Getting the Right Work-Life Balance

Do you live to work or work to live?

Work & Life

We spend a large percentage of our life working, and the impact of this is huge on our lives. It can seem all consuming – but there are steps we can take to ensure that the balance between our life and our livelihood doesn’t tip in the wrong direction.  

Whether you’ve found yourself working in a different environment, have been working hard to keep your colleagues safe, working at home, or of course on furlough – things have been very different for so many of us lately.

Finding the Balance

So, how can we make sure we keep the balance right, and ensure were working to live and not living to work? 

Here are some tips to get you started: 

  1. Try to set your work hours. It’s not always easy, especially if you work from home, but aim to switch off your computer and phone at the end of the working day and focus on yourself and your family.  
  2. To help you switch off at the end of your day, think about making a list of things you need to do tomorrow. This way, you won’t be holding onto them in your mind as you try and drift off to sleep or spend time with loved ones.  
  3. Remember, if you make yourself ‘always available’, colleagues will learn to expect this from you, so make your boundaries clear. An easy way to do this is blocking out time in your work diary at the end of each day.  
  4. Take steps to reduce your stress levels – go for a walk at lunchtime, set aside time each day where you turn off your emails to focus on other tasks. At home, take time to do things you enjoy and help you switch off, such as exercise, hobbies or mindfulness. You’ll be more productive at home and work if youre relaxed and free of stress. CSSC have loads of resources to help you – have a look here.
  5. Try to make sure that things outside of work are prioritised, just as much as your work tasks – Take time to catch up with friends and family, schedule in time for a phone call or web chat and make sure these aren’t sacrificed to work longer hours. Your enjoyment of life is essential.  
  6. At work, encourage activities that promote good mental health, maybe lunchtime exercise classes, a book club or lunch and chat sessions. They’re easy to set up, all you need is a space and some interested colleagues.  
  7. Take all your annual leave. When youre on annual leave resist the urge to log on or check your phone/emails. This is your time and you deserve to take time out fully. 
  8. Think about taking on projects which interest you, alongside your more ‘mundane’ work activity. It might seem like taking on extra stressbut being involved in a project you enjoy and interests you, could open the door to personal development or better wellbeing at work. 
  9. Make your work environment as comfortable and attractive as possible, so you feel at ease and safe. A good, supportive chair, your monitor in the right position and all the equipment you need are vital to easing stress. Plants, pictures or anything that makes you feel happy can really improve how you feel when you’re at work. How about creating a folder in your emails called ‘Smile’, where you can put any nice emails youve received, compliments on a job well done etc – something to look at when you’re feeling in need of something cheery? 
  10. Finally, take time to talk to colleagues – Be it in personon the phone or virtually. Share your stresses, worries and successes. Find out how they are, support each other, and remember we’re all in this together. If you’re feeling low, chances are others are too. And a problem shared, really can be a problem halved.