Do you often find that you are the last one in the office, working late (again) when others seem to always leave bang on time? When everyone else is going out for drinks on Saturday night, are you begrudgingly getting your laptop out to get a little more work in?
When you’re working yourself into the ground, you need to find a better work life balance. In this blog post, we’ll show you how to achieve this, by sharing some vital tips to get you back on track.
Are We Working Too Much?
If you think it’s just you who is staying at work all hours and still have your laptop on at the weekend, you’re wrong. When you add children, shopping and chores into the mix, you probably wonder when you’re ever going to have spare time to do something for yourself.
According to new research, 71% of office workers have to do overtime – of which some is unpaid – just to ensure that jobs get done. This can be due to staff shortages and redundancies, but it can also be about a lack of organization.
The new data also revealed that we Brits spend over 51 hours a year working late, while 63% of us are staying late in the office at least once a week. And a shocking 6% of workers, NEVER go home on time.
It’s surprising that people stick at jobs like these when a third of British office staff have had their wages slashed in the last five years. And to add insult to injury, things like holiday days, pensions and other benefits have also been given the heave-ho.
The survey also showed that 50% of staff struggle to get by with daily costs, paying bills and rent, with 7% of people resorting to a second job just to make ends meet.
What Exactly Is A Good Work Life Balance?
You may feel like it’s hard to escape your desk when technology makes it possible to check everything 24-7.
Balancing life and work does not necessarily mean that they should be carried out in equal parts. It’s more about finding an equilibrium of what suits you from day to day. If you are younger and you’re just starting out in your career, you may prioritize staying late at work and learning as much as you can, while if you’re near retirement, your responsibilities may be winding down.
A good life work balance means not spending your hours at home – when you should be relaxing – trying to meet impossible work deadlines. Constantly spending all your spare time doing work, even when you’re not in your office, will start to affect your mental and physical health so you need to be careful not to exhaust yourself.
Good Work Life Balance Tips
There are lots of ways that you can help improve the way you balance your home life with work.
- One good thing to do is delegate tasks to other people. It’s sometimes hard to step back and give someone else a task to do, rather than complete it yourself. But by taking on all the responsibility, you can end up with a bottomless pit of work with near impossible deadlines. Speak to other people and see how you can share the load – one good turn deserves another.
- Learn how to say no. People won’t hate you for it – they will understand. You’ve just got to be honest when you have too much on. There’s usually someone in the office calling out for something else to do. If you cram things in which you don’t really have time for, you’ll often make errors and no doubt be pulled to one side about them.
- Prioritize your workload. This saves time because setting realistic deadlines gives you a plan for the day or week, allowing you to see what needs to be done and what needs to be delegated. If you do this, you will feel much more organized, enabling you to save time and make plans.
- Learn that home time is not the time for work. Very occasionally you might be asked to be on call or lend a hand to help finish off a project – and that’s fine. It’s when you end up staying late or working at home often that it could start to become a problem. When you’re at home, don’t be tempted to check your phone or you could constantly find yourself worrying about what the next day at work holds.
- Make family time count. Many people agree that they spend too much time at work. If this is the case, make sure you are spending quality time doing fun stuff with your family and friends. Arrange a camping trip away with your mates or visit a theme park with your kids. These things will boost your spirits as you’ll have something to take your mind off having your nose to the grindstone.
By maintaining a good work life balance, you’ll find you have more time to do what you want to do and you’ll enjoy work more. Take time to recharge your batteries as this will mean you are much more likely to succeed and achieve at work.
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