I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “all work and no play makes Johnny a dull boy” and for most of us, we haven’t really put that much thought into it. However, as people become more and more career driven, it is becoming a real danger that many of us will face extreme stress when trying to get more work in to a 7-day week. At some point over time as the hard working people of the 90s and noughties have taken more of a forward step in their career, it can seem that their social life can take a back step. Personally, and for other entrepreneurs that I have spoken to, this is the most difficult part of their day-to-day business life. It’s not just entrepreneurs either, of those working a 9-5, 3 in 10 with experience distress with their own work life balance, says mentalhealth.org, who say it can be a real problem. They say “Work related stress already costs Britain 10.4 million working days per year” and this again, is due to the mental health issues that can stem from workplace stress
So what exactly is a work life balance? Wikipedia defines it as;
Work–life balance is a concept including proper prioritizing between "work" (career and ambition) and "lifestyle" (health, pleasure, leisure, family and spiritual development/meditation). This is related to the idea of lifestyle choice.
So it all sound pretty scary, right?
Well through personal experience and research on this, I have complied a list of the top 10 tips of how you can help yourself feel less ‘all work and no play’
- Budget your time – you may already have a monetary budget, but you should be budgeting your time the same. Try using categories like hobbies, family time, exercise etc and using a calendar app like iCal or your phone calendar, strike off non-negotiable blocks of your time.
- Speak up – learning to say no to commitments you know will cause you to cut your own personal time should ring alarm bells
- Work smart – working hard in the times you have allocated means that you’ll be more productive in those times, and less likely to mindlessly scroll through the internet or get distracted (Stay away from Facebook!)
- Take real breaks – getting outside during your break Is a great thing to do, if this is not an option, make sure you take your full break, and don’t cut it short – no matter what
- Exercise – We have all been there, had a long day at work and the last thing you want to do is to go and work out. But countless studies have proven a link between exercise and reducing stress. Do exercises that you like, such as a sport, swimming or even just going for a walk
- Keep track of your work hours – using a calendar, keep track of how many hours you have worked and budget them accordingly over the week/month
- Try not to bring work home – if you work from home, this can be difficult, but having a definite divide (like a door or curtain) can really help mentally shut off when it’s you-time
- Get a hobby – down time should not be doing laundry or vacuuming (guilty!) it should be something you genuinely enjoy and that makes you feel at ease
- Ask others – asking your nearest and dearest can help you to understand aspects of your work-life balance that perhaps you don’t see. Maybe they do feel like you spent too much time of those training documents, or that you didn’t spend time with them because of work commitments – this could be the wake-up-call that you might need
- Talk it out – stress doesn’t always feel as such, sometimes it can sneak up on you and start bringing you down. If you start to feel run down or rubbish, talk to someone. If you are not comfortable talking to a professional, try talking to a colleague or someone who understands, and create a mutual to-do-list to make your work life balances better
Finally, be aware of yourself and recognise the warning signs of stress! I have had experiences where I believed there was actual a medical reason as to why I was getting ill all the time, but it turned out to be a building amount of stress that was being supressed. Eventually I recognised it and through the steps above, everything got easier and less stressful.
Steph @ Statementmadejewellery.com xox