If you work for yourself or from home, you know how hard it can be to switch from business mode to your personal life, but maintaining good boundaries is so important for keeping you motivated and content in both areas. In this week’s blog, we look at what is a good work-life balance and how to achieve it.
What is a good work-life balance?
While everyone’s situation is different, depending on your personal life and job, this ultimately means being able to stay on top of your work and still have the time to enjoy family time, hobbies and a social life.
If you’re able to meet your deadlines at work whilst also eating well, getting enough sleep and not worrying about work, then you are succeeding at getting the right work-life balance.
What is a poor work-life balance?
Alternatively, if you’re struggling to keep on top of your workload, can’t get ahead at work or make enough money, this can lead to a poor work-life balance. It may be caused by increased responsibility at home or at work which can knock your life off balance.
When you struggle to manage both your work and personal life, this can lead to stress and burn out.
So, what can you do to improve your work-life balance?
Fixed work hours and breaks
This may sound obvious, but extra time can easily sneak in here and there and before you know it, you haven’t had any breaks all day and you’re logging off late every night. Try to set your work hours and stick to them as much as possible. Also, take regular breaks and schedule them into your calendar so you don’t lose track of time.
Go for a walk, get fresh air or eat lunch with family or friends to help you take a mental break. If you really struggle to stay away from work, schedule some time with friends or family at least once a week, and book in some email-free hours during some evenings and the weekend so you can properly switch off.
You can always put your OOO on if you’re worried about stepping away, so anyone emailing you will know when you’re contactable.
Create clear boundaries
Setting boundaries for work and your personal life not only helps you but can avoid any misunderstanding about your availability. Let everyone, including your family, friends and clients, know your working hours so they know when they can contact you.
This will help prevent you from getting distracted by your personal life when you’re meant to be working and getting sucked back into work when you’re in the middle of family time. Calendly is a great app to easily allow clients to view your availability and book appointments with you.
Set your workspace
Working from home does not always mean you’ll have a better work-life balance. Although you are reducing commuting and can put in a load of washing in your lunch break, it is very easy for work and personal life to get mixed up.
If you work from home, create physical work boundaries. This could be creating a dedicated work area, making sure it stays tidy and all the equipment you use regularly is easy to access so you can be more productive.
Don’t forget to take breaks away from your desk and pack your work away once your workday is done, so you’re not tempted to log back on - even just for a few minutes!
The Arts News
Keep your eyes peeled: Jaye Elster, friend of The Arts VA, has announced that her new book How to Swing in Musical Theatre, about the amazing job swings and understudies do for theatre, will be published in October 2022. We can’t wait to read it!
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