Feel as though your work-life balance is out of whack as we reach the middle of the year? Here are 10 ways to revive it to keep you on track to reach your 2022 career goals
And, just like that, we’ve almost reached the middle of the year! The new-year enthusiasm has long been left behind, along with resolutions to be more productive so that you can achieve your 2022 #careergoals and to make work-life balance
more of a priority. By now, many of us have fallen back into the bad habit of giving so much to our employers that we are left with little to no time for self-care.
The numbers also reflect this. Despite labour laws stipulating that an employee can not be forced to work more than 45 hours a week, a 2019 report by the University of Oxford, titled Our World in Data, revealed that South Africans work the longest hours in the world, coming in at 2209 annually. So It should come as no surprise that 22% of employees surveyed felt overworked and under-paid, and their skills and expertise undervalued.
Having a good work-life balance can help you succeed in all areas. Grinding hard but ensuring that you are giving yourself the space and time necessary to recharge is vital. If you are struggling with staying motivated at work and staying present at home, here are 10 tips from Judith Matthis of Spacious Minds Career Coaching to help you to reintroduce and maintain proper balance so that you can perform at your peak in all aspects of your life.
1. Consider your energy bank
‘If we view time in terms of our own energy and output capabilities rather than actual hours, it becomes easier to prioritise what energises us and allows us to perform more optimally,’ explains Judith. ‘This means making decisions – such as choosing a good night’s sleep over working until midnight to finish a task – that won’t compromise your well-being, both inthe short- and the long-term.’
2. Establish firm boundaries
We know that it’s crucial to unplug at the end of the day for some deserved downtime. ‘Yes, occasionally work emergencies arise, requiring you to sacrifice some of your personal time, but this should be the exception and not the rule,’ advises Judith. For people working from home, try to work in a specifically designated space (that isn’t your bedroom) so the line between personal and professional is not blurred.
3. Communicate and reinforce them
‘Once you have established your boundaries, you need to communicate them to your colleagues and your family so that they are aware of what they are,’ says Judith. ‘When the people around you know what they can and can’t ask of you and make requests accordingly, it makes it much easier to manage yourself. Try to be consistent so everyone knows what to expect of you.’
4. Avoid over-committing
Are you guilty of over-committing and not leaving enough time left to unwind? As the saying goes: ‘Under-promise and over-deliver!’ And this doesn’t just go for your professional life but the commitments you make with friends and family, too. ‘Ask yourself why you are tempted to take on too much – do these obligations align with your values and priorities or is it people-pleasing behaviour?’ suggests Judith.
5. Prioritise your time
‘Following up from not over-committing, it’s important to hone your time-management skills and to be able to prioritise your time in a way that works with your personal and professional values. This goes for your career and being able to assess the urgency of each task delegated to you, and for those moments when you need to choose between your job or a personal emergency,’ explains Judith.
6. Ask for help
‘There’s nothing wrong with speaking up and asking for help when you are feeling overwhelmed either at work or at home,’
affirms Judith. ‘Reach out to a colleague, your partner or a friend if you feel like you are in need of some support. Remember, none of us live in isolation and drawing on our network to ease the load is an option we often tend to overlook.’
7. Schedule ‘me time’
Setting aside some alone time to process and decompress is important for your overall well-being. ‘Carve out time in your schedule dedicated to filling your cup, whether that means exercising, reading a book or having coffee with a friend,’ advises Judith. ‘If there is something that helps you restore your energy balance, build it into your schedule so that it becomes a regular ritual.’
8. Get some perspective
When you feel as though your life is out of control, it can be difficult to keep your perspective. When you start to feel overwhelmed, take a step back to get out of your self-doubting head! ‘Try talking to someone you trust, like a sensible friend or someone who knows you well, to get your thinking back on track,’ recommends Judith.
9. Re-evaluate your stressors
‘When you are putting yourself under pressure and doing countless hours of overtime, it’s worth asking yourself why you are doing this,’ says Judith. ‘When you ask yourself this question, particularly in uncomfortable or stressful situations, we may be surprised by the answer and be able to reassess and change how we use our time. Sometimes, allowing a different perspective
can bring new options with it!’
10. Know, and respect, yourself
‘The first step to making any substantial change to your work-life balance is to draw on your self-awareness,’ explains Judith. ‘If you are clear about who you are and what you value most, then prioritising the various aspects of your life is significantly easier and remaining firm in your boundaries becomes more natural and makes a lot more sense. Stay strong!’
Words by Helen Wallace
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels