Work / Life balance – Finding a harmony between the two

We often feel torn between the demands of work and our personal lives. Balancing the two can often add to the existing stresses we face daily but finding harmony is highly important, even if you are the most talented of individuals. There are some simple tricks to help make your personal life just that, personal.

1) Time

Firstly dedicate some time to ignore emails and social media. The pressures of these mediums are often 24/7 and prevent you from switching off either from work or from the numerous things your friends or colleagues are posting about. So the goal is to clear you distraction whether that be through dedicated phone apps that can give you a break or just via the strength of will by turning off the sound and putting the phone somewhere else in the room. There are many things you can do to fill this time such as:

  • Reading a book unrelated to work
  • Listening to some music that helps you relax
  • Going for a walk with a partner/friend or dog
  • Go to the gym if you have a membership
  • Use a mindfulness app to calm yourself
  • Spend time doing fun things with your family
  • Go to the cinema or watch a movie you’ve like the idea of watching for some time
  • Take a long soak in the bath or shower

The goal here is to distract your mind in such a way that it’s not overloaded allowing you to unwind from the stresses of the day either by enjoyment or calming measures. It does not have to be for long but long enough that you appreciate it. ‘You-time’ is the priority here whether that be one your own or with those you value spending time with.

2) Should perfection be all there is to achieve

Quite often you will be under so much pressure to deliver at a rapid rate at work to standards that often appear out of reach. As a talented person you may feel that perfection is everything but there has to be a point at which you go beyond the acceptable level of delivery. Finding this point and ensuring that your work is just right for your piece of mind and that of the company you work for can be a fine art. However, if you are a perfectionist then you may be in an ever increasing loop of non-achievable work.

Take some time to step back, whether that be on your own, with your superior and discuss what is a realistic level or delivery for you, for the business. This is not trying to sell your talents short but find an optimised way of delivering your work while setting your targets that you can achieve daily. Hitting realistic targets will help you with your satisfaction levels at work which will filter through to your home life as well. This can then help perpetuate a state of well-being.

3) Finding a routine

Routine can help you positively process each day. Some of us crave for a routine, while others detest slipping into routines. However, small personal routines like a certain breakfast, coffee routine, walk to work, music in the car, bus or train, lunch activity,… can help you switch off for a while and give you a break during the day. Routine is not always a bad process when it allows your brain to gear down and almost free-wheel for while. Maybe these activities involve your existing friends or the possibility of making new friends.

The point is to create an complimentary process to your work life. In contrast at work you may want to evolve a process or learn to adopt one that uses your time more effectively without it being oppressive.

4) Work, work, work

While at work you may feel that the clouds cover you and work rains on you from a great height. This could be due to the nature of your work and it feels like a flood on a daily basis. Picking up quick wins and planning for longer term ones may just start to eat away at that overpowering feeling if you are experiencing that. Do not shut down and hide yourself from your work colleagues or superiors feeling swamped. By discussing a situation that is swamping you there may be a way to resolve the situation in a different more logical manner giving you the ability to take a positive experience from your work.

In summary

It has to be said that the human race has found an uncanny way to pressure itself with work and more work 24/7. We live in a culture of the never ending connectivity of emails and pressures of social media. Whilst they have their merits in moderation we as individuals should look to break out of the controlling nature these mediums can place on our lives and carve some personal time to live our lives.


Starting tomorrow

When you face the day you might want to ask yourself…

‘Is there something I can change today and give myself a more positive experience at work and home?’

If there is then make time to do it. That is as long as it doesn’t impact you or anyone else in an adverse manner increasing their stress levels.