Work- life balance, you’ve probably heard this phrase but what exactly does it mean?
At its most basic, it’s all about how we handle our time spent in and out of work. It’s a topic that we at Tree Shepherd speak about regularly, specifically the difficulties that we all face when trying to achieve a healthy balance. It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that we can or should be productive all the time, especially if you are self-employed but that’s simply not true, you can’t pour from an empty cup.
Why It’s Important to Develop a Good Work-Life Balance
When we’re overworking, we run the risk of impacting on more than just our social lives, it can also have a major impact on our mental and physical health.
A recent UCL study found that workers who worked three hours longer than required had a 60% higher risk of heart and lung problems. The Mental Health Foundation suggests that the pressure of an increasingly demanding work culture is one of the biggest challenges to society’s mental health. Despite technology and innovation pushed and promoted to make our lives easier and less stressful, in fact the opposite is very often the reality.
So, what can we do to try and get our lives more in balance? The internet is full of ways and suggestions, and we’ve pulled together a few that we feel are the easiest to incorporate into our own lives.
Steps That Can Be Taken to Improve Your Work-Life Balance
- Know when to take a break
This is an important step. Whether you are working-from-home or in the office, it is vital that you take breaks when you need them. Even a five-minute break can help you de-stress and refocus on your work at hand.
- Spend time with friends and family
If you work most of the week and work overtime, it can often feel like your job is your whole life, but it isn’t. When feeling like this, it is important that you make time for your loved ones, as they can help put things into perspective.
- Make your boundaries clear and obvious
When you leave work, that is your time. You need to be clear with your employer that you don’t want to be contacted outside of work hours. If this isn’t a possibility, there are steps that you can take yourself, such as using different devices for work or even just making use of your phone’s do-not-disturb function!