Creating a healthy work-life balance
Wondering how work-life balance could benefit you? Look no further…
No matter what career you’re in or how many additional commitments you have, creating a healthy balance between work and play is absolutely essential when it comes to leading a happy and productive lifestyle. But it’s not always easy – especially if you have a particularly demanding career.
Your health and wellbeing will improve
Overworking isn’t just putting you at risk of being a ‘very dull boy/girl’ (we’re looking at you, Jack) – it could also be affecting your health.
In fact, if you’re sacrificing too much of your time for the sake of work, it won’t take long to start feeling the consequences – whether it’s through increased stress, constant bouts of illnesses due to a weakened immune system, or non-stop exhaustion.
That doesn’t mean you have to stop working hard though. Many professions require a lot of time and effort, and sometimes large amounts of downtime just isn’t possible if you’re determined to do well. But it’s all about finding that balance.
By recognising your own individual triggers and understanding when you’re overdoing it, you’ll be able to recognise the early warning signs before you start burning out.
How to achieve it: Don’t ignore the signs. Feeling tired? Sleep. Getting ill? Take a sick day. There’s nothing wrong with giving yourself a break. Just make it’s on your terms.
You’ll be more productive
Having a healthy work-life balance isn’t just essential to your well-being – it also boosts your productivity.
From finally getting around to redecorating the house because you switched off your work phone for the weekend, to completing a work task you’ve been stuck on for weeks after being able to go back to it with a fresh mindset – creating a good balance between your work life and your personal life will allow you to be more productive in both areas.
And work-life balance doesn’t always refer to a solid line between work and play.
Whether it’s by working from home, when you need quiet space for a project, or dedicating time to group brainstorm sessions where collaboration is necessary – creating your own balance between team work and head-down work is equally essential to achieve productivity in all aspects of your job.
How to achieve it: Keep your life a balanced amount of work, recreation, and rest in order to stay fully functional. Because too much of anything is never a good idea.
You can actually enjoy work
Always dreading work? Find yourself ‘subconsciously’ setting your alarm on snooze every morning? Don’t know what a weekend is?
If your work days begin with a search for an invisible light at the end of the tunnel, you probably need to give yourself a break. After all, if you don’t remember what home looks like and you haven’t worn anything but your work uniform for the past month – it’s no surprise that you’re feeling slightly delusional.
And, a hatred for your job (or just about anything) is one of the most common signs of a non-existent work-life balance.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Knowing when to switch off is often the best way to give just the right amount of time to your job, not to mention, allow yourself to actually enjoy the time you’re there.
Because who knows – you might actually start to miss it. Especially once you’ve exhausted the entirety of Netflix’s newly added section.
How to achieve it: If you’re starting to resent your job – ask yourself why. Sometimes all it takes is allowing regular breaks to put things into perspective. And if all else fails, it might be time to find a new position…
You’ll have more ‘you time’
It’s easy to make excuses when you rarely get free time.
And whether your devotion to overtime has meant you still haven’t taken that photography course you’ve been interested in for months, or working weekends has caused you to miss 99% of your yoga classes – you shouldn’t have to sacrifice that much of yourself to do a good job.
After all, work isn’t the only place you can learn and develop – and from quantifying your skillset with a qualification, to learning a new language, taking up a hobby, or even just reading a book – making the most of your time will add some much needed variation – and enjoyment – into your life.
So not only will improving your work-life balance give you more control over what you do, you’ll also be able to use your dedicated ‘you time’ to do things you’ve been putting off for years.
How to achieve it: Don’t sacrifice your free time just to put the extra hours in every single day – especially if it means giving up on your own personal development. There’s a time and a place for everything, and sometimes work isn’t it.
You’ll stop missing out
Those who overwork have one thing in common – and that’s that everything in their lives except work probably isn’t going as well as it could.
Common signs and symptoms include: always being the guy/girl who misses the best social gathering of the week, their anniversary, their child’s first word, or a really funny ‘you just had to be there’ moment – possibly involving their housemate, a dishwasher, and a family sized tub of vanilla yoghurt. But we digress…
Whether it’s by sticking to a nightly dinner with your partner or a weekly film night with your best friend, there’s always time to actually have a life outside of work. And without it, you could be suffering from some serious FOMO.
Remember: achieving a good work-life balance often comes down to your own ability to prioritise according to what’s most important to you.
How to achieve it: Pick your battles wisely when it comes to what you sacrifice for your career. Working extra hard to earn bonus points at work can be a great idea, but your relationships and social life should never be sacrificed as a result.
Leo is a specialised recruiter focusing on recruiting Engineers for medical device companies across Ireland. For a confidential discussion you can contact him on 086 049 5443 anytime.