The world of work is obsessed with productivity these days, making it easy to slip into the habit of working too much. While this may help you get ahead with your work and keep your clients and customers happy, it’s always essential that you maintain a healthy work-life balance.
In fact, the 10 to 14 October is National Work-Life Week, a campaign dedicated to helping employers and employees alike to consider their own work-life balance. The campaign aims to ensure that everyone is protecting their wellbeing in both the workplace and at home.
Of course, it’s incredibly easy to let this balance slip and end up working too much, which could ultimately impair your physical and mental health.
So, here are a few tips to help you create a better work-life balance.
Learn the power of saying “no”
Understandably, turning down work can sometimes be difficult, especially if your business is still growing.
To protect your work-life balance, you should ideally avoid taking on extra work whenever possible. If you end up accepting too many contracts or excessive hours of overtime, you could damage your health. In turn, this could negatively affect the quality of your existing work.
If you’re finding it difficult to manage your workload correctly, you may want to think about examining your existing clients. Do you have a needlessly demanding customer that brings little to the table for your business? If so, it may be time to let them go.
Or, if you can’t afford to cut any clients loose, this could be the perfect time to introduce a new, flexible way of working.
For example, you could alter deadlines or vary the amount of work you do for them. Of course, this should be agreed upon with your client beforehand as, after all, their happiness with your work is paramount.
Even still, it’s often best not to let the satisfaction of your clients tamper with your own work-life balance.
Set your working hours
When work is busy, it can be easy to toil past your allotted working hours to get ahead on a project or grow your business. But, perhaps predictably, this can negatively influence your work-life balance.
Instead, you should consider setting a rigid structure surrounding your working hours and strictly ensure that you don’t work over them. This is especially vital if you work from home, as it can be tricky to switch off if your living space is also your workspace.
You should also make sure that, when you do finish, you leave your work at work. A great way to do this is by having separate work and personal email accounts and phones.
If you leave your work notifications on after you’ve finished working, you run the risk of not being able to switch off.
Even if you are finished for the day, the “ping” of an email or message can bring you straight back to your desk, which is understandably not great for your work-life balance.
Of course, sometimes you need to be flexible to meet deadlines and get things done, especially when working on a big project. But it can be helpful to stick to fixed hours as far as possible to prevent your work from consuming your life entirely.
Take regular holidays
Everyone loves some time away in the sun, which is why it’s vital that you give yourself enough holidays each year. After all, this is your chance to put your feet up, unwind, and completely unplug from your business.
Crucially, when you’re on your well-deserved holiday, you shouldn’t maintain contact with your work. In fact, you should ensure that your time off is as work-free as possible.
Unfortunately, many people seem to struggle with this – YouGov reports that 60% of Brits check their work emails on holiday, even though they would rather switch off completely.
Before you go on holiday, you should first inform all your clients that you’re going away. This should deter them from contacting you while you’re on a break, which could lure you into responding.
Also, you should avoid scheduling any major projects before you go away – if there are ongoing projects, you should ensure that your colleagues or employees know how to handle things themselves.
The benefits of a good holiday can even extend to your business. When you do eventually get back to work, you should, in theory, be completely relaxed and re-energised, which should hopefully be reflected in the quality of your work.
Schedule time for family and friends
In such an efficiency-driven society, it can often be easy to forget to make time with your friends and family. So, for the sake of your work-life balance and, subsequently, your health, you must spend time with your loved ones.
If you don’t, there’s a chance that strained familial relationships could have a knock-on effect and negatively influence your physical and mental health. If this happens, the quality of your work could be collateral damage.
To avoid feeling like this, you should consider arranging days out with your family. Set aside time to visit the countryside with them, or even just an afternoon at the park. Arranging activities like this can bring you and your family closer together, boosting your sense of mental wellbeing and perhaps even making you more effective at the office.
Even though your time may already be strained, you should also prioritise your parents and any siblings you may have. It may be worth having them over to your home for dinner or even just visiting them for a cup of tea every now and then.
When spending time with your family, make sure you avoid taking calls or responding to emails. Otherwise, while you might be physically present, you may find yourself still mentally at work, defeating the purpose of setting this precious time aside.
Speak to us
One thing you shouldn’t worry about, either at work or home, is how your finances are organised.
So, if you’d like to have complete peace of mind over your money, please do get in touch with us at Rosebridge.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01204 300010 to speak to us.