Blog > How to Achieve a Work Life Balance
Posted By Create
In this era of long hours spent on the computer, email on every mobile, and bosses that expect an immediate response no matter the time of day, there is no better time to be mindful of your own (hopefully) well-calibrated work/life balance. This is especially important for all you small business owners out there, putting in even more hours outside of the regular 9-5 in order to keep your own efforts thriving
Psychologist Robert Brooks, PhD, co-author of The Power of Resilience: Achieving Balance, Confidence, and Personal Strength in Your Life has this to say on the matter: "Even if you don't have much control over the hours you have to work, you can ask yourself-In what other ways am I bringing greater enjoyment into my life? Focus your time and attention on things you can control." And we completely agree.
So in honour of National Work-Life Week we’ve put together a list of our top tips for helping you switch off. Hopefully you’ll find them useful!
Get some sleep
We know, we know, Facebook is calling and you've just gotten into that new series on Netflix, but the key to everything else in your life is that precious 8(ish) hours of sleep. Try to ease yourself into it by turning off all electronics at least an hour before you hit the hay, then read a book before you drift off.
Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, author of Tired But Wired, a book that advises power naps, properly nourishing the body and taking time out at regular intervals throughout the day to re-energise the body, brain and psyche, told The Telegraph that "The problem is that too many of us are constantly on the go yet lacking in energy, so of course we crave more sleep - when what we need to do is work more smartly, relax more and spend more time 'being' instead of only ever 'doing'."
So say lights out before midnight-even earlier if you can! You'll thank us in the morning.
It's hard to make time for exercise when your schedule is packed to the gills, but a little exertion goes a long way into releasing endorphins, keeping you healthy, and providing a physical and mental release from the stresses of your work and home life. Walking the dog, going for a swim, meeting up with a friend for Zumba-there are tons of ways to add a bit more physical activity to your life.
Are you bringing your work home with you? Or more likely-do you do most of your work from home anyway? Research has shown that longer working hours are associated with higher levels of anxiety and lower levels of happiness, with women appearing to be more adversely affected by working longer hours than men .
A bit of organisation and time management around how you spend all those minutes-only checking emails in the morning and at lunch, and never after five pm for example-will help you get a grip on things and further divide the time between work and the rest of your life.
Keep an eye out for any apps that will help you manage that organisation and your endless number of to-do lists. Make the technology work for you, and you'll drastically slash the time you spend running from one pressing matter to the next.
And by that we don't mean social media! A meal with your partner, a drink with friends, a phone call to your mum-it’s easy to get bogged in the endless cycle of things that need doing, but it’s important to take a step back and nurture those relationships that make you happiest. And no mobiles on the dinner table, okay? That's just rude.
Get off the internet
This is arguably the most important tip of all - ensure you have some offline time. This really helps to make your on-line time more productive and gives you the space to spend time with friends and family (see tip 4), take care of your own health (see tip 2), or indulge in your favourite hobbies. Reading a book, listening to music, knitting or carpentry or diy... none of it needs the internet!
At the end of the day it's up to you to make the decision-what’s important, and what isn't? You can't do it all, and everything is not equally important, even though it may feel that way. Finding that balance between your work and the rest of your life is doable, but it’s all up to you.
 Wellbeing patterns uncovered: an analysis of UK data. 2012. NEF