One of the hardest aspects of any profession is creating a work-life balance. We hear all the time of colleagues quitting one job to start another. Hoping for more time with their family. More time doing hobbies. Or more time with themselves. Whatever the reason, most of us do not want to be consumed by work. The team at Shopless has researched the top ways the people with full-on jobs, relax. So that, without reducing your hours, you can create more of a work/life balance of your own.
What is a work/life balance?
It is healthy to have a break from work. Employment NZ defines a work/life balance as; being effectively able to juggle the time between your paid work and other important activities in your life. They encourage employers to focus on a work-life for employees. So that professionals in a company will be motivated to do their required work. And to get the best out of staff. Having an unhealthy work-life balance can lead to overspending, over indulging, lethargic-ness and just an all around lack of motivation. So it is important to be aware of how much your work is affecting your life. So you can give your professional life your best, when you are there.
Here are some suggestions of things that may bring more balance, so you can enjoy both work and your home life.
Plan your week in advance.
This may seem like a no-brainer to some organised employees. But sometimes work can become so consuming, that on our days off there is a lack of motivation to do anything. Planning your week/month can start with small steps. Purchasing a diary or using your phone calendar. Marking appointments in the week such as doctors appointments, coffee plans, grocery shopping, etc. These things incrementally build up to give you a better perspective on your day to day activities. Some articles suggest that having these appointments scheduled in your diary increases productivity in your life. You can even find resources that will help you to plan your schedule a year in advance. Obviously in these cases you need to be open to change. But planning the week or month in advance gives you an insight into the time you have available in a week. Thus providing a catalyst for a better work-life balance.
Communicate with a coach or therapist
It is important to gain perspective on your situation in order to improve the work-life balance. Sometimes that comes best through talking to someone else. Often picking someone with an objective interest is also a bonus. One idea is talking to a career coach, as the New Zealand government is currently offering free career coaching sessions. These professionals can give you a good input into motivation within your job. As well as offering ideas about career progression. Therapists also will help you to understand your feelings around a work-life balance. And give you tools to overcome complacency or stress.
There are easy simple ways to access someone to talk to. Career coaches and therapists offer services in New Zealand both online, via phone and in-person. If you feel you need more balance in your life and career, it is worth contacting these services.
Prioritise your health
Being consumed by work, or by lack-of-time can mean that the focus on our health slips away. Mental, emotional or physical health. The business news daily stated that ‘prioritising your health first and foremost makes you a better employee and person’. How do we do this? When you are sick, take a day off. The majority of reliable employees will come into work, even when sick. Because they fear that the work will become more of a burden. Additionally, have a look at your general lifestyle, and make sure you are taking steps to benefit your health. Fitness, healthy eating, sufficient sleep and utilising the outdoors are all ways you can focus on your wellbeing. Taking steps towards a better balance in your holistic health.
When working, stay focused. When at home, don’t be consumed by work. It is easier said than done. The easiest way to do this is by creating and setting boundaries in work and at home.
For work related boundaries. Ensure communication regarding work is kept at work. This may include setting your phone to do-not-disturb for emails and notifications relating to work. Making sure all work related appointments are kept to your required hours. And when calls or contact comes outside of your work hours.Referring that contact to someone that is working at that time. Or requesting a call inside your work hours (depending on the urgency).
For boundaries within work. Keep contact outside of work minimum. If you regularly check in with your significant other, appoint a time for this. Silence facebook, news and other visual distractions by having your phone in your bag. And removing distractive shortcuts in your browser.
To create better productivity it is great to set boundaries in work and at home. So you feel that balance both in your professional and personal life.
Make time for what you care about.
We all have different hobbies and passions. Prioritising things that are important to us, is key to finding balance in your life. Some people find refreshment in family life. Others need a sport or social activity to keep them refreshed. Some sources suggest that the best way to create this balance is to list what is really important to you. And what helps you to unwind. Create space in the week for these things. If you have a list of extracurricular tasks to complete in a week. Ensure what you love doing is at the top of the list. Making time for what is important to you. Amplifies the good aspects of your life. Thus creating a better sense of work-life balance.
Switching off from work can be difficult. But often needs to be addressed if you want that balance in your life. Shopless has presented a few ideas to try and help you with that work-life balance. So you can hopefully start to gain more balance. For those of you looking to make a new career move, Shopless has job opportunities listed here.