How to get a better Work Life Balance NOW!

Have you ever wondered how those who appear in control of everything do it? What do they do that you don't? Read on to discover some techniques to get you started today!

How to get a better Work Life Balance NOW!

Have you ever wondered how those who appear in control of everything do it? What do they do that you don't? Read on to discover some techniques to get you started today!

Work Life Balance

What is a Work Life Balance and how do you get it? Better still, how do you get it and maintain it? Is it the same for everyone? Is there a secret formula that can be applied to ‘magic’ up this kind of performance?

The Past

Before we go deeper into the work life balance, let’s do a little exercise. Take a look over the last week – how well balanced was it? Between work and life? Assess the week as a whole and then each day. Consider how well you managed your own work and life priorities vs allowing curve balls to come in and unsettle the balance.

TASK:

How many times did you check or respond to notifications that could have waited?

Give each day a score out of 10 (1 completely unbalanced to 10 perfect for you and your situation).

The Future

Now look forward to this week vs your own work and life priorities in your diary. Where you can prioritise your own lists? Then plan in around existing arrangements higher priority items. Book your own diary, adding to the diary entry all you need to hit the ground running with that piece of work or activity.

There is a book called ‘Eat that frog’ that is a school of thought about doing the biggest ugliest tasks first to gain a sense of achievement and build positive momentum. So use some of that mentality in your planning. You may want to add an easier or more straight forward task ahead of the hardest one to get ‘warmed up’ and in the mood.

Consider colour coding your diary so that you can see at a glance which entries are meetings arranged by others (and potentially unavoidable), meetings you have arranged (you could potentially move), which slots are your own work in priority order and which slots you have to preserve for other tasks (also plan in time for lunch / breaks).

If you struggle to be productive in large chunks of time, look at applying the Pomodoro technique. Have you ever looked at the clock and thought ‘25 minutes before the next meeting’ and then been more productive in that time than if you had a few hours? This is EXACTLY what this technique is all about.

Here is a timer to help you apply it: Pomodoro Timer

Get a better work life balance - apply the pomodoro technique

When in work, respect your own time and sanity. Make your plans as to when you will do your own work around meetings. If needed, turn off all distracting notifications and only check emails / your phone in allotted times or breaks (if you need the discipline).

When people at work ask for something from you and it is a new request, remember to preserve your own work life balance! Ask them what their priority is and negotiate the due date to protect your own deliverables. Where this appears impossible, ask your manager for help. If you can make a list of all the work you do and put that somewhere you and your manager can see it, updating it each week, this will enable your manager to also help protect your time.

Use the list to show other colleagues how much work you have on your plate and where you have time to help, which will emphasis your need to prioritise correctly, maintaining your work life balance, and more importantly, getting you home on time!

Learn the power of ‘No’. Saying ‘No’ when you are wholly justified in not supporting a request and you can feel strong enough to do this, is hugely empowering.

I have done this myself when I was approaching the Christmas holiday time, my work had been planned and prioritised and someone came in from left field, asking me to help with some testing that a) had not been planned ahead and b) was not something I was completely familiar with. I stood my ground and told them I would not support. To my absolute joy, my manager supported me and even congratulated me on saying ‘No’!

Say No! Preserve your work life balance

If you can value your own time and sanity more, others will do the same. Using this as a teaching exercise to make people more aware that they cannot blow in on the wind and expect you to drop everything to serve them. They need to respect your time and planning. It could even teach them to get more of a work life balance themselves. Why not share your techniques with them?

Equally, do not make up for a lack of resource in the organisation by doing more hours at the detriment of your own time / life / happiness / health. Consider delegation where possible, moving tasks to another day if they can wait or asking for help from others. If there are others in your organisation that appear to have this work life balance more under control – ask them to share their practices too. Look to surround yourself with people who have the habits you want to emulate.

To make the pull strong to help you get a nice even work life balance, think how you will use the time you gain from more rigorous control, to your advantage. Can you find time to exercise, study, read, meet friends? Or play games with your children, be with them, see them and not just at bed time? Make the gain in time beneficial, not just for you but for others (where possible), so that if you don’t maintain your time commitments, you are letting them down too. Give other people permission to hold you accountable for your commitments.

And why not use what seems like ‘dead time’ when travelling, or doing other tasks, to listen to podcasts/books to learn more on subjects that interest you and are not connected to work, to give you a break and a mental change. 

Use your favourite music to boost your mood to take on what the next part of your day has in store for you? By having a physical separation from your work and home life, you can mentally separate them. If you are working from home, physically unplug / put away the computer to put yourself off going back to it. Try covering it, ignoring it, move it to another room, it will be there again when you are ready.

In all of your efforts to get more of a work life balance, consider building in small changes that you can master one at a time. When you have success with something, make it a regular habit by repeating it. If something doesn’t work, accept it and try a different approach. There are no right or wrong answers as we are all different.

If you need a kick start in order to start to get a better work life balance, take my 5 day reset challenge. It is a fab little programme written to help you fast track a reset in one area of your life over the course of 5 individual modules. It takes no more than an hour for each module and there is a bonus if you complete it within 7 days of purchase!

Click here to get started.

Remember – your time is precious – respect it – teach others to do the same.

You are in control, this is your life.

Recent Post