Work/Life Balance – How to own your work AND your time
From time to time, the challenges of balancing home and a busy work life can start to have an impact on your overall health and wellbeing. This presents a problem, not just for you and your team, but for the productivity of your business.
Making sure you’re able to find the right balance between competing demands of home and work, and supporting your team to do the same, can be tricky to achieve. Below are some suggestions from the experts at AXA PPP Healthcare to help you and your team achieve a better work/life balance and help maintain your resilience.
Understand your current position
Work-life balance means different things to different people at different stages of their lives. Jobs and careers, children and other dependants, leisure pursuits and impending retirement will each assume a different level of importance as you move through your working life. Understanding your own needs and priorities is the first step to improving the balance.
What needs to change?
What are the three most important things in your life at the moment?
To what extent does the time you spend on them reflect their importance?
What types of tasks are on your ‘To Do’ list? Are they your priorities or someone else’s?
What wastes your time? Could you do anything to stop it happening?
What pressures are you under at the moment? Can you prioritise them?
Could anyone help you with any of these tasks?
What would you rather be doing?
What can you change to help you achieve what you’d rather be doing?
Maintaining the balance
The list of suggestions to maintain a balance is extensive! Although most of them are common sense, some are often over-looked and often succumb to outside influences. Here are a few of them:
- Don’t over-commit yourself
- Delegate tasks where possible
- When you identify a problem, talk to someone about a possible solution
- Make a list, or plan, and stick to it
- Focus on critical tasks
- Don’t take work home unless absolutely necessary
- Don’t miss meals to save time
- Plan a holiday
Your well being is down to you to protect
By introducing some rules to running your daily life, and being consistent in encouraging the same behaviours within your team, you could start to achieve more of a balance and make improvements:
- Make daily schedules
- Learn to say “No!”
- Don’t be a perfectionist
- Learn to prioritise
- Decide what’s important to you
- Accept help if it’s offered
- Plan ahead
- Combine several activities
Top ten work/life balance tips for employees
- Schedule your work into time slots, as you would with meeting appointments and work to that time
- Take regular breaks, get up every hour – even if it’s just a walk to get a drink of water
- Have a proper lunch break of at least 30 minutes away from your desk where you can switch off from work for a while
- Take all of your annual leave each year, with a least one full week
- Look after yourself. Get a good night’s sleep, eat healthily and exercise; it will help keep you focused
- Use an out of office message and delegate work when you’re away, so that you don’t have to check emails until you return
- Turn off email notification and check mail at scheduled times in the working day – not in the evening and never before going to sleep
- Don’t be afraid to say no to taking on more work if you don’t think you’ll achieve it. If something’s a must, chat to your manager about delaying something else
- If you feel work is taking over then talk to your manager
- Focus on the quality of your work, rather than quantity
Most importantly, own your work and your time – don’t let it own you!
For more information on work/life balance, please visit AXA PPP healthcare.