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Improve your work-life balance

Change the structure of your life

It could prove rather useful to change some old habits or ways of doing things that take up a lot of your time. Try to find ways to streamline and/or eliminate some activities that take up too much of your time but are not that important. It is always good to prioritise your life. It may be helpful to divide certain activities or duties into categories of importance and dedicate a certain number of hours and amount attention to those activities. This way, you can focus your attention and time on what is important to you.

Unplug from work

There is no balance in being glued to your phone 24/7. If possible, leave your work at your work. Try to minimise the amount of work you take home and limit the amount of time spent on work-related activities after office hours. This comes with not checking, sending or responding to work emails after office hours and on weekends. It may prove helpful to set up an “out-of-office” automatic response email for when you are not at work. Turn off work-related notifications for the evenings and weekends. If it is not possible to unplug completely, allow yourself a designated time (say about an hour) to work and/or check emails at home and on weekends, and then unplug after that!

Don’t just exercise your mind, exercise your body

With busy schedules at work and responsibilities at home, it may sometimes seem impossible to schedule in time to go to the gym or go for a run. Start small – there are a number of 30-minute, 10-miunte and even 7-minute workouts that you can do from the comfort of your own home using everyday items. Regular exercise is vitally important for living a healthy and balanced life. With regular exercise, you will start to notice a positive change in how you look and feel, as well as your energy levels.

Meditate to re-energise

Meditation doesn’t always mean sitting in absolute silence with your legs crossed. Take 10 minutes a day, maybe before you sleep, to just clear your mind and reflect. You don’t have to have deep or profound thoughts, but rather just allow yourself to free your mind of the day’s matters so that you can have a peaceful and uninterrupted sleep.

Say no

Taking on more than we can handle because we are afraid to say “no” to someone is not characteristic of living a balanced life. If you feel you’re under too much pressure, time constraints are hectic, or you simply cannot do something for someone else, it is more than okay to say “no”. Prioritise what you need to do first and get it done. Assisting others with tasks or activities should not take priority over your work and should not jeopardise your health either. Do not over-commit yourself to others and make sure that if you say “no”, you do so respectfully and that they know why you’re saying no.

Delegate, delegate, delegate!

Based on your priorities, focus on what you have to or should do, what you’re good at and what you specialise in. As much as you would like to, you can’t do everything yourself! If and where possible, delegate certain work activities to your subordinates or colleagues. Delegation allows for some pressure to be taken off you and frees up some of your time which can be used for leisure or recreational activities.

Setting new habits is one thing- the hard part is sticking to them. But with perseverance and attention you can look forward to a year of more life and better living in 2019!

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