Do you have work-life balance?
GEMMA COLLINS DOYLE
2021 Note from the Editor:
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we are all working differently and finding that balance between work and life is increasingly more difficult. With lockdown, employees are struggling to switch off as our home is now our workplace. There will always be another email to send, another task to do, another “it’ll only take a minute”.. The below is a post from Gemma written previously that is even more prevalent today. As always, for advice on wellness programmes for your employees get in touch.
When you Google “Work Life Balance”, this is the definition that pops up:
“Work–life balance is a concept including proper prioritizing between “work” (career and ambition) and “lifestyle” (health, pleasure, leisure, family and spiritual development/meditation).”
So, when I read this, the first word that struck me was “concept”! Maybe it is just a concept and not fully embraced by the majority of people. We hear the phrase so often, have we become numb to it and just put our heads down and keep working crazy hours and sending emails late at night?
“Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life”.
For some employees, living the reality of work life balance comes more naturally. For others, it seems far out of their reach. It probably has a lot to do with personality type and how people view their lives and what is really important to them. And of course, the culture of the company that you are working in and the company’s commitment to corporate wellness.
If your work life balance is out of sync, then there is no doubt that your health and wellness is too and that’s a no, no! Life is too short! Check out our list below, to help you find a balance of work and life.
Being an adult can be serious and sometimes boring… Get a pen and paper and start writing down all the fun things you like to do. Things you haven’t done in an age, things that bring a smile to your face. It can be a list of ten or even a hundred, your list, your choice. Make it specific. Now, when you’ve done that, write down what you need to achieve what’s on that list. If it means less hours in work, write it down. If it means taking time out from your phone/emails, write that down too. Next, start planning some of the things you would love to do, and book them in your diary, so you have something to look forward to. When you have a plan for activities outside work, you are less likely to cancel them.
Having a flexible work schedule isn’t attainable for everyone, but if it is a possibility in your workplace, make sure you avail of it. Especially if you have family and you need to drop and collect children to school or crèche, having this option really takes the pressure off and allows you to plan your work day with your own priorities included. Build up your hours and leave early on a Friday or take a day off mid-week and do something for yourself!
Eliminate activities that sap your time and energy:
We all do it, getting sucked into social media, when we should be busy with something else, or spending too much time gossiping with a colleague who only wants to talk negative. Be more aware of these activities throughout your day and drop them. You will be surprised at the amount of valuable time you will get back!
We all know the benefits of exercise. There is research behind the idea that exercise promotes stress management and stress management activities can increase productivity and resource building. So, you may say you don’t have the time to exercise, but exercise will actually help you to be more productive and will gift you even more time, for you! It’s so important to make time for things that we find enjoyable and relaxing. Schedule at least two activities a week that you have to commit to and watch the changes unfold!
Delegate where you can:
Some of us love to delegate, others would rather push on and do everything themselves. However, it’s a somewhat underused strategy for some of those who could benefit from it the most. Asking others to take on some of your workload can vary. Maybe you offer a trade with someone, where you could handle some of their work load that you enjoy more and they handle some of yours? Maybe there are people that would be willing to pitch in for you, if you asked. Think about what tasks in your life need doing and what ones can be done by someone other than you. Delegating can be done on the home front too. If you have a partner and you are both working, make sure household chores are split evenly, easier said than done, but it’s worth the effort!
Maintaining a work life balance is not a static goal. It means that you have to have flexibility to continually shift when necessary, so you can cope with unexpected challenges that life brings us on a regular basis. When we have too many plates spinning in the air that require energy, time and other internal resources, we head into burnout. Having a balance will help prevent burnout, excessive anxiety, depression and stress-related health problems. A balanced life is not a perfect life, but it will steer you towards a better life.