On Again, Off Again: Finding the Work / Life Balance

In an increasingly digitally connected world, switching off from work can be a challenge, particularly if you’re running your own business. In fact, most of us end up staying ‘on’ 24/7.

That’s despite our knowledge that taking time to think, relax and enjoy time with friends and family is essential for mental health and productivity.

Overcooking your work-life, particularly when juggling the needs of a family, can lead to stress, which, over time, will undoubtedly reduce your concentration and productivity. It can also lead to irritability, depression and weaken your immune system, making you susceptible to a variety of illnesses ranging from the common cold and back pain through to doubling your risk of a heart attack.

Love Life, Enjoy Your Work

There’s nothing wrong with loving your job – in fact you’re lucky if you do –  it’s just that you shouldn’t let it rule your world. Remember, it’s most likely that the primary reason you started working was to fund your lifestyle.

To find that elusive work / life balance you need to set boundaries for your working day, create a routine and stick to it… then be prepared to take time out for yourself – whether its ten minutes for some meditation, an hour for lunch or a week of holidays.

Here are a few helpful tips:

Set your boundaries: Prioritise and balance your work and family life, ensuring there’s time in there for yourself – sure there will be times when you have to spend a few extra hours at the desk or running kids to sport, but remember to put your own needs high up there on the list of priorities. In doing so, you’ll be better equipped to manage people and give clients, friends and family what they need.

Appreciate the value of your work: Your work affords your lifestyle, it’s an essential part of your life. Value it and let key influencers in your organisation know you do… that way they’ll know you’re committed to being part of the team and they’ll respect your need for occasional time out.

Take time out: Whether it’s for 10 minutes or three weeks, switch off physically and mentally and allow your mind and soul to refresh and recharge.

Create a routine and stick to it: Ensure adequate daily sleep, exercise, time away from your devices, time with friends and time for yourself, this will enhance your mental clarity, emotional capacity, relationships and creativity at work.

When you’re on, make sure you’re present: Whether you’re at work, with family, friends or yourself, make sure you’re present and focused – this will give you the very best chance you have to attain that elusive work / life balance you’ve been searching for.