Posted on 29th March 2019 by Haylee Burley
‘Work-life balance’ is a term that gets thrown about a fair bit, is it just me or does it seem more like a one-way conversation; “Do you work too much?” because no one is really suggesting we have too much life on our hands, are they?
Semantics aside, we all know what it means; work-life balance is a dichotomy – there’s work, and then there is everything else: partners, parents, hobbies, children, pets, and entertainment etc.
For most, it describes a goal that anyone who’s ever been employed can relate to; because let’s be real there is more to life than just work……no matter how much you love your job. But how do we find that balance and better yet, how do we sustain it?
To some, a genuine work-life balance might seem impractical or even fantasy. Personally, I come from a culture where ‘working hard’ is promoted as the best path to success and it doesn’t always leave room to achieve other needs and goals.
Juggling the need to be successful, earn money and filling a desire to have non-work interests, activities and commitments are challenging. I’m not so foolish to think that the perfect work-life balance exists, it probably doesn’t – but I do believe with the right tools, information, and strategies in place, we can start to find solutions that work for us.
So rather than completing an entire overhaul on your current ‘Work-Life’ maybe start by regular reviews and assessments of your current priorities, what’s important to you right now and how do you adjust your day-to-day activities to achieve a better sense of balance.
Here are a few ideas to help you strike a good work-life balance:
Set goals around what you value highly
Ideally, your professional and personal life should support and strengthen one another. Whether for family, study, hobbies, fun, socialising or relaxation, having time and energy to focus on activities you enjoy, and your relationships is crucial for your wellbeing.
Know your limits
Review job activities, tight deadlines and intense activity, if working overtime becomes the norm rather than the exception, or you need more flexibility, chat with your manager or supervisor about your concerns. Assuming they’re human, they should get where you’re coming from.
Create a boundary between balancing work and personal time
It sounds obvious but creating a true separation between work and home life is likely to reduce the stress of one area impacting the other – even small changes to work arrangements can make a big difference.
Take a break
look after yourself, eat well, sleep well and set aside a little time to exercise or pursue an activity that you enjoy. Don’t rely on days off or periods of annual leave from a demanding job to refresh yourself – take regular breaks during work hours. Whether it’s getting fresh air at lunchtime or moving around your workplace every hour or so, this will improve your wellbeing and help you stay focused and productive.
Enlist a good support team
Have an honest chat to those closest to you, make a conscious choice to continually talk to the important people in your life about what is working or not, and make decisions to change direction if needed. By being clear with what you want personally and professionally, everyone can lend their support in reaching your goal.
So this elusive (to some) work-life balance doesn’t have to be a be-all-end-all search, nor does it need to an arduous journey of one’s self-discovery but some simple healthy habits and a review or two every now and then can certainly help to keep you on track or achieve a work-life balance that’s right for you, right now.
Working at Whizdom has shown me that prioritising family and life outside of work is possible. When you have the understanding and support at the executive management level, you see the flow on effect evident throughout the company’s work culture. Please feel free to reach out if you would like to find out more about working with Whizdom.
Written By: Haylee Burley – Contractor Care Manager
References Used: None (life experiences)