In the last few weeks, I have felt my work/life balance – if there is such a thing – slipping slightly, as you may have noticed from the lack of posts! There are many debates as to whether or not there is such a thing as work/life balance and how it can be achieved. I believe that there’s no perfect balance – it is a work-life continuum, and if you feel that you’re at the ‘all work and no play’ end more often than not, it’s probably time to make some changes. To help myself slide back towards the middle of the continuum, I’m going to take 3 small steps, and I thought I’d share them with you in case they might help!
1. Put personal meetings in your work diary. If you’ve planned to have lunch with a friend who you’ve not seen in ages, put it in the diary. If you have important dinner plans which require you to leave work right on time, put it in the diary. Obviously you can’t always prioritise personal plans over work, but putting in those events that you simply can’t miss will mean that (hopefully) a meeting won’t appear in your diary at exactly the time you need to be out of the office.
2. Holiday days aren’t just for holidays. I used to be a firm believer that holiday days are only for when you have exciting plans, otherwise it’s a waste of annual leave. But, actually, I’ve come to learn that it’s okay to take a couple of days off to do nothing but recharge. Have a long weekend of doing nothing. Or a long weekend of doing all the things you enjoy but haven’t had time to do – shopping, watching movies, blogging…
3. Learn to say no. If you are overloaded with work and it’s taking over your personal life, it’s okay to say no. Within reason! Remember that when you have a heavy workload, others around you aren’t necessarily aware of it or sensitive to it. If you genuinely do not have capacity to take on another project, be honest and say no – but try to be helpful and offer another solution.
So these are the tips I’m going to try and stick to! I hope they help you too. If you have any other advice, do share in the comments 🙂