Work/life balance is something we all aspire to and often fail to achieve. We find ourselves in the office at 9pm once again saying ‘next month, next month I’ll have more time.’ Here we outline three steps to win back your work/life balance.
- Start 2016 by making a list of what you want to achieve this year. It could be getting your monthly report in a day early, taking a long-promised holiday or strengthening relationships with friends and family. If you find that late working hours are hampering relationships that are important to you make it your priority to leave work at a set time at least once a week. If an over-active social life is hindering your career make a decision to pare back the parties and seek that promotion. Work/life balance looks different for everyone but rarely should one overwhelm the other.
- Increase Productivity. When you’re in work, work. A large proportion of our time is spent procrastinating, even with the best intentions. One great way to increase productivity is to use the Pomodoro Technique . Choose a task and set a timer for 25 minutes. Focus all of your attention on this task for the 25 minutes before taking a 5 minute break. After four 25minute chunks break for 15-20 minutes. The human brain can’t pay attention for long periods but breaking your time into short 25 minute chunks allows you to focus and get tasks done. Make sure you don’t ignore the breaks. Get up and walk around your workspace, make a cup of tea or take out your Pip and try a 5 minute relaxation session to really focus your mind. Learn more about getting started with your Pip.
- Switch Off. Sometimes it can be as hard to stop working as it is to start. If you find this you need to be strict with yourself to build relaxation into your day be it exercise, seeing friends and family or taking some me-time. Carve out a time for these activities in your diary and stick to them as rigidly as you would stick to getting to work on time. Incorporate the Pip into your routine for just 10 minutes per day and make relaxation a habit, Click here for the science behind forming new habits.
Prioritise the things you want to achieve, focus when you have to and switch off afterwards. This will kickstart a life in control and help you to regain that all important work/life balance.
- Cirillo, F., The Pomodoro Technique. 2013: FC Garage.