In this always-on society, we’re far too available, which makes switching off nearly impossible. We’re contactable via mobile, email and because we’re friends with our bosses on Facebook, via social media.
We all crave a better work/love/life balance but have we made this nearly impossible for ourselves?
But before you go on a frenzied Facebook rant, we’ve put together 6 ways in which you can create a better work/love/life balance for yourselves.
1. Set Boundaries
You must clearly define your boundaries as to what’s work time and what’s personal time.
For instance, when you wake up in the morning don’t reach for your mobile and start checking emails in bed before you’ve even wiped the drool from your cheeks, or you’ll start your day feeling stressed and anxious.
The first 20 minutes of your day are the most important, so don’t start it with your inbox. Your subconscious mind is most receptive in the first 20 minutes of you waking up, so why not use this time to do some yoga stretches, journaling, or spend that little extra bit of time in bed making love. You’ll get off on a positive foot and set a boundary that this is your personal time; a time of self-love and shared love.
Brendon Burchard, motivational speaker, NY Times best-selling author and coach says, “emails are just other people’s agendas”, so don’t start the day with other people’s, start with your own agenda.
This is always a bit of a grey area but it’s important to let our boss know that you’re 100% present at work and will give it your all during your expected work hours, but make sure they know that you have outside responsibilities too. They can’t call you at 11pm and expect you to answer, or send you five emails before 6am and expect a reply by 7am. You need to clearly define your boundaries but you also need to show respect and understanding, so approach this boundary setting with a light touch.
2. Be More Productive
In order to prevent your work hours encroaching on your much needed personal time, it’s important to make your work hours as productive as can be.
A study by the University of Maryland shows, that the more specific you are about your goals, the more chance you have of achieving them. So start each working day with a to-do list.
When you get in the office write yourself a list of the tasks to be done for the day, but include verbs. As productivity guru, David Allen states, starting each item on your list with a verb makes it more concrete. For example, Instead of writing “meeting in boardroom” identify the actions it will involve. E.g. look over presentation deck, add relevant images to pages, test next page clicker.
Each time you cross something off your to-do list you will get a great sense of achievement, which will drive you to cross the next one off, but remember to include things you can do for your partner on that list. We need to be more mindful of how we can prevent our work life encroaching on our personal life and we also need to be mindful of how we can keep our personal life top of mind.
We need to be more conscious about including our partners in our day-to-day activities so that our jobs don’t overtake our love lives. A simple I love you text, a hand-written note on their pillow, a dinner cooked or a bath drawn when you know they’re coming home is all it takes.
It’s also best to start your day with the most mentally taxing tasks on your list because as the day progresses, productivity seems to take a nosedive.
3. Take Holidays
We’ve all been guilty of hoarding our holidays so we can have that massive 5-week European jaunt, but this practice is not balanced. You must take clear breaks throughout the year to refresh and restart. Otherwise, you risk being burnt out and disillusioned.
Also, taking your phone on your holiday or checking work emails is not recommended. It’s super important to switch off and be in the present, especially if travelling with a loved one. Be on holiday when you’re on holiday and at work when you’re at work.
This also applies to mini breaks. We live in the land of the long weekend so why not take advantage of that and plan a romantic trip away somewhere in advance. Go somewhere close enough that it doesn’t take too long to get there but far enough to feel like you’re away.
4. Have A Social Life
Making time for play is just as important as having a job or business. Allocate time every week for friends and romantic interests, this will ensure you’re feeding your soul as well as your bank account.
Social interaction and touch is something we crave as humans and without it, out brain chemistry can be negatively affected. See our previous post on the power of human touch.
All work and no play… you know the saying. It really is dull. Why wouldn’t you want to fit a brunch with friends or a hot dinner date into your week? This is the sweetness and spice of life and the Perth dating scene can be a whole lot of fun!
Even if you don’t have anyone to ask on a date, try your luck with a Meetup or social group or outsource to a professional matchmaker and before you know it, you’ll have to even up your work life, to balance out your love life.
5. Set A Fitness Routine & Stick To It
We’ve got to make the most of our spare time and exercise is a great activity to incorporate into our leisure time. In order to get energy, you’ve got to give energy, so having a weekly fitness routine will help set you up for an energetic workweek.
Plan to exercise at least 3 times a week to get the benefits. Which include stress relief, boosted feel good hormones, improved confidence, brainpower, and productivity.
Once you’re in a routine, keep it going. You’ll soon start seeing positive results and it will become addictive, then you won’t want to miss a sweat session.
6. Turn Off Your Mobile!
When you’re out with friends or on a date, switch your phone off; it’s important to be present. When you’re too busy taking pics for Instagram or replying to texts when you’re at dinner, you’ll miss out on being in the room.
Not only that, but it’s just darn right rude when someone is more interested in their virtual life than the one happening in front of them.
When you get home from work, try and switch your phone off, and definitely refrain from double screening it in front of the television. Your Insta and Facebook feeds will be there tomorrow and the next. It may look a little different but honestly, how different are your friend’s posts from one day to the next?
Being present and in the now is one of the best tools you can implement into your life; and one of the best ways to create a better work/love/life balance. One of the best books ever written on this subject is The Power Of Now, by Eckhart Tolle. It’s life changing.