posted by on Articles, Stress, Work life

Whether we work for ourselves or for someone else it is sometimes hard to resist the temptation to fall into the pattern of working too much. According to the organisation for working families nine per cent of employees worked forty to forty- eight hours in a usual working week, six per cent worked more than 48 hours, with two per cent working more than 55 hours.

At the end of the summer as we return to work it is easy just to carry on where we left off and go back to the madness of hectic days where we react to everything, respond to everyone’s demands and stress levels are soon back to where they were before the holidays. Our family and friends are put on the back burner and our social life and outside activities suffer. But not this year, with a little thought and planning this autumn could be a much calmer time with work and life much more balanced.

There are many challenges to taking control of our life and gaining balance, here are some tips for getting you started.

Time management and planning                                                                                              

There are 1440 minutes in a day, no more, no less, but we try to squeeze more time out of an already busy day. If those minutes were pound notes would we be more careful with them? Would our precious time capital be treated with more respect? The truth is that we cannot control time but with some simple time management techniques it is possible to manage ourselves a little better, if we wish to make more use of our time. Knowing our priorities and working towards them, by setting a few simple goals can be the key to keeping us on track and achieving what we want without working all day and all night.

Go home on time

Plan to go home on time (or if you work at home to finish on time) at least one day a week or even go home or finish early, plan something nice to do when you do go home. Having something to look forward to will help you be more focused.

Learn to say no

Sometimes a simple “no” will do instead of being the one who always says “yes”. People ask because they know that you will always say yes. So by not always being accommodating they may think twice before asking again.

Eat well and exercise

If we eat well and exercise we can keep up our energy levels and not become burnt out. By looking after ourselves we are more able to make better decisions about our day and our choices.

Take regular breaks

It is important to take regular breaks both during the day and also to take well earned holidays from time to time to recharge our energy levels and keep us refreshed and focused.

Disconnect from mobile phones and devices

These days most of us have not just a mobile phone but a variety of other devices so we can be stitched on 24 hours a day. But we don’t have to always be available, by switching off the technology for a few minutes each day or having a day free from technology. It is possible to get back in touch with our social side. Try living in the moment, perhaps even introducing a few real conversations and talking to people.

 Delegate at work and at home

And finally delegate at work and at home. We do not have to do everything ourselves even at home. If time is really precious to us we can get other people, family, friends or even pay someone to do some jobs so that we have more time to do the things that we want to.

September 23 – 27 is National Work Life Balance week and Wednesday 25 September is National GO Home Early Day. What can you do to improve your Work Life Balance this month?

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Gillian Kitchen  MA, ILM, is a personal & leadership coach she’s on Twitter @changeagencynw  & LinkedIn