On average we spend 37 hours a week at work, which is roughly half of our week. So why does it feel as though the split is no longer 50/50 and more 80/20? As important as a successful career is, we can often neglect other important things in life such as our health and relationships, in this article I will discuss ways in which you can get your life back and have the balance which is needed to live a fulfilling and meaningful life.
It sounds obvious but time management is critical, this comes in the main form of efficiency. If we can be efficient with our time at work, we then have left work to do when we get home, we also gain a greater sense of productivity which means that when you leave the office it is easier to put the day behind you and really relax once you’re home. I like to call this the ‘ work hard, play hard mentality’ by putting the hours in when you’re in the office you can ensure that work and play can be seperate and sufficient in both regards.
2. Self care
Time spent not at work should be invested in your own personal care, a little TLC never hurt anyone. Take time to do the things you love, the things that make you happy. Failure to do this will mean that you resent working, we work so that we are able to do the things we love, so take time to treat yourself. On this same theme, i often recommend to people to invest in doing some form of exercise every evening, even if this is just a walk. Not only is it great for your physical health, it can also be a great soother for any mental worries we have.
The average person needs at least 7 hours to function well, dont cheat yourself out of the care your body needs. You can always save the late nights for the weekend, and chances are you’ll enjoy them more as you wont be greated by an alarm at 7 am the next day. The most common cause of day to day illnesses such as coughs and colds is a lack of sleep, sleep is vital for your immune system to function adequately, so help yourself to help yourself.
4. Change your email strategy
Emails can really put a strain on your productivity levels if you are not reviewing them in an efficient manner. Set aside time to review emails when you first get in, consider checking in intervals, or at a certain time each day. Don’t get overwhelmed when you see things streaming into your inbox. Respond in a timely manner, but don’t let a new email send you off task with what you’re currently focused on. Also, leave your emails at the office. Unless you have to be “on-call” after 5 o’clock, you shouldn’t be turning to your mobile phone or tablet for email after-hours.
5. Set personal goals
By setting personal goals, you are accepting that you are more than your job and more than your career self. We often let who we are in the workplace determine who we are outside the office. To avoid this, set personal goals which encourage you to make the most of your time off work.
6. Healthy eating habits
I have always found that creating healthy meals which use as little processed goods as possible is the best way to fuel your body. Make big batches at dinner and you have lunch for the next day. This will save you time in the morning, save you money at lunch and help you to avoid making naughty food choices.
7. Switch off
We now live in a digital aid, there are very few jobs which do not involve the use of gadgets. Try to limit your exposure, especially once at home, give your mind time to think and breathe. Also use this time to communicate, reach out and meet up with friends. Having conversations in person is far much better than a 24/7 stream of texts, dont let youtself loose the art of conversation.
8. Do what makes you happy
Ultimately acheiving a healthy work life balance is meaningless if you are stuck in a miserable job, relationship or environment. Assess your life from an honest perspective, you have the power to change your destiny, whilst these choices may seem hard they are often ones which you can afford to take. Life is too short to be unhappy, so if you feel as though your problems run deeper, be your own best friend and adress them as honestly as possible.
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