Words by Carlie Tucker
When you're at work, do you worry about what's happening at home? And when you're at home, do you worry about what's happening at work? Meeting the demands of personal and professional life can be difficult if you're struggling to find a balance between the two.
It's a common problem that plenty of people face, particularly if you've gone through a recent change. Perhaps you've been given a new promotion, or you're returning to the workforce after starting a family. Navigating these unfamiliar waters can throw your work-life balance out of whack and it can be tricky to get it back in order. That's why we've compiled a list of tips that will help balance the scales between work and home.
One of the best ways to balance your personal life is to think about what's most important to you. Set priorities and organise yourself. If you know what you want, it's easier to work toward your goals and set aside anything that may not be as important in your overall happiness.
Don't sweat the small stuff
It's easy to get caught up in every minor detail of the day as we continue to strive for perfection in every aspect of our lives, but sometimes you just need to let go of the small stuff. If you find yourself stressing about not getting that last load of laundry finished or forgetting to pack a lunch the night before, don't let the stress of it throw off your entire day. Focus on the bigger picture and know that there will be plenty of time later on to finish off all those little tasks.
Stay healthy and get enough sleep
When things get busy, the first thing that we usually sacrifice is our health. This is a vital mistake as a healthy mind and body helps improve productivity. Don't give up workout time to busy schedules, don't skip meals and don't sacrifice sleep in order to get everything on your list done.
Regular workouts not only keep your body functioning at its best, but they can also assist in relieving stress. Sitting down for regular, healthy meals helps clear the mind, and getting a full eight hours of sleep helps you awake refreshed and ready to tackle the day ahead.
Don't be afraid to ask for help
This one can be a little tricky as we all like to think that we're in control of our lives, but knowing when you need a little bit of help is one of the best ways in balancing your life. Reach out to friends, family and partners. Let them know that you might need a little help in picking up the kids, or making lunches, or maybe you just need a venting session. You'll be surprised at how much better you feel knowing that you have a support system behind you.
Develop a schedule
When it comes to a hectic work life, the best way to get your balance back is by creating a schedule. It's easy to let your day be dictated by all of the little things that pop up, but that's a sure fire way to ruin your productivity. You may start to feel like you're spinning your wheels and not actually getting any work done. Before you know it, the day is over and you have nothing to show for it. Plan your day or week out, adding a few 'free time' slots to accommodate anything that may pop up, and stick to it.
Time management is your best friend
Along the lines of planning your schedule, learning how to effectively manage your time goes a long way in ensuring a productive day. Once you've organised your schedule, don't procrastinate in getting things done. Also, don't get caught up in striving for perfection. Give each task 100% of your attention for the allotted amount of time and move on. You'll soon find that things will get ticked off your list and the stress of a disorganised day will disappear.
Share the load
Some people may hesitate in sharing the work as professionals are increasingly put under the pressure of having to know everything about every aspect of any given project. Keep in mind that many hands make quick work. If you work in a team, don't be afraid to have a quick meeting to delegate tasks. One of your colleagues may have a special interest or skill that would otherwise take you a long time to complete. Not only will it mean a better output, but you'll be able to start ticking off those tasks sooner than expected.
Take a holiday
Don't underestimate the power of a holiday. You may think that being away from your desk will only make things worse, but skipping your holidays just gets you bogged down burnt out. Taking some time away from it all is a perfect chance to recharge the batteries, clear your mind and forget your troubles. Then you can head back to work, rested and ready to get back to it with a renewed sense of enthusiasm.
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