Stuck beneath a mountain of paperwork work while a heap of washing up waits for you at home? Sometimes managing your time effectively between both your career and your personal life can be a difficult and stressful task - and ultimately, when you’re stretched thinly across both areas, you do neither job justice and are left feeling a little bit down in the dumps and utterly run ragged.
So, to help you re-establish some much needed order, balance and perspective into your life, we reached out to Psychologist and Life Coach Elaine Slater to get her top tips on how to work to live rather than live to work.
1. Mastering a work-life balance is all about assessing your values and needsand figuring what is most meaningful to you in your life. So, first off you really need to think hard about what makes you happy and what would make you feel as though you are living a fulfilling life.
2. Learn to say no and clearly communicate your boundaries and limits. Stop feeling guilty if you can’t devote 100% to everything you do.
3. The definition of work-life balance varies widely between individuals. Avoid attempting to conform to someone else’s lifestyle and instead think about what is personally meaningful to you. As long as you find your life fulfilling, it doesn’t matter if your schedule is totally different to someone else’s.
4. Accept that life is not perfect and know that you will make mistakes and that challenges and obstacles will crop up unexpectedly.
5. Research shows that people vary widely in terms of when they’re most creative, energetic and productive. Think about how your own abilities evolve throughout the day. Pay attention to your Chronotype; your biological schedule that determines when you feel tired and awake and act upon it - it could help improve how productive you are during the day, freeing up more time for personal enjoyment.
6. Our work and home lives are interconnected – with each directly impacting the other. Try to mindfully manage your relationships and activities on a day-to-day basis in both areas.
7. Research shows the happiest people are busy – but not overly rushed. Feeling in control of your time is crucial. You have to be able to draw a line and decide what is important and what isn’t - do fewer things and do them well.
8. Be open to change and accept that what matters to you and your priorities might alter over time. Perhaps you will change job or start a family. Whatever the situation, be prepared for your values and schedule to shift and work hard to make adjustments accordingly.