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Has the time come to improve your work/life balance?

Thursday 18th April 2019

With more and more people placing an emphasis on general wellbeing – both physical and mental – the concept of work/life balance has never been more important than it is today.

Maintaining a healthy division of time between your career or business and your home life isn’t always easy, particularly if you run your own company and shoulder most of the responsibility for its success.

With that in mind, here are some of the tell-tale signs your work/life balance isn’t what it should be, and tips on how to improve it.

Warning signs

One of the biggest indicators of an unhealthy work/life balance is stress. If you feel that your stress levels are rising and it’s affecting your ability to function, it could be down to work overshadowing other parts of your life.

The most common indicators of work-related stress include:

– Feeling anxious, irritable or depressed
– Trouble sleeping
– Fatigue
– Difficulty concentrating
– Muscle tension
– Headaches
– Social withdrawal

If you are experiencing some of these symptoms, it’s worth asking whether the amount of time you are dedicating to work, at the expense of your personal life, is a contributing factor.

Fortunately, there are a number of steps anyone can take to improve their work/life balance, ranging from small adjustments in working methods to major changes. Here are a few measures that could help…

Leave work at work

Modern technology makes it easier than ever to stay constantly connected to your business.

Whether you’re always checking your emails or using apps to plan the following day’s activities, try to have some time in the day where all devices are switched off and you forget about work.

This can prove particularly important towards the end of the day, as looking at bright electronic screens just before going to bed can affect your sleep.

Make plans outside work

Making plans with friends and family outside work will give you something to look forward to and help you forget about whatever is happening with the business, even if it’s just for a short while.

Keeping in contact with people and maintaining relationships also ensures you have someone to talk to when you’re feeling stressed.

Adopt healthy habits at work and home

Eating healthily and getting regular exercise is hugely important whether you’re at home or at work, since it helps you to stay mentally and physically fit.

It’s easy to fall into bad eating habits when you’re busy during the week, so it might help to plan in advance and take healthy snacks and lunches with you.

Try new time management and organisation methods

If you find that you simply don’t have enough hours in the day to get everything done, look in to new tools and methods that could help you plan your time better and work more efficiently.

Using apps to make schedules and structure your days in more detail could prove beneficial, and being willing to delegate tasks, rather than assuming you have to do everything yourself, is also important.

Image courtesy of: iStock-cyano66.

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