You hear all about work-life balance and how everyone strives for it. Whether you are self-employed or work within an organisation, being able to create a balance between working and living is important.
It isn’t just a phrase that should be knocked around. It needs to be ingrained into your daily working life.
The Importance Of A Work-Life Balance
Having clear boundaries where work ends and your personal life begins, brings forward many advantages. From a working perspective, your career will flourish. You will find yourself re-energised each day, find yourself more motivated to work, improve your career prospects and build better working relationships.
The same can be said for your home life. When you get home, you will find yourself being able to relax and switch off after a hard day. Enjoy your own personal time with friends or family. Be able to commit yourself better to your relationships and find enjoyment. It’s not enough to just have acrylic frames with their pictures on your desk. You need that quality time with them too.
However, knowing why having this balance is important, it can be a difficult challenge to create these boundaries and to put them in place. Even with the best of intentions, people can still find them overlapping. It can be so easy to check your work emails, take a quick work call and receive work-based communication at home when not using a registered office service.
Why You Need To Prioritise Your Work-Life Balance
Without having a good work-life balance you may find yourself. Not only affecting your motivation to carry out your job, but it can also decrease your desire to build up healthy working relationships and potentially impact both your mental and physical health.
Employees that have no personal life balance will find themselves falling at risk of becoming depressed, suffering from anxiety, stress and even running a greater risk of suffering from heart attacks and other cardiac illnesses.
Along with the physical implications, when you don’t have a strong personal-work life balance, the relationships outside of your employment can be put under strain. Due to lack of time together and the ability to apply the effort and attention these relationships deserve you can find yourself becoming isolated and unsatisfied.
A Bad Work-Life Balance Impacts Your Work And Employer
In addition to the personal negative attributes a poor work-life balance brings to you, it also impacts your employer.
When applying for jobs, the ability to have a work-life balance or not having one, can be the difference between applying for a job or not. That said, it is also one of the key reasons why you decide to either remain within your current role or apply to a different organisation. With a good work-life balance, you will find morale low, yourself and colleagues unmotivated and the work culture becoming unpleasant.
However, when an organisation gets it right, the benefits are tenfold. Not only are you and other members of staff happy, but you also become more productive, are less inclined to want to move jobs or companies and are less likely to have as much time off due to health issues.
How To Balance Your Work-Life
Now you understand the importance of having a good work-life balance, it is now about bringing that into practice.
Monitor How You Spend Your Time
Before you go ahead and start making any changes, you want to understand how your time is currently being spent.
Writing down and monitoring how you are spending your hours will enable you to see and understand how your time is being used. Identify where changes need to be made and formulate a plan to shift the balance.
Be Clear With Your Working Hours
To create a clear work-life balance you need to have defined ‘working’ times. Once these are established it is vital that you communicate clearly with colleagues and people that you are dealing with directly.
Unless it is an emergency it can usually wait until your next workday. So, once you are done, leave those non-essential work emails or texts to build and focus on them when you are back in the office and on-duty once more.
Have Separate Accounts For Personal And Business
If you are looking to bring definition into your personal and work-life balance, it is vital that you can shut one part off and focus on the other completely when needed.
Being able to have different login details or even different devices will allow you to be able to apply your full focus on your current task without getting distracted.
For example, at work, you don’t want emails coming through for an upcoming sporting event, or vice versa when attending your best friend’s wedding you don’t want work calls coming through.
Not only allowing distinguishable boundaries it prevents notifications from arising that can shift your focus.
Have A Dedicated Work Space
With hybrid working and working from home becoming increasingly common, it is easy to understand why finding a work-life balance can be challenging.
Therefore, it is key to create a dedicated work area, home office or hired office to be able to go and work.
Similarly to physically ‘going to work’ this applies a mental shift into work mode, and creates a physical distinction between being at work. Then when you leave at the end of the day, you can switch into ‘home’ more and focus on your personal life.
The Benefits Of A Good Work-Life Balance
Now that you understand how to balance work and life and bring them into balance, you will start being able to change how you work and live and see the benefits.
There is human nature to take as long as needed to complete tasks. When you have a priority to get the task done within a given time to allow your personal life to take over, it is surprising how much more you will be able to achieve.
Creating boundaries between working and not working, allows you to be able to remove your stress, allows you the time to refuel yourself mentally and physically. The more rested you are the more productive you will be the next day at work.