Work Life Balance: How to get it right

Maintaining a healthy balance is a challenge for all of us in an age where technology means we are rarely able to switch off and where more is demanded from us in every area of our lives. However, achieving that balance is the secret to boosting everything from general happiness to productivity so it is worth putting some effort into getting it right – here are a few tips on how to do it.

1. Work smart, not hard.

This is the holy grail of work-life balance, achieving what you need the ‘easy’ way. In reality, this means taking steps to ensure you’re not wasting any of your precious time – identify the best route to get to a goal and don’t deviate from it, remain focused on that end goal and avoid procrastination at all costs. Try to avoid measuring your perception of how much you’re achieving in terms of the time you’ve spent on something – this is not an accurate representation and will hold your work life balance back.

2. Make sure you switch off sometimes.

‘Me time,’ ‘downtime,’ call it what you will – you must have some hours in the day (not just when you’re asleep) when every waking thought isn’t concerned with work. If you’re not particularly good at just relaxing then plan some activities for your downtime – sport is a great way to distract yourself whilst releasing energy or take up a new hobby that you really have to focus on so you don’t end up thinking about work. Schedule the downtime (even just a little) into every day so that it is as important as the meetings – you’re less likely to skip it if it’s in your calendar.

3. Focus and streamline your activities.

Take a good long look at where you’re wasting time and drop activities that are draining your energy or achieving nothing. Making ongoing lists of priorities and targets and keep yourself focused by reviewing these periodically.  If you feel like you have no time in your schedule for anything but work then make time – it is possible, you just need to find that window to start creating better balance.

4. Delegate.

You don’t have to do everything and even if you think you’re the only person who can handle certain tasks or jobs, this is rarely the case. Learn how to effectively delegate to free up time in your own schedule and see how others blossom with the extra responsibility.