. MASTERING WORK LIFE BALANCE .
Todays post is rather pertinent, and if anything i’m writing it for myself more than anything, but I hope it helps you too! It’s all well and good me sharing posts about upping your blogging game, but in reality writing a blog and having a full time career is bloody hard work and sometimes being organised, productive and full of inspiration simply isn’t enough … time is what we need! I for one have really struggled this January, not only has work been extremely busy, my social life has been too, and i’ve found myself struggling for time to blog, spend with Jase & see my family, not to mention of course, just be on my own relaxing!
I think one of the hardest, but most essential skills to manage when working is to master your work life balance. It’s actually very very difficult to do, as often when we strive for success or are driven characters it’s hard to know when to stop, cut off & just take some time to relax.
Despite the last 3 weeks being very hard to deal with, 15 hour working days, high pressure deliverables, daily blogging, a blog relaunch, fitting in friends, family & rest etc, I have come out the other side. So I thought i’d share my tips, they by no means will solve your problems, but they may just help a little!
. COMMIT .
When I say commit, I don’t just mean to work. I mean to your friends, to yourself, to your hobbies. I think it’s really important to make plans and stick to them, it’s really hard to do this, especially when one part of your life (usually work) becomes increasingly demanding of your time, and importantly your energy, but by making and sticking to your plans, you will force yourself into creating more of a balance and hopefully in turn improve your wellbeing too! There’s nothing like spending time with friends, or just with yourself to boost your happiness.
. DIARISE .
This is actually very linked to ‘committing’ but if you’re anything like me, then you’ll know that having something penned into your diary or your work calendar, is a sure fire way to make sure you actually do it!
When I met Arianna Huffington, she talked about adding ‘bedtime’ to her work diary, just to make sure she did cut off at some point in the day! It may sound silly, but committing to yourself, to your diary or calendar all of your plans, you’ll be more forced to keep to them! Whether or not that’s bed time, or simply just ‘evening in, to chill’ … commit to it!
. ME TIME .
It’s all well and good splitting your time between work and socialising, but don’t forget about time just for you too! In creating the perfect balance between work and life, it’s really important to make sure you factor YOU into this mix. It’s not just friends & family, or the gym or commuting … ‘you time’ is also really key in creating the best emotional work life balance. Burning the candle at both ends is something i’m definitely guilty of, but in the last two years as my work has become ever more demanding, i’ve really had to think about myself, and ensuring I have time for myself just to relax, wash my hair, sit on the sofa, drink a cup of tea. It sounds silly, but your mental wellbeing will be significantly aided by making sure you look after yourself!
. SAY NO .
So committing is key, but so is ensuring you don’t over commit. Whether that be in relation to client demands, or pressures at work, or just sheer volume of party and dinner invites from your friends. before you accept anything, truly have a think about whether that date, time, duration works for you! It’s really easy to say yes to everything, particularly in work when you probably attribute taking on more and saying yes to success, but it’s not always the case, I assure you! Managing expectations, whether that be work, boss, friends, boyfriend, is a really important way in you managing your time & of course your work life balance. It’s genuinely okay to say no, just do so in a polite way, and offer a compromise. ‘I’m unfortunately unable to deliver that piece of work by EOP today, as I have other deliverables & commitments which I’m unable to move, would 12pm tomorrow work for you?’. No one will ever be pissed off with you for being honest & managing their expectations, they’d rather receive a good piece of work than have to deal with a stressed, overworked employee delivering below average projects. Equally, your friends would rather spend quality time with you, rather than a rushed dinner or drink when you spend your whole time on your emails or stressing about where you have to be next. Say no, and make plans which work for you, it’ll benefit everyone in the long run!
. REGULAR CHECK UPS .
It’s easy to become stressed, and start burning out the candle without even realising it! I’ve done it many a time before, and it’s only when i’m in bed being sick from a migraine that I realise I was working too hard, or taking on too much! It’s not easy to please everyone, including yourself, so make sure you regularly check in on yourself. How are you doing, how are you coping, are you working hard enough, are you spending enough time relaxing, have you seen your friends recently? Genuinely have a think about things, what is making you happy, and what is not making you happy. Once you know how you feel, and where there’s potential inbalances, you can start to sort them out a little. It may be that you’ve been working late & your boyfriend is feeling unloved (ahem, sorry Jase) … if so then dedicate some time out together (Bruges this weekend, tick). Are you doing well at work, or do you need to put a bit more effort in & start turning up a little more on time? Have you had time to wash your hair this week, if not, why not, book yourself some me time one evening!
I once read a quote that said look after yourself, like you would your own child. it really stuck with me, i think it’s a really good mantra to live by. All too often we can forget to look after ourselves, and starting to manage your work life balance is one step in really starting to look after yourself, and your wellbeing!
I’d love to hear your tips on mastering work life balance, and of course here how you find trying to manage this yourself. Do you struggle like me?