The fine line – five tips for restoring your work life balance

Work life balance. Nice idea eh? But all too often work gets in the way. It spreads out from those contracted working hours to invade every aspect of life. So we think about work on what should be lazy Sunday afternoon. We check our emails as soon as we wake up. And no matter how hard we try our thoughts are never far from the office, even when our bodies are. Well, there’s no quick fix, but these five suggestions will help you redress the balance, one step at a time.

A second life

Make sure you have something you do for more than money and day-to-day survival. Whether it’s jewellery making, bread baking or meditation, find something that helps you focus on you. Something that relaxes body and mind and gets you away from the day-to-day realities of life. This will help you become more centred, more in tune with your own needs and help you develop a better work life balance.

Better is the enemy of good

If it’s good enough for Voltaire, it’s good enough for us. Realising when to put a project to bed is vital to a healthy work life balance. As our lives become more complicated and the demands on our time greater, perfection is often unachievable. Aim instead for excellence, and realise when to let go.

 Get up offa that thing

As James Brown once sang, “Get up offa that thing, and dance till you feel better”. We’re not suggesting you dance in the office. Unless it’s that kind of office. But getting up off of your chair and having a little walk every 90 minutes really helps to give your over-stimulated brain a rest. It also gives you a chance to stretch cramped legs and neck muscles and relieve a little tension. 

Switch off to switch off

Lots of studies have shown the negative impact of viewing mobile devices and light emitting sources immediately before bed. But it’s also important to switch off from work well ahead of your head hitting the pillow. So start winding down a good few hours before bed. Switch off the work emails. Stop stressing about the office politics. And forget about tomorrow’s deadline. Easier said than done? Read the next entry.

A routine to break the routine

If your idea of a pre-bed routine goes a little something like this… clean teeth, cleanse, exfoliate, moisturise, check Facebook, send a couple of texts, one last work email check, try to relax… you should consider switching down a little. Taking some time to meditate, doing some breathing exercises, or a little yoga, can help you centre on you, clear your mind and relax you body. Doing this regularly will help you get a better and more restful nights sleep.