It might seem strange that Work Life Balance experts are sending you a newsletter on Christmas day. However, I assure you that right now, I am sitting with my family enjoying a traditional Polish Christmas dinner, including many delicious pierogi! It is thanks to the wonders of technology that I am able to keep good Work Life Balance and schedule this email in advance.
Nowadays, technology plays an important role in increasing the speed and efficiency of our work. However, being constantly reachable and connected can also lead to spill over into our personal lives. It’s just too easy to check our email while we’re eating dinner with our families or lying in bed. This is a trap! If you are checking your inbox during Christmas dinner or lying awake at night, scrolling through emails, you have to take your Work Life Balance more seriously.
I’ve compiled some advice to help you to get start on your Work Life Balance journey, divided into balance at home, balance and work, and general Work Life Balance tips. Have a look and read our previous blog updates to find out more!
Balance at Work
- Take short breaks at least every 2 hours. Your efficiency will increase if you move around and step away from the grind for a moment.
- At the end of the day, set priorities for the next day. Be realistic and remember your values. You may have a to-do list with 50 or more tasks on it, but you should prioritise these tasks into four categories:
- Urgent and important – you have to deal with them asap
- Important but not urgent – you need to find some time for them every day or week
- Urgent but not important – take care of them if you have the time and remember that they can very quickly switch to category no.1
- Neither urgent nor important – let it go
- Multitasking is destructive. Focus on one task at a time. Skipping from one thing to another is a huge effort for your brain and lowers its capacity.
- Set the boundary between work and the rest of your life. Protect your private time. You do not have to be available 24/7. Remember: you do not have to do anything. It’s always a choice! So choose wisely.
Balance at Home
- Create a “metaphorical corridor” between work and home. It can be a walk, training, reading a chapter of a book, anything that will bring you back to the mind-set of being at home, and away from work.
- Decide what household responsibilities you can delegate or not perform at all. Decide what you can just let go of. Practice letting go every day!
- Exercise! For at least 15 minutes a day, and ideally by doing an activity that will bring you joy. Treat it as a duty that you cannot postpone or give up on.
- Eat healthy. This may seem clichéd but movement and healthy eating are the foundation of taking good care of yourself.
- Learn at least one technique that supports good stress management. It can be breathing exercises, mindfulness, or simple meditation. Do not underestimate the impact that constant tension can have on you.
- Limit before add. Often, when working with people on their Work Life Balance, I hear that in order to find balance they need to do something extra, e.g. find a passion, meditate, or make time for sport and healthy cooking. Before you do this, think about what you will have to give up to incorporate these new, beneficial activities into your life. Remember that you have the same amount of time as yesterday so plan wisely.
General work-life balance
- Take annual summaries. At the end of each year, I ask myself 21 questions. I write down all my answers and revisit them later. It is a great opportunity to reflect on life at the brink of the new year. The first five questions from my list are:
1. What successes have I achieved?
2. What went wrong and why?
3. How did I live by my values: love, freedom, peace, joy, and connection?
4. What did I forgot about?
5. Was I fair to everyone I met?
For ambitious people, I recommend Desire Map, by Danielle LaPorte, which is a fantastic tool for discovering your values.
- Find passion.This is not about discovering a great passion that unearths an amazing talent. It’s about getting a break from work. For some, it will be family, for others it’s friends, travel or hobbies. At the age of 37, I started to rock climb, and that’s when I, for the first time, felt that I was capturing balance in my life.
- Be grateful. Every night, list three things for which you are grateful. Such an exercise allows you to confirm what is important to you.
- Take care of your friends and loved ones. It is in them that you can seek support and share joy and sadness. Do not be afraid to ask for help.
- Develop yourself. Get to know yourself, your strengths, and your limitations. Accept this unless a change would lead you to achieving a core value.
- Try to be here and now. When you go to work, admire what is happening around you, recognise and remember it. Remember that you can only influence the present. You will not change the past, and you cannot programme the future. What you can do is just take advantage of the moment you have now. So when you wake up at night and you worry about what will happen during the day, please know that this is pointless. At 3 in the morning, you are not able to deal with anything of substance, but you can take care of your physical condition for the next day by getting enough sleep. Turn your thoughts to something nice. If you are a believer, pray, and if not, you can repeat a simple affirmation: I’m learning to be here and now”. I guarantee – the sleep will come.
The team at M-Powered Projects believe that achieving and maintaining one’s Work Life Balance is based on certain competences that anyone can discover and develop. For this purpose, we designed a special course, which we run in beautiful Tenerife that will allow you to retreat and immerse yourself into exploring your own Work Life Balance needs and planning how to meet them.
You can read more about our courses on our webiste.