A healthy work-life balance is something I feel strongly about. As they say “Don't get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life”. This quote is one that has always resonated with me.
A good work-life balance for me is getting my work done effectively and successfully while still making time for myself, my friends, my family, my boyfriend, my dog, my diet, and the gym!
These are all the things that are important to me, they keep me happy, healthy, and motivated, which in turn contributes to a positive work ethic and attitude.
Don’t get me wrong, finding the balance between “on” and “off” can be difficult sometimes. Especially when you are buried in paperwork or have a deadline to meet.
As a recruitment consultant, I find it difficult to switch off much of the time. It's a fast-paced, high-pressure job so it comes with that price. But this is exactly why a line needs to be drawn and why a balance needs to be maintained. My mental health and life mustn’t be sacrificed for the good of my job!
It's safe to say the pandemic or “Covid19” improved my work-life balance! I am now able to work from home some days which saves me time, money, and stress, such as finding an outfit to wear in the morning (minor I know, but it still counts!).
Working from home also allows me to do more “at home things” that I didn't get the opportunity to do when I was in the office every day. For example, taking my dog out for a walk, or grocery shopping on my lunch break. There's also the benefit from a work point of view; such as having less distractions being based at home. You don’t have chatty coworkers or office noise surrounding you anymore!
Although there are many benefits of working from home, I do think for me personally I still need an office environment now and again. I need that social interaction, team collaboration, and discipline (only sometimes) that you cannot get from working at home on your own.
I understand this might differ from person to person or profession to profession.
You may love working from home and not having to deal with that micromanaging boss every day! Or you may be a nurse and not have many choices in the matter. But it’s up to each individual to find the work-life balance that works for them and not be restricted by what their work model allows them to do. Work-life balance comes in all shapes and sizes. It's about finding what's important to you and making time for it in the busy working world.
Going to the gym is important to me, it’s my escape. It allows me to break away physically and also mentally from work. Depending on how busy my workday is or what my diary looks like, I might go first thing in the morning, on my lunch break, or after work.
I believe exercise improves my work performance. It reduces stress and increases my brain power and my energy levels!
A healthy diet also makes an important contribution to my “healthy” balance. Eating well but moderately keeps me fuelled for longer and maintains my concentration levels. “Brain food” really does work, trust me. I stick to a fairly strict diet during the week, allowing myself the very odd treat or two. When you eat good, you feel good!
I will admit that coffee is still my number one fuel in the morning. I don’t think I could wake up properly without it, but I stick to a daily maximum of two cups. Maybe it's just me, but coffee can give me anxiety if I go overboard, which can have a negative impact on my work and wellbeing.
Having set working hours can be a good arrangement for those who like a strict routine and to head for the hills when the clock strikes a particular time each day.
However for me, sometimes I start a little bit later and finish a little bit later or the other way around if the day allows me to. Or perhaps I take a little bit more time on my lunch and make up the time later. Either way, I feel flexi-time definitely helps me to maintain a good work-life balance.
Making time for my family, friends, and boyfriend is essential in my life, even when things get very hectic at work! I tend to have at least one or two sit-down meals a week with my family where we all catch up on each others’ busy lives. It sounds strange, but living in the same house doesn't always mean you spend enough time together.
As for catching up with friends, I tend to leave this until the weekend. This is mainly because I am more relaxed, there's more time and of course, more things to do.
My boyfriend and I have a habit of voice-noting each other throughout the day because we don't really see each other much during the week. This arrangement makes it easier for us to keep each other updated around the work clock. We're also big fans of trips or nights away. This can be with friends or family, but I think indulgences like these are important now and again to refresh the mind, body, and soul.
Lastly, me-time is key-time when it comes to a good work-life balance. This is usually during the evenings for me, when I'm tired and just want to be alone.
Watching my favourite show, online shopping or reading works for me.
It's important to take time for yourself and relax when the working day is done, especially if you have a job like mine where you're constantly dealing with people.
They say solitude and being alone helps build mental strength and I agree.