We all hear a lot about how important it is to maintain the balance between your work and your life. This was enough of a challenge when everyone worked in offices; the pressure to stay late in the office and get that extra bit of work done has always been a problem. Now, with increasing numbers of us working from home, maintaining that balance is even harder – when your office is only two rooms away from your kitchen, it can seem even harder to justify not working late. Additionally, many people now work for themselves rather than for a traditional employer, and under these circumstances it is even harder to draw those lines in the sand between work and home life.
It is, however, really important to maintain that work life balance. As well as making your day to day life more enjoyable, it also helps keep your mental health in check, prevents burnout, and often has a positive impact on interpersonal relationships by reducing stress levels. So if you are struggling to maintain the balance, we have broken it down a little for you here to give some top tips that might help you on the right path.
- Make time for your physical health
This one is beneficial to both your home and work life; good physical health can contribute to good mental health, both of which can give you more energy to engage in all aspects of your life. As well as that however, actually scheduling in your exercise time can make it harder to break to commitment. For example, if you have scheduled to meet your badminton group at the local sports centre after work and you can see your badminton racket waiting by the door, then it is harder to justify skipping it and working late.
- Set clear boundaries with work and home
Setting boundaries with yourself is the first step; for example, making sure you never take your work laptop out of your home office if you have one, or never taking work phone calls during meal times. However, it’s even more important to clearly communicate these boundaries with your workplace; there is nothing wrong with turning down an excessive workload or refusing to stay in meetings into your lunchbreak as long as you communicate politely and professionally. If you don’t manage to do this from the beginning, it becomes easier for your workplace to demand more and more from you, depleting your work life balance.
- Check in with your own mental health
While many workplaces are becoming more invested in maintaining their employees’ mental health, this is not universal, and it is important that you still check in on your own mental health. If you start to feel yourself becoming overwhelmed or realise you have not had a night off in a while, make sure you take those warning signs seriously – and revisit tip number 2!
- Make solid plans in advance
Similarly to scheduling in your physical health, if you make social plans a long time in advance then it is a lot harder to drop out than it is when you have just made a casual plan to ‘maybe go for a drink later.’ This is a great way to maintain your work life balance as it ensures that you are making a real commitment to your personal life which cannot be easily forgotten about.
Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is key to having a happy, balanced life – hopefully, the fur top tips on our list can help you to make sure you’re getting your balance right.