It is important to have a balance between your job and the other areas of your life so you can be productive, healthy and happy both at work and outside of it. But in the age of instant access, of emails to our mobile phones and of access to work documents and the whole of the internet via those same smartphones, is it even possible to have a work life balance any more?
Looking at ways you could ensure you unwind, unplug, and recharge is more vital than ever today; and it’s all because of the technological advances of our smartphones and tablets.
Instant access. Work documents, databases, spreadsheets fully available. Apps for CRM, banking, and just about everything else available and downloaded. You could work from home, on the go, in shops, in a cafe – 24 hours a day. And there’s increasing concern that some people are falling into the trap of doing just that.
So how can you avoid this and make sure you keep work to strictly within work times?
1. Prioritise your work tasks
Decide on the most urgent tasks, and get onto those first. Prioritising your workload better will mean you’re less likely to feel the need to have to take stuff home with you.
2. Structure time at work
Once you have defined your priorities, structure your day around them. By grouping similar tasks together you can be more efficient in completing all your daily jobs. You will then be able to complete high priority tasks first, medium priority tasks next and so on. You’ll soon be able to make this a habit, and as you accomplish more during your day you’re less and less likely to want or need to take work home with you.
THOUGHT OF THE DAY: the more organised you can be at work, the more time and freedom you’ll have to be as disorganised as you like at home!
3. Take breaks
You should take some personal time during the day for activities that are not related to your job. By taking your lunch break, you can go for a walk in the sunshine, or pop to the shops. A few breaks a day – perhaps walking to get coffee and raise your step count – will also help to clear your mind and keep you focused.
4. Make use of annual holidays
Don’t lose your holidays. You’ve earned them, so make sure you take them. Everything will feel so much better after a week on the golden sands of Cornwall for example – although of course, there’s always the danger that you may not want to come back!
THOUGHT OF THE DAY: breaks help keep you focused and recharge your batteries. From coffee breaks, to walks outside at lunchtime, to making sure you use up all your holiday days, breaks are important for your mental and emotional wellbeing.
5. Be strict
Don’t turn that smartphone on at home. The emails can be answered tomorrow morning in the office – the evenings are your time, and you and your family should enjoy them uninterrupted.