Back to Back Issues Page
iManage, Issue #33 - Is Your Life All Work And No Play? 3 Steps To A Better Work Life Balance
July 22, 2012


Is Your Life All Work And No Play? 3 Steps To A Better Work Life Balance

In recessionary times, you may have to work a lot harder to maintain your business. Or you may have to invest a lot of time in starting something new.

Whatever the impact, it is easy to fall into the trap of working excessive hours during the week and possibly weekends as well.

You can get to a stage where even if you have time to relax, your mind is still back in the workplace. Over time, this can lead to a pattern where you skip meals, live on coffee and cigarettes and feel tired after a night’s sleep.

You can become irritable with those around you and generally feel over-whelmed by all that has to be done. If not checked, this pattern can lead to burnout, serious health issues and a negative impact on your relationships as well.

So how can you break the cycle? Here are 3 steps to a better work life balance.

Step 1: Decide to Delegate

Are you spending time on tasks that could be done by someone else, freeing up important time for you? We can get very busy doing the job right, rather than doing the right job.

Think about tasks both at home and at work that can be delegated or outsourced – leaving you with some valuable breathing space.

Step 2: Build in the Basics

However busy your life is, don’t skip on these essentials: sleep, healthy food and exercise. If your mind is racing at bedtime, try relaxation tapes or Apps - with regular use you will find you can reach a relaxed state very quickly.

In your diet, tip the balance in favour of proteins, fruit and vegetables, and cut back on carbohydrates, fats and sugars. Keep caffeine drinks to a minimum - and avoid near bedtime.

Build in at least 4 x 30 min exercise blocks a week, doing something you enjoy, such as a brisk walk, jog or cycle.

Step 3: Excel at being Good Enough

Sometimes we can set the bar very high for ourselves. If you don’t put in that extra couple of hours work before bedtime, will the outcome be so terrible?

We can be our own worst enemy, setting tight deadlines and aiming to achieve too much in too short a space of time. Building some slack into our goals can really help us to live in a healthier, happier way.

Work life balance is a unique and ever changing state – what works for one person may not suit another, and the demands on our time vary depending on our stage of life.

There will always be times where we under pressure to get more done. Whatever your situation, watch for the signs of burnout and be alert to when you are out of balance. Take steps to redress it and you will see a positive impact in all areas of your life.

For detailed advice on managing your time and wellbeing, download our How To Manage Time Pack for a comprehensive, step by step approach with lots of practical tips.

Best wishes

Ann Halloran

Practical Management Skills

Practical management skills advice for business owners and managers. Get best practice tips on a personal development and people management skills such as time management, leadership, communication, managing change and more.

Content based on 30 years management/consultancy experience gained in a wide range of business sectors.

Back to Back Issues Page