05 Dec Do you have a good work life balance?
Do you have a good work life balance?
I used to find it hard to get the balance right between working hard and providing a good life for my family and having time to switch off and enjoy time with them.
Before I found my balance, I would often miss out on time with my family, aiming to go home and play games/watch TV but getting distracted by the constant need to keep checking my emails, answering calls, and finishing jobs and before I knew it, it would be bedtime and I would feel guilty for not being able to switch off.
I understand it’s hard to get out of the same routine of being available for clients whenever they call, message or email. There are arguments for both sides, they do pay my wages and I want them to get a good service and feel we’re good value for money. It’s having the balance between both, looking after the clients and being there for the family.
Something I’ve found helpful in the past few months is taking my emails off my phone over the weekend. I’ll remove the app at 5pm on Friday and then add it again Monday morning. It’s easier for me not to get distracted and just check & reply to some emails without the constant notifications or appeal of just checking the mail app. It doesn’t mean I don’t check my emails at all at the weekend, just maybe on my iPad a few times if we’re at home.
I’m very task driven and recently I’ve started using an email management tool which makes it easier for me to prioritise my workload. It enables me to push things into other days of the week or even delay for a month. I feel like I can run my day rather than my day running me. It’s better for me so I can meet deadlines at work and not worry too much about the things that are not as important for that day. I can then go home at the end of the day with a clear mailbox.
I do have enough time to sleep and eat properly and I think that sleep is the most important thing so you’re feeling good for a day of work and then getting home afterwards to try and relax. Delegating at work and asking others for help is a great start, I used to enjoy doing it all myself but as we all become busier, it’s more important to ask others to give you a hand.
It’s important not to overwork and enjoy the time whilst you can, I’m sure no one will thank you in your later years for doing a bit of extra work or taking that extra phone call. I think doing things you enjoy outside of work is also great to switch off. Personally, I like to exercise and go on long walks without any tech, I think it helps to clear the mind. I’m sure no one ever said on their death bed that they wished they worked more!
I’m interested in how others get on with their work-life balance and what they do to improve their lives in this area.
Author: Dan Harrison