5 Tips to Blending the Perfect Work-Life Balance
You put your heart and soul into establishing your own business or powering through the ranks in your hard-fought-for career. It takes a lot of personal sacrifice in your relationships and your social life to keep the momentum of success going, and to keep fighting for your dream. Without a good work-life balance you will feel your enthusiasm dragging. The realisation that the scales have tipped too far can leave you feeling resentful, which will only damage your future prospects. That is why it’s important that you leverage the tools available to take time for yourself, your family or your friends so you can recharge your creativity and enjoy the rewards of your hard work. Any tasks you can automate with technology (such as Big Red Cloud’s accounts software) means time back to you. More time for you will bolster your motivation, renew your passion for your projects and keep you refreshed and energetic.
Demands of modern life are plentiful and while it can feel almost impossible to squeeze in some quality time for yourself, a little thought and planning will keep you thriving personally and professionally.
- You are the return on your investment.
Commit to yourself with the same strength you commit to your career and to your dreams. After all, you are the beneficiary of your own investment. You wouldn’t let your boss down if he or she asked for a last minute task, so why would you let yourself down? They say ‘Your health is your wealth’, so make yourself wealthier by setting rigid rules around time that will make you richer in mind, body or spirit. We’re not saying you should ignore that email at 11p.m., but we are saying that you should set aside time that is yours that you will not compromise on. If you need a full eight hours sleep, and you’re up at 7a.m. then that email will have to wait.
- Find your personal value proposition.
How do you want to fill any precious free time? What are the activities that are appealing and attractive enough for you to put your laptop down and step away from the desk? Whether you like to keep it low key or live it up, find the activities that will give you the most benefit with the least cost in time. That way you can fill your free time with rewarding, fulfilling activities. Be it Sunday brunch with friends, or playing with the kids at the playground, it’s all about doing the things that really matter to you.
- Employ your company perks to work for you.
These days, companies recognise the value of happy staff and that’s why so many companies are providing company perks to help their employees down tools and have a little me-time. Make full use of the facilities available such as the company gym for a brisk workout before your work day begins to get your endorphins flowing, or a lunchtime meditation slot to settle your busy mind and refocus your energy for the afternoon ahead. Get involved in some of the clubs or classes that the company provides if they appeal to you – even if your get your kicks from the Foosball league, it’s far better than yet another caffeine shot to get you through the day. If you are entitled to charitable leave to focus on your philanthropic side for a couple of days a year, then use up your full allowance if that brings you fulfilment. Yes you work for the company, but the company can work for you too.
- Use lifehacks to boost your productivity.
Stop being so busy and start being more productive. Don’t get distracted by the endless emails piling into your inbox. You will only end up scrolling on your smartphone for far longer than is necessary. It’s hard to switch off that high alert attitude in case the next-highest-priority item lands in your inbox, but focusing in on your existing to-do list will pay dividends in the long run. If you can work remotely then find a place that allows you to channel your concentration and dig into your workload. Break your time down into blocks of time that represent realistic opportunities to complete tasks. Use templates if you find yourself doing repetitive tasks. Don’t have meetings to plan meetings. Use meeting agendas and be prepared to stop someone speaking if they are taking up too much time without contributing much. Keep your tablet or mobile device with you to note down important contacts, points and necessary follow ups. Think about how your time is best spent wisely and stop procrastinating. It’s time to get it done.
- Blend work and life where possible.
Can you have that meeting with a colleague over lunch instead of skipping lunch? Can you attend that social gathering instead of working late at the office by answering emails every 30 minutes for 5 minutes? Can you work from home and spend your lunchtime with your kids? Find ways to blend work and life into an acceptable recipe for your personal and professional success. A bit of thought and planning will keep you feeling productive and yet still present in your personal life.
It’s up to you to create your own narrative for the life you want to live. Demands will always be made of you from friends, family and colleagues. Focus in on two key areas: being super-productive at work, and getting the most out of your free time, even if that means catching up on your favourite tv series in an all night binge. Success at work can only be truly successful if it is contributing meaningfully to your life and has not become your entire life. The perfect blend is out there, but only you can decide the mix.