However your waking hours are spent, achieving the elusive work life balance is always a challenge. Whether you’re exhausted from your commute or ground down by a culture of presenteeism, try these work life balance tips to reduce stress, save time and work towards a more relaxed and fulfilled lifestyle.
1. GET FLEXIBLE
Do you find yourself wishing there were more hours in the day? Perhaps you can make some, by dropping your working hours, or changing your working patterns. Do your calculations carefully and if they add up, present your business case to your manager. Once you’ve been working for more than 26 weeks in most jobs in the UK, you have a statutory right to request flexible working arrangements, so there’s nothing to lose by asking. Your employer will then have to give a business-related reason if they refuse your application.
2. Manage your inbox
Now that people can reach you on your smartphone at any time of the day or night, it’s increasingly difficult to ignore messages as they come in – but that’s no good for your downtime. If you have an email backlog, set aside a day to tackle it, sorting messages into urgent and non-urgent categories.
Your email provider probably has settings that you can use to ensure that future messages are automatically sorted as they come in. Once you’ve got things under control, make a rule to only check your emails during working hours – never after you’ve clocked off for the day.
For some people, it’s hard to let go and entrust important tasks to others, bu
t maintaining the work life balance will depend on adopting a working style that’s sustainable in the long run. If you have too much on your plate, delegating is a vital strategy that will help you meet your targets without burning out. Play to people’s strengths and offer them projects that’ll challenge them, and it’s likely that your team morale and output will both improve.
4. USE YOUR TIME EFFICIENTLY
Think about your typical work day. If you commute, you may be spending up to 2 hours getting to and from the office – time that could be better spent enjoying a hobby, exercising or chilling out with family and friends. For many people, working from home, at least some days of the week, could be the key to a more balanced and less hectic lifestyle. (A quiet place to focus, away from office distractions, could also mean that you get more done).
5. Keep home life and work life separate
There is, of course, a downside to working from home. If it’s a work life balance you’re looking for, you may find that setting up a workstation on your kitchen table or in the spare room just blurs the boundaries, leaving you answering emails during dinner, or staring at a glowing laptop late into the night. A garden office that’s completely separate from your living quarters, yet only a stone’s throw away, could help you to achieve the perfect balance.
Live a more balanced life and get the best out of your career with a garden office from Green Studios.