be amazed how much easier you can make your life by ditching the pen and paper and going ‘appy. The time you save by doing this can then be spent enjoying a break from work, it’s all about the balance!
Stop comparing yourself –
This is crucial! We waste so much time and energy on comparing our lives to those of others. Valuable time that could be spent hitting your next target, or taking some time out to enjoy your family in the present. Making comparisons holds absolutely no weight, because even the person who looks like they have everything together has their troubles.
Remember that everyone has good times and everyone fights battles, the best thing to do is concentrate on your own!