We’ve all been there at some point in our career where we’ve felt that work is taking over EVERYTHING. One of my worse jobs ever found me working what felt like 18 hours days followed by 6 hours sleep. On repeat for 7 days. Granted I was younger and I thought I could save the world through working hard at this company. But looking back, the thing that surprises me the most is how normal I thought it was. Having put in long hours to study at uni I wasn’t phased by it until my body physically told me otherwise.
So what can you do to ensure that you have a healthier work – life balance?
Set (realistic) boundaries
I know that if I don’t get up and walk away from my desk and take a lunch break I can sometimes be so engrossed in work I won’t have lunch until 3.30pm. I’ll usually then be reminded to have lunch by the on set of a headache. So taking lunch is a non-negotiable for me. I have booked out the time in my diary so I remember to actually eat lunch at a decent time. This makes me more productive in the afternoon and means I’m not struggling to finish work in my own time. When was the last time you really set a work boundary?
Set manageable goals
At the start of each week I have meeting with my team to set out my intentions for the week. It’s a chance for me share what I’m working on and let them know where I may need their help. Having this meeting forces me to look at what I want to achieve in the week ahead and set goals. I can then break these goals down in to daily tasks to work on.
Leave work at work
You go to work to do a job and you should ideally leave that work there when you go home. I try to be intentional with my time and so now leave my laptop in my locker in the office. This limits the amount of things I can do when I get home even if I felt like I should do more. I’m not going to lie and say say this is always the case. Of course there are time when I really do need to just take the laptop home and finish a piece of work. But this is not the norm.
Figure out what works best for you.
We’re all different and so what may work for your colleague may not work for you. For some this will mean working a little later during the week to ensure that they don’t have to work on the weekend. Whilst for others that may mean leaving work early and therefore working a couple of hours on a Sunday.
We all know there will be times when you’ll have to work extra hours or extra days in order to get the job done. And there are also extra hours or extra days you’ll have to miss work to deal with life. But in general it is possible to have a work life balance you just need to put things in place to ensure it happens!
Good luck and keep going, I know in the end you’ll be fine!