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Achieving a better work-life balance

Plan for special days the same way you plan important work eventsImage Credit: Supplied

Although work-life balance is difficult to define, most psychologists would agree that work demands should not overwhelm an employee’s ability to enjoy a fulfilling personal life outside of the working environment. How do we achieve more of a balance between work and life when times get tough? Of course, there is no simple answer, but this article aims to give you tips to help.

Setting your priorities in the form of lists can help you feel in control. Initially, understand your priorities and ask yourself, “What should I focus on?” “What areas need my attention right now?” Your priorities can change over time so re-evaluate them regularly.

Direct your awareness to how you actually spend your time. Does the time spent on tasks/activities align with your priorities? How much time do you spend on things that matter to you and on those which do not? Of course, some things are unavoidable but if there is a way to decrease time spent on low priorities, then try to do so; for example, at work by delegating appropriately (depending on your position within the company), or at home by sharing the household activities and so on.

While you are working, focus on work, with the exception of urgent calls. Similarly, when enjoying personal time, really focus on it. You can create a schedule that allows you to spend time on your personal life like having a “date night” with your spouse every week. During these personal appointments, focus on the individual/s at hand. Plan for special days in advance, the same way you plan important work events.

Do not neglect yourself. Block time on your schedule to do things you enjoy like playing tennis, going for a walk or reading. Similarly, keep your health in check. Lack of sleep and exercise and poor nutrition can drain you, leading you to feel that your life lacks balance.

Attaining balance in both your work and personal life allows you to perform optimally in both parts of your life. A fulfilling personal life leads to a happier work life and vice versa.
The writer is Organizational Psychologist, HRI&C.

Handy Hints:

* Understand your priorities; identify where you must focus on

* Allot time to do things you enjoy like reading, playing sports

* Do not neglect yourself; regularly keep your health in check

Source: Nicola Turner, Special to Jobs & Careers