How to develop the perfect work-life balance
By Andy Sumner, managing director, Monster.co.uk
April is Stress Awareness month and at Monster, we believe it’s a good opportunity for everyone to evaluate whether they maintain a healthy work-life balance or what they need to do to achieve it. We can all relate to a time when we’ve had to put in the extra hours, or been particularly busy. With the help of modern technology, however it’s becoming increasingly difficult for us all to ‘switch off’ from work. If this sounds like you, here are some tips to help you develop a better balance:
1. Don’t suffer in silence
You don’t have be the first person in or the last person out of the office every day to be effective. If you’re being given too much work, the first thing to do is tell your manager. Unless you speak to them, they won’t know you’re being overworked and they’d much rather help you find a workable solution than make you resign or take time off due to stress. It’s important not to suffer in silence.
2. Organise your workload and priorities
In most cases, 80% of a task can be completed with 20% of the overall effort, but getting that last 20% completed can take a large amount of time. If you’re always pushed for time, use your judgement to decide when you can tick off a task rather than getting every last detail perfect. This is not an excuse for sloppy work, but it’s important to be able to distinguish between situations where perfection is required and where it isn’t. When faced with a big task or project, cut it up into smaller chunks and tackle these one by one.
3. Take the time to recharge your batteries
It’s always good to have something to look forward to. Whether it’s a night out or a holiday, make sure your calendar always has something in it that all your efforts at work are focused towards. If you regularly take time out to recharge your batteries, you’ll cope much better in stressful situations when things are unavoidably busy. An important part of time management is to give yourself headspace – time away from the desk will help you perform much better when you’re there.
4. Take advantage of downtime at work
We often dream of having downtime at work. But when we actually get it, we don’t know what to do. This is the perfect time to complete the tasks you’ve delayed or to pick up some new skills. Stretch yourself with projects you didn’t have the time to work on before, explore self-development, relax, enjoy yourself and leave on time!
5. Fall back in love with your job
We all experience those times when we can’t face another day at work, but there are many ways to rekindle the excitement you experienced when you first started. Reflect on these and allow your positive energy to rub off on others around you. Print off your CV and really read it – your career says a lot about you – where you’ve come from and where you’re going. Take a moment to think about where you started and what you’ve achieved to get where you are. Remember why you do it, enjoy the company of the people you work with and create ways to turn those people into friends.