Maintaining a positive work/life balance is about being comfortable with the amount of time and energy you put into your employment and the amount you spend on other areas of your life.
At all times, but especially when starting a new job, it is important to take control and find a work/life balance that suits you, ensuring that you protect your health and can continue working productively.
Below are just some of the things that you may experience that can disrupt this balance:
- High work load
- The culture of the organisation
- Your own expectations and beliefs
- Caring responsibilities
- Family expectations
- Ability to say 'no'
- Support available
- Ability to manage time
- Energy levels and sleep
- Commitments outside of work
Here are some useful tips to help you manage these potential barriers and strike the right balance between your work and home life:
Take responsibility for managing your work/life balance
If you are struggling at work, have a discussion with your manager to see if anything can be done. Information about flexible working can be found here: http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=1283
Consider time management
How are you prioritising your responsibilities at work and at home? Are you making the best use of your time? Be clear about your personal priorities and differentiate between the 'nice to dos' and the 'necessities'. For tips on time management visit: http://www.mindtools.com/pages/main/newMN_HTE.htm
Try to ensure that you leave work on time
Similarly, take breaks and try to get away from your desk or work station. When you feel refreshed you will be more productive in work. For the same reason, try to leave work at work. Switch your work mobile off when it's time to go home and don't spend leisure time thinking about work.
Be realistic about what's achievable
Don't expect to do everything perfectly all of the time. When you are juggling lots of responsibilities something has to give. Just because you can't do something 100% perfectly right now, does not mean that you are a failure. Your best is good enough!
Prioritise the things that help you to feel positive
If you feel better after practicing relaxation, doing a hobby, or spending time with friends, then don't neglect these things. For example, if you feel energised after exercise, push yourself to go to the gym.
Delegate, and don't be afraid to ask for support
At work and in your personal life, it's ok to ask for help. It is not a sign of weakness or that you can't cope, it is a practical strategy that we all need to employ at times in order to stay on top of things.
Manage your energy levels
Ensure that you take time to eat regular meals – if your body doesn't have fuel then it won't run efficiently. Maintain a regular sleep routine. More information on improving sleep can be found here: http://www.patient.co.uk/health/sleeping-problems-self-help-guides
Further information can be found here: