You may have heard the term “work/life balance” thrown around in work settings but have you taken the time to reflect on its importance? Work/life balance refers to a harmony between you work responsibilities and the other aspects of your life.
Work/life balance is important because it decreases your chance of burnout in your current role and helps maintain a healthy physical and mental state. Read on to learn how you can increase your work/life balance.
Recognise Your Role
Understanding the significance of your role will help you adopt a healthier mindset to being at work. Take the time to reflect on how the things you do help and improve the lives of your colleagues, clients or consumers.
Having a healthy attitude at work is important in maintaining your mental health and well-being. If you find that you are constantly questioning your role or simply do not enjoy it anymore, you may want to consider a career change. Look into adult learning courses that can help you transition into another role that you will enjoy more.
Stress Relieving Activities
Explore some different hobbies and find something that helps you to relax and unwind. It is important to take some time for yourself so that your career does not become the entire focus of your life. Some good stress relieving activities include jogging, yoga, meditation, and reading. However, if your interests lie in another area (e.g. art, music, traveling, etc.), find a way to turn that into a regular hobby!
It is important to have hobbies that are unrelated to your work life so that you can have a break from your usual duties. If your passion is learning, consider undertaking some adult learning courses. Being in a full-time career does not mean your learning needs to come to a halt. Pursue your interests and expand your adult learning.
Often the commute to and from work is a major cause of unhappiness in people’s work lives. Despite how enjoyable you find your job, no one is going to love sitting in traffic for over an hour to get to work. Consider ways to shorten your commute time. Perhaps you can move closer to work? Or if this is not an option, consider taking public transport.
Train rides can be enjoyable as you have the chance to sit and relax before you begin work. Consider utilizing your commute time if you are taking public transport. Read a book on the train, or listen to music. Find out how you can make your commute more enjoyable so that it doesn’t affect the enjoyment of your work.
In our technology oriented world, it can be difficult to unplug from people. The outside world is always so accessible so it is important to take the time to switch off and let yourself recover. You may find with the absence of technology, you are able to focus more on your present surroundings.
Also, consider establishing communication boundaries. If you can, perhaps make it clear to your colleagues and clients that you will not be checking your emails after a certain time and to direct any inquiries/questions to you during work hours if possible. Everyone understands that personal boundaries are a right, and you shouldn’t be expected to be attending to your work life at all times.
Improve Work Culture
The culture in the workplace is a major source of work/life balance. Suggest to management to incorporate more activities that promote healthiness and well-being. This may be in the form of team sports, gym classes or social outings. Make sure the well-being of employees is being taken seriously because it is important that your work environment is not a place you dread to be every day.
If your company does not support this initiative, consider gathering your team outside work to partake in recreational activities. This can be something as simple as getting everyone together for after-work dinner once a week. At least it gives you and everyone else something to look forward to.
Work/life balance is crucial in maintaining your physical and mental health. If you find that you are constantly dreading each day at work or have no time to attend to the other commitments in your life, you may need to ask yourself if it is still worthwhile to you. There are plenty of adult learning courses which can prepare and provide you with the skills needed to progress into a more enjoyable career.
Helen Sabell works for the College for Adult Learning, she is passionate about adult learning. She has developed and authored many workplace leadership programs, both in Australia and overseas.