It's UK National Work/Life Week (7-11 October); a time for employers and employees to focus on wellbeing at work and finding a healthy 'work-life balance'. For anyone who knows me or has worked with me you'll know that I don't like to think of it as finding an elusive 'work-life balance' but more of a flow; where you're able to feel in flow with your work and life with each working and flowing together rather than it feeling like a constant struggle or that you're performing a balancing act.
Whether you're a freelancer, entrepreneur, self employed or employed here are some tips to help you find a healthy work life flow:
Set clear and definitive boundaries to protect and manage your time. Learn to say 'no' to the things that drain you and find efficient ways to make the most of your time which will free you up to do the things that bring you joy. Learn to delegate; use automated systems to speed up admin and perhaps hardest of all - ask for help. Don't feel like you've got to 'go it alone', in business or at home - enlist the help of others so you can use your time wisely and meaningfully.
Make a note...
Besides your practical 'to-do' list, create a separate weekly list of intentions For your to-do, have a daily list of a maximum of 3 things, focus on one thing at a time that you can realistically achieve in the time you have. Make a list for each day to help you focus and not get overwhelmed by a long seemingly neverending list! For your intentions list, have a maximum of 2 for you, 2 for work, 2 for your relationships... or pick the areas of your life that are important to you or that need your attention - check out my 'Intentions' video on IGTV for more tips on being more intentional with your daily routine. Finally, remember to celebrate what you've accomplished at the end of each week! This helps you to acknowledge yourself and your achievements, which builds confidence. It also helps you to learn from what's not gone as well as you'd hoped which builds resilience for the future.
Take a break
Taking regular breaks throughout your working day isn't 'slacking off', it is actually proven to help with focus and makes you more productive. When you're not at work, ensure you take time out for yourself to recharge. Time away from 'doing' leaves you feeling refreshed and energised; something as simple as a 15-minute walk and a large glass of water can make a massive difference. Similarly a long bath or an hour with a good book leaves you feeling calm and 're-set' for the next day. Make time for these things and see the difference it makes.
Switch off and be fully present, whether you are at work or at home, as much as possible - don't try and do both as you will be distracted and do neither with your full attention or effort. When at work focus on the task at hand and resist the temptation to do 'home' stuff - even if you work at home. In turn, when at home switch off the work! This can be hard when you work for yourself, or work in your own home but again, think about those boundaries that you can put in place to help make that work/home distinction. Allowing yourself to be fully present helps you to develop deeper relationships and is better for you in the long run as you feel less stretched. If this is an area you'd like more help in, I have created the 'Be Present' Business Boost as a further toolkit to help you work with more depth and focus on your business.
Listen to your body
Tune into your body and what you need. Self care is more than the spa breaks, manicures and massages. Self care is being in tune with what you need physically, mentally and emotionally and ensuring that those needs are met; doing this means you can then give the best of yourself to your work and home life.
I will be creating a toolkit around this topic this winter as I think it is key to finding a healthy work/life flow... stay tuned!