11 ways to keep your work/life balance in check

There are ways to achieve a positive work/life blend in today’s world, says wellbeing chairty CABA – here are its top tips

work/life balance
There are ways to achieve a positive work/life blend in today’s world

Working long hours gets results, but at what cost to your wellbeing? And what exactly does a healthy work/life balance look like? It means different things to different people, but we can all agree on one thing – keeping work and life in balance when you’re a business owner or manager is no simple task.

Being passionate about what you do can make it hard for senior leaders to achieve balance in their professional and personal lives. Research by Sage shows that many business owners and managers work very long hours – 16% of respondents said they worked more than 60 hours a week and 45% of respondents work between 40 and 60 hours a week.

One of the key reasons is the pride that you take in your work and believe that only you can do the task. That’s not always true, of course, and taking steps to improve your work-life balance can dramatically improve physical and emotional wellbeing as well as your efficiency and productivity at work.

Here’s CABA’s top tips: 

1. Create a designated work area

If you work from home make it clear to family when you’re at work and when you’re at home – and make sure that when you leave “the office” you do so physically and mentally.

2. Find your most productive time

This could be finding a time in the morning and evening that does not impact you partner or children, and when your output is excellent with no disturbances.

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3. Be flexible

The ability to be flexible both at work and home is a valuable skill. It is inevitable that at some point work or family commitments will take priority and it’s important to make allowances for these periods.

4. Prioritise

List your tasks all in one place and rank them in order of importance and be realistic about the time required to complete them.

5. Time management

When you have your tasks organised by priority, schedule your time and stick to it as best you can. Scheduling tools such as phone calendars and email reminders can help to keep you on track. Protect your time and treat personal activities as you would do a business activity. Richard Branson says that the key to maintaining a balance is to be flexible, delegate work and prioritise time for fun.

6. Be present

Practice the art of doing one thing at a time and be fully present in that task, person or moment of relaxation.

7. Define what success is for you

It’s good to understand what success means to you. This will help guide you to identify good and bad opportunities, prioritise tasks and more effectively delegate.

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8. Set clear boundaries

This could be as simple as finishing at 5:30pm on particular days of the week, turning your emails off on the weekend and/or learning to say “no” in order to protect your time and energy.

9. Employ the right people

Investing in a workforce that you can trust is essential and will allow you to delegate effectively. Look to see what you could outsource non-revenue generating activities – perhaps administration, website maintenance, social media and so on. Look at the cost of employing someone or using an agency.

10. Take breaks

Taking regular breaks and making time to eat healthily, rehydrate, get some fresh air and take part in some physical activity will improve your focus and productivity.

11. Protect your support network

Your support network is the cornerstone of your balance and wellbeing so don’t neglect it. It provides a listening ear, another point of view, encouragement and support. Your support network also forms a key part of your quality time away from work providing you with an opportunity to relax, refresh and refocus.

Finally, remember the power of leading by example. Imagine how effective, productive, healthy and happy your workforce will be if they follow you and implement these practices.

For more wellbeing tip and for more information on the charity, visit: CABA.org.uk. 

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