As the schools go back, Tessa Armstrong gives some advice on how to get the work life balance you need.
It’s the end of the summer holidays and many of us have returned to work from enjoying some time away. Perhaps you have been to somewhere hot with your family or have taken the opportunity to holiday in the UK taking advantage of the increasing popularity of ‘Glamping’! Suddenly this work-life balance isn’t so bad after all! Until…
…it’s back to reality.
Your children are back at school, work is getting busy again and the routine between your work and home life has to be re-established.
Over the years, our work-life balance has attracted increasing attention and it is a topic that is particularly difficult for working mums to navigate. How do you divide your time between home and work? How do you devote enough time to all the different areas of your life and achieve what you want to achieve?
As you are being pulled in all directions and negotiating your own priorities with other people’s expectations of you, you begin to feel less productive at work and rushed off your feet at home. Your stress levels increase and you feel overwhelmed.
Does this sound familiar?
In an ideal world, you want to achieve a balance between your working life, your family life and your social life whilst maintaining a healthy lifestyle with time for fitness, relaxation and hobbies. You know this will make you happier and enable you to find more enjoyment in life but is this work-life balance really possible?
How about finding out?
Finding the best work-life balance involves taking control and striking a balance between your needs at work and your needs in your personal life. You may wish to pursue a career change, become an entrepreneur or make some alterations to your working day. There are many ways to achieve a work-life balance and here are a few tips to assist.
1. Review how you spend your time
On average we are awake for 14-16 hours each day. Consider how much time you spend on your family, job, friends, health and interests. If you are dissatisfied with the result, start making small changes to your routine so that you allow time for all areas of your life that are important to you.
2. Don’t take your work home.
Ensure you maintain clear boundaries between your working life and your home life. Many individuals have access to a work mobile and emails away from the office. Do you really need to be on-call 24/7? If you do need to check your messages out of work, allocate specific times to do so.
3. Review how you spend your time at work
How productive are you at work? Do you need to start putting in place time management techniques so that you are more efficient?
4. Have fun
Plan to do something you enjoy at least once a week. Will this be with or without your family? An alternative focus will keep you energised throughout the week.
5. Consider your career options
Are you happy at work? Have you secretly wanted to find a new job or pursue a career change for a while now? Start reviewing your options.
Are you expected to do everything yourself at work? Sharing your work will not only ease your work load but enable you to build relationships with colleagues. Learn also to say ‘no’ when you are feeling overwhelmed.
7. Interests and hobbies
Can you put time aside each week to renew an interest in a hobby? Think practically and realistically. How can you organise this into your life now?
8. Exercise and eat a balanced diet
Take care of your health. Even the smallest positive changes to your lifestyle will increase the energy you have during the week.
If you are struggling with something at work, ask for help. Feeling that something is beyond your capabilities can make you feel out of control. Prevent yourself from overcomplicating matters.
Allocate at least 15 minutes each day for relaxation. Calming and relaxing the mind will give you the break you need to clear your mind. You will become more focused and maintain control of your life.
Finding the best work-life balance for you can enable you to achieve enjoyment and fulfilment at home and at work. Start making some small alterations to your day now and see how it makes a difference!
Tessa Armstrong Associates provide a range of professional coaching programmes to enable individuals to pursue satisfying and fulfilling careers and restore their work-life balance. For more information visit her website at www.tessaarmstrong.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org.