Work life imbalance occurs when we prioritise work or other commitments over our own health, happiness and wellbeing. Success at work and career is important. However, when you notice that relationships or mental or physical health are suffering, it may be time to address work life imbalance. This is an area I help clients with. In this article you will find 10 useful tips for getting back on balance, so that work and life feel stable and you can truly be successful at both.
10 tips for addressing work life imbalance
Maintaining a work life balance isn’t easy when you are busy and there is a lot to get done. Maybe you work from home or perhaps have a long commute to the office. Often we can find it hard to set boundaries around when work ends or should end or about how much work we should or need to do.
1 – Ensure you play to your strengths
It’s tempting to want to try and be all things to all people. Instead put your focus on your strengths and delegate what you can’t do or don’t need to do to others. You might not like this idea, but your sanity and blood pressure demand you start letting go of some things from your plate.
2 – Prioritise your valuable time
We can get stuck doing unimportant tasks rather than concentrating on what is truly important. The self development expert Stephen Covey talks about this in his bestselling book. You may have a long to-do list with 100 tasks on it. Take that list and knock off ten that you really can do on another day. Then decide which tasks are urgent and which tasks are less important to do right now.
When do you work best? Are you a morning person or an evening person. Carry out tasks when you are best suited for them. Assign tough, high-concentration tasks to the morning, if you are a morning persons. Don’t be tempted to leave the tough tasks until it’s late in the day or vice versa.
3 – Set aside some personal time every day
When personal matters arise, it can be tempting to ignore them and bury yourself in work. Don’t do this. Remember that if you don’t make time for your personal life, including, loved ones, family, friends and your health, then equally soon you won’t even have a business to go back to.
4 – Have clearly set work hours and stick to them
Of course there needs to be flexibility. However set work hours for yourself. Then do everything in your ability to stick to those hours. This may mean taking more effort with personal life by organising and scheduling events for immediately after work. When you leave work, ensure your mind leaves work also. Otherwise, before you know it, you will be working until midnight every night.
5 – Manage your time in the long term too
Create long term goals and a timeline for your activities. Specific apps, calendars and computer programmes may be able to help with this. First of all set those goals. When you know what you want your future to look like in different areas, then you can plan how to organise your week better. You may wish to use a happiness wheel to decide what is important or goals to reach. Click here for our free happiness wheel template.
Ensure you take into account family commitments and goals and take note of holidays, birthday parties, and so on. Don’t forget that you are unavailable for work on those days.
6 – Make your workspace fresh and productive
Whether you work for yourself or in an office, you can invest in equipment that will support you. Consider a comfortable chair, perhaps an ergonomic keyboard, or a new support stand for your laptop, etc. We spend so much time in front of computers, that our posture and health must be taken into account of as well. These are important work life imbalance issues, since if work is affecting our heath, this creates a real imbalance in our life in all areas.
7 – Make exercise a must-do, not a should-do
It’s easy to skip the gym, the morning run or the yoga class, when a client or your boss wants something done yesterday. However over time this forms a pattern. It’s a pattern of not taking your wellbeing seriously. Instead, ensure working out and exercise is given as much a priority as you give to work, clients and making money. A healthy body means a fresh and healthy mind. This then helps out since you will function better, see less imbalance in life and of course complete tasks in less time.
8 – Take time out to make time
It’s good to simply have time with nothing scheduled. This may sound scary, but you will soon find things to do. Maybe take up a new hobby. Correcting work life imbalance is about ensuring you live life more fully, with greater meaning and enjoyment.
If you wish to maximise time, there are many fitbit or other fancy time-tracking tools. Using time-tracking software can help you to quickly build a picture of how long a particular task takes. Then you can stream line tasks. You can effectively estimate how long your next work task will take. You can then schedule in time for ‘me’.
9- Do things you love
Make time for activities you love. Life is more than work. As they say, no one on their death bed laments that they wished they had spent more time in the office. Rather they think about hobbies, family, travel or other wonderful things of life they didn’t do enough of. When you do things you love this will energise and refresh you. It will help you nurture the creative side of you too.
10 – Be realistic, you’re not super human
Perfectionism isn’t needed. You have nothing to prove. It is better to be calm and content than get that heart attack from over working. A good work life imbalance cure is to perform a little self-analysis. Just ask yourself what worked today and what didn’t? What are you being unrealistic about? Which dreams and hopes are left unfulfilled? But which are dreams and which could actually be reality? How can you move your life closer to where you’d really like it to be?
Your next steps to correcting work life imbalance
If you have found this article helpful or have any challenges around work life balance, I am here to help. Get in touch today to find out how work life balance sessions in London could help you get back to the life you truly deserve.