On the hunt for a better balance

Sep 26, 2016

Punch ‘work-life balance’ into Google and you get hit with a flood of articles about how more and more Australian employees are seeing their time with family and friends eroded by work, and the effect this is having on their mental health.

The email ping that interrupts your dinner. The long work day that means you only get half an hour with your kids before bed. Or the unpredictable schedule that stops you from planning time to relax and doing the things you love.

Finding what works for you

There’s probably no such thing as the perfect work-life balance, but this Huffington Post article has 10 great tips to get you started.

And while we’re all different, with different roles – at home and at work – there are some universal principles that everyone can benefit from.

Apart from the usual suspects – taking regular breaks, scheduling time for exercise – we particularly like the first and last ones on the list.

First up, Work smarter, not longer. This is all about making your time work for you. Ideas include prioritising what you need to do and give yourself a time limit (crucial!) If you have the flexibility to choose your hours or prioritise different tasks, get to know your body clock and when you work most productively. If you have a tendency to think and worry about what you’ve got to do tomorrow, try writing a short to-do list at the end of the day and then mentally closing that notebook until the next morning. 

And at number 10, ‘Good enough’ is great. When we embrace ‘good enough’ we’re not lowering our standards; we’re actually more likely to do a better job overall rather aiming for perfection and possibly missing the bigger picture (as well as draining ourselves). Good enough also means we say ‘Yes’ to opportunities, rather than being held back by a fear of failure.

Next steps

If you’re after some more hints on reducing stress at work, check out our guide on Heads Up.

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