Work is an important element in most people’s lives. If you work full-time, you will be working around 40 hours every week. Since there are 168 hours in a week, and, on average, 40 hours are going to be spent sleeping, that leaves 88 hours (including the weekend) for yourself. However, some of those 88 hours are going to be spent commuting if you work outside of the home, so your free time dwindles even more.
This is why it’s so important for everyone to have a good work life balance. If you are working half the week and at home the rest, and you need to spend time with your family, friends, on your hobbies, as well as just relaxing, it can get tough, and that’s without factoring in shifts, overtime, or work related stress.
Creating the right work life balance is crucial for your mental health and your wellbeing. Here are some ways it can be done.
Make a Plan
You already know how long you need to set aside for work (including traveling time and breaks). You know how much sleep you need to get to function at your best. So how much time do you have left? This is your free time. You need to make a good plan as to how you’re intending to spend this free time and then you need to stick to that plan otherwise you’ll begin to get more stressed.
Taking each day separately, look at what needs to be done and work out the best time to do it. It may sound simple, and that’s because it is. Many people start to get overwhelmed when they think of everything they need to do in one shot. Breaking it down into smaller tasks and separating each day to focus on every element will make it less stressful, easier, and more likely you’ll get everything done. By the time the weekend comes, you can feel satisfied at how much you completed during the week.
Combine What You Can
In the past multitasking was seen as a good thing, and something we needed to aim for. Recent studies have shown this to be false, and instead it is far better to focus on one task and complete it before moving onto the next. However, sometimes it is possible to combine two tasks into one. This is not the same as multitasking, and it is a great time saver, allowing you to get more done and have more free time.
You might need to spend some time searching for a gift for a loved one, for example. You might also need to spend some time looking for a reward for an employee, or a thank you for a big client. Minimize your search time by choosing something that will suit both people and buying two, such as a men’s scent box or a gift card. It was a job that needed to be done anyway, and you’ve halved the time it would have taken to find two different gifts.
Saying no is difficult for a lot of people. No one wants to upset or inconvenience others, and it’s good to be able to help people, plus saying no just feels awkward. Therefore, saying yes is the easier option.
Unfortunately, always saying yes when asked to do something means you will miss out on your own free time. If you genuinely can help, and you want to and it won’t stop you from carrying out your own plans, then of course you should. If, however, it would be better to say no for your own sake, this is what you’ll need to do. It may take practice, but it will be worth it.