3 steps to achieving work-life balance

Work-life balance is the balance between the amount of time and energy you spend doing your job as opposed to the amount of time spent doing what energises you: like spending time with friends and family; or chasing a dream. 

Probably most of you agree that life is not just about work.  Life is about living to the fullest whilst being able to enjoy it.  Even though work is a very important part of our lives, it should not be our only focus.  Having a balance between work and your personal life can help you achieve better results in both areas of your life while leaving you with an improved sense of wellbeing all round.

So what do you need to do to achieve a good work-life balance?  The truth is, this is different for everyone.  At times, you need to experiment with multiple strategies to find out what works best for you.

1. Reflect:

You can start by reflecting on your current lifestyle; and whether the way that you are living is in line with your values and beliefs. 

Ask yourself:

  • How do you feel with your current lifestyle?
  • Are you happy?
  • Are you tired all the time?
  • Do you find time to do what you love? 
  • Are you working very long hours? 
  • Do you feel stuck? 

2. Prioritise:

Make a list and write down your priorities! Reflect on whether you are dedicating enough time for your priorities.  If not, see if you can come to a compromise to reach your goals.

3. Time management and boundaries:

An important part of achieving a work-life balance is by managing your time well and setting the necessary boundaries.

Some might find it difficult to manage and set boundaries.  Setting boundaries may look like finishing work at a certain time everyday, or not replying to emails after 5pm.  It can be helpful to find something you love to do outside of work.  This will keep you excited and motivated to do something after work, which will make it easier to disconnect.  Doing things we love, boosts our energy while also making us feel refreshed and creative.

Long working hours are associated with a decrease in physical and mental health.  This puts you at a higher risk of anxiety and depression.  There are some signs which you can be aware of to know whether you have a poor work-life balance:

  • You cannot stop thinking about work even when you are not there.
  • You are thinking about what needs to be done at home while you are at work.
  • Your whole body feels off with unexplained aches and pains.
  • You suffer a lack of energy and motivation to do anything.
  • Everything seems uninteresting or unimportant.

If you find yourself burnt out or feel overwhelmed and stuck in changing your situation, do not shy away from asking for help.  A counsellor can help you to identify what kind of changes you may need to implement and how to get started.

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