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How to maintain a life/work balance

17 / 03 / 2015
How to maintain a life/work balanceWe spend more waking hours in the office than we do anywhere else, so is it any surprise that we sometimes find it hard to switch off from work in our spare time?

But being able to relax and enjoy some downtime is essential and getting a decent work-life balance is vital for your health. So how can you make sure you're able to forget about work outside your contracted hours?

Don't check work emails in your free time

With our smartphones, laptops and tablets, we can be connected 24 hours a day for seven days a week. But this means we're always contactable out of hours - and the temptation to keep an eye on our work email inbox can be overwhelming, even when we're lying on a beach on holiday.

This can ultimately be counterproductive, as it stops us from genuinely relaxing and enjoying outside pursuits. If you've constantly got one eye on messages from work, how can you ever hope to switch off for a few hours?

Take jobs that offer flexible working

While we might have just suggested that technology can be bad for our work-life balance, it can be helpful in other ways. We're far less bound to our office desks these days, so we can work from home or other remote locations at a time of our choosing.

Many employers allow staff to work flexibly so they can manage outside responsibilities, such as doing the school run, or if they have to wait in at home for a tradesman to arrive. It all reduces the conflict between our work and home lives, so we can confidently and ably put 100 per cent into both.

Be prepared to ask for help

Sometimes our workload might feel overwhelming, which makes us feel the only way to deal with it is to complete some tasks at home. But if you get to this point, you really are overworked and it's time to say so. If your bosses or colleagues don't know you're having to take work home in order to get it done, nothing will ever change. So ask for help when you need it, or else you'll never get to enjoy any decent downtime - and this is no good for you or your fellow workers.

Be healthy

When we're busy at work, it's easy to let healthy pastimes and pursuits fall by the wayside. We might start skipping lunch breaks and eating at our desks. Maybe we're so tired that we slob out in front of the TV after work rather than go for a run or to the gym. Or perhaps we go for convenience foods and takeaways if we feel we haven't the time to cook a decent meal.

But taking the time to live a healthy lifestyle can reap massive rewards at home and at work. Nothing is so important that you can't afford to get the required amount of rest, exercise and food. Knowing when to stop and take a break is crucial if you are to perform at your best and be at peak condition both physically and mentally.

Achieving a work-life balance is crucial for your health and overall job satisfaction, so if you ever feel the balance is shifting too far towards your job, it's time to do something about it.ADNFCR-1684-ID-801780099-ADNFCR