According to a Harvard Business School survey, a huge 94% of working professionals reported working more than 50 hours per week, and nearly 50% said they worked more than 65 hours per week. A work-life balance can seem impossible in this day and age, with modern technology making workers accessible 24-7. Longer working hours in a day will increase stress levels and can damage relationships, motivation, productivity and health.
A perfect work-life balance is different for everyone but we have summarised five tips to help you find your ideal balance.
Prioritise your time
You may have a task list with 50 items, all of which come into one of the following categories:
Important and Urgent
Important but not Urgent
Not Important but Urgent
Not Important and not Urgent
You need to allocate the tasks to these headings and focus on the important and urgent category first.
Set yourself strict start and finish times and discipline yourself to stick to them. Work never ends, and if you’re looking to finish everything, you’ll never stop. Working long hours isn’t good for anyone — you, your family or your colleagues.
Regular exercise is essential. It’s easy to cancel the gym or the evening run because a client wants something done yesterday. It is important to ensure exercise is given as much priority as your clients and making money. A healthy body means a fresh mind, which means you will function better and complete tasks in less time.
Technology has helped our lives in many ways, including telecommuting and programs that make work easier. However the owner of a phone number and email address is now expected to be accessible at all times, and the working day never seems to end. Phone notifications are an interuption to quality time and can increase stress levels, and in order to fully switch off from a days work you need to select that ‘silent’ mode.
Let go of perfectionism
The key to avoid burning out is to let go of perfectionism. As life gets more expanded it’s very hard, both neurologically and psychologically, to keep that habit of perfection going, the healthier option is to strive not for perfection, but for excellence.