Having a work life balance is important for your overall health and well-being. However, so many people do not know how to switch off and leave work at work.
Whether you enjoy your job or not it can be stressful and consume your life. After all, we do depend on our job to pay the bills, buy food and create a comfortable living environment.
Stress can have a negative effect not just on your health but also your mood. Common effects include:
- Smoking excessively
- Increased alcohol intake
A lot of people will work longer hours or bring work home just to get things done. However, doing this regularly will burn you out, leaving you feeling mentally and physically exhausted. It is essentially stealing your personal time and the time you have with family and friends.
Setting boundaries and disconnecting from work is imperative when it comes to your mental, emotional and physical health. So, here are five tips you can implement for a better work life balance.
Set simple yet effective boundaries like: Not checking your work email or phone outside of work, not taking work home, not working longer than your contracted working hours. Give yourself a set routine for your working hours and your personal hours. Be strict with your personal time and allow yourself to fully recharge.
Write a To-Do List Before You Leave
Before you leave work for the day write a to-do list of what you need to do the next day. This will give you a sense of closure at the end of the day and help you feel prepared. When you get home there is no need to worry about what you need to do at work, because you already have a plan.
Use Your Commute
Use the time you have on the way back from work to process your day. Acknowledge the positives from your working day and get in the mind frame of what's done is done. You have your to-do-list ready at work and even if any tasks were left incomplete, you know that you can pick them up tomorrow.
Also, if you live close to your workplace, you can use your commute to get some exercise. Rather than drive or use public transport, why not walk or cycle to work? A study by University of East Anglia (UEA) found that, people who had an active commute had a higher level of well-being than people who went by car or public transport.
As soon as you get home, get changed out of your work clothes to make that transition from work mode to chill mode. Staying in your work clothes longer than necessary won’t help you switch off. Once you are in your comfy clothes you can relax, unwind and forget about work.
Utilise the Time at Work Properly
Maximise your productivity at work by allocating your tasks in order of priority. To get your work done by finishing time you need to limit things like: Taking long lunches or talking to colleagues for too long. If you find yourself still struggling to complete important tasks on time, speak to your employer about your workload.
Implement these tips for a better work life balance and be firm with yourself. Remember, your aim should be to work smarter not longer. Going home without the nagging thoughts of work in your head will help you mange your stress levels.
Remember: You can always get in touch with your doctor if you are really struggling to manage your stress levels. They can provide you with the practical and personal advice for dealing with stress.