We’re always hearing about how important it is to create and maintain a work/life balance. Unfortunately, it’s often easier said than done.
There is always something that needs to be done and we’re now used to checking our emails on our phone at home. This has led to a culture where we’re never completely switched off from work.
Having time focused on people and activities you love outside of work will make you more productive and happier when you return to business. However, we don’t want to risk sacrificing the success of our businesses.
So what’s the answer?
We’re sharing 5 different ways you can bring back the work/life balance
Change your mindset
Do you think working late or on weekends is a sign of commitment to your business or perhaps a sign that you’re working hard?
What would happen if you switched your perspective? Working late suggests that you can’t complete your work during your normal work hours. It could be a sign that you’re not being as productive as you could be or that you need to find ways to work smarter not harder. Is that the image you want to portray?
You might also be ignoring that in order to grow your business, you should be delegating or outsourcing some tasks.
You might notice that other people share how late they worked or how little sleep they got and wear it as a badge of honour. Remember that it’s actually a sign they they’re not being is productive or as effective as they want people to think and don’t try to compete.
Create boundaries and share them
Yes, you have probably heard this one before but many people make some common mistakes when they try to implement boundaries.
Make sure other people know when you are available. This goes for team members and clients or customers. If you’re vague about this, you’re letting people set their own expectations which might be unreasonable.
If for any reason you are working at unusual hours, schedule any emails you send so delivery is delayed until 9am or a time that suits you (read this post for our recommendations of apps to help with this). If a client sees you replying to emails at 9pm, they’ll start to expect responses in the evenings.
Be strict with your working hours
You need to get strict. It’s no good saying you’re going to leave the office at 5pm if you regularly decide to stay for “just 10 more minutes”.
If you’re really struggling to commit, start giving yourself commitments that mean you have no choice but to leave on time.
Parents tend to have this built in because they need to pick up their children. But you could also make plans to meet friends or buy a ticket in advance for a film screening. What will make you leave on time?
A benefit of following this tip is that you will probably increase your productivity. When we’re under pressure to finish by a certain time, we’re more likely to focus.
Create a mobile divide
Thanks to smartphones and apps, we can check our emails, project management tools and so much more wherever we are. Even if we don’t check, we often get notifications throughout the day.
The easiest way to manage this is to have one phone for work and another for personal use.
This might not be practical for everyone so I recommend using the snooze function on apps and switching off notifications outside of work hours.
Focus on the present with mindful activities that suit you
For those of us who struggle to switch off from work, the key can be finding activities that take up our full attention.
Many people find the mindful meditation brings great benefits and helps them focus on the present. Going to the theatre can be a great option as you cannot look at your phone and you are forced to focus on the stage. Other people might find playing competitive sports, getting out into the countryside or unusual hobbies like improv comedy classes work best for them.
Remember that investing in your personal life will ultimately make you more productive and less stressed when working.
To find out how we can save you time, take work off of your plate and make you more productive, click here.