In the words of Andrew Wilkinson, founder of Metalab- ‘You don’t have to make yourself miserable to be successful’.
Being passionate and proactive about your work is a great thing, but how do we know when we have lost the balance between our work and personal life?
Can you answer how often you do these things below?
A) Doing work or constantly checking emails whilst being on holiday with family or friends.
B) Going into work early most of the week because you are afraid you won’t get all your tasks completed.
C) Continuously thinking about work and having feelings of guilt, anxiety, fear or vulnerability.
D) Forgetting to eat food because you have no time during your day or feel too stressed.
If you have answered yes to most of these questions its likely you are overworked and are struggling to get a good balance between your personal life and work life.
These days we are engaging in massive amounts of over-time, endless hours of commuting and having minimal sleeping hours in order to be more successful.
However, what we are actually doing is only making ourselves stressed, fatigued and unhappy because we are neglecting how our minds and bodies are feeling.
A recent poll by the Independent found half of us are waking up in the morning having feelings of dread about the day of work ahead.
We are essentially chaining ourselves to the desk and throwing away the key.
But does it have to be this way? The answer is no.
Tips on how to get the balance right
1.Don’t take on too much
Everyone thinks multitasking is a good thing, right? When in fact it only makes us less productive and decreases accuracy. Try to focus on the tasks you already have and make sure they are fully completed, before taking on more work. However rather than telling your manager no, have a discussion on which tasks are priority and if possible, delegate within the team.
2.Take screen breaks
This is very important and is often easily neglected. If you are staring at a screen all day, it is crucial to break eye contact with the screen throughout the day, for a few seconds. If not, this can cause a lot of headaches and damage your eyesight. Try to have frequent breaks throughout the day to recharge focus.
3. Minimise social interruptions
We have all been there where you start a quick 5-minute conversation with your co-worker to find out how their weekend went, and suddenly 30 minutes has passed. This interrupt’s workflow and can waste a lot of time. Try to socialise more in lunch hours or after work.
4. Minimise bringing work home with you
We have all had a presentation that we have spent a couple of hours the night before practising and perfecting before tomorrow’s meeting. However, if you are spending the majority of the week responding to emails or still completing tasks at home you are tipping the work/life balance. Try to be productive by having a plan for how you want your day to go and try not to deter from it.
5. Be present in your own time
This may sound simple, but have you ever found when spending time with family or friends, you have checked your emails and not heard what they have said? By neglecting your personal life, it can result in becoming depressed and resenting your job. Try allocating a time to check your emails and avoid using your phone until then.
6. Have Interests outside work
Whether this be reading a book, watching a movie or exercising regularly. It is important to have your own time where you feel relaxed and recharged. Exercise has often been proven to be a very good way to clear your head and bring back your focus. Try to allocate yourself a minimum of 30 minutes a day doing something you enjoy.