You can excel in your career and stay sane too, it’s called a healthy work/life balance – here are my 8 tips for a better work/life balance.
Although I’m a self-confessed workaholic, I still schedule a minimum of 8 hours of me-time in a week. Whether it’s going out to lunch, shopping, dating or even snuggled in bed with a book, I make sure I have a balanced life between work and myself.
When I’m feeling down in the dumps, it’s usually because my focus has been entirely on work and not on myself. Not only is this bad for your mental health, but you’ll burn out, become prone to sickness and of course become a total cranky bitch (or at least that’s what happens to me!).
Here are my tips for a better work-life balance:
1. Get a separate work phone
I have two phones – a work phone and a personal phone. When people are contacting my personal phone I can be sure they want me. I used to get calls at 11pm at night for Pilates and seeing this whilst laying in bed would give me a pit of anxiety in my stomach and my mind would instantly switch to work mode. The phone is switched off when I’m not at work and only looked at during work hours.
2. Make a list of activities you love
Get out your phone or piece of paper and write down 20 things you love doing. It could be shopping, cooking, sex or anything really. Make sure your week is filled with activities from this list. Whenever a client comes in and they’ve had a terrible week, I always advise they do something nice for themselves which is usually is a wine in the bath. Seriously.
3. Have a dedicated day off
Saturday is my day to relax and be a babe. I’ll always make plans through the week to catch up with my girlfriends on Saturday or I’ll do something with my mum Jan. Your day off should be a day where you always do something nice for yourself too – don’t leave it as a day where you catch up on housework and washing.
4. Start and end your day with you
I couldn’t imagine a day where I get up, get dressed and start work. I ease into my day by making myself a delicious breakfast, going out for a coffee and having at least 30 minutes for myself before I devote my time to others. I do the same at night, it’s my time to shower, pamper and Pinterest before bed.
You’re going to feel a hundred times better when you add movement into your life. I tell all of my clients to come to Pilates, even when they’re stressed because it’s a way to unwind, focus, breathe and do something for themselves. Sometimes I’ll even do my own Pilates DVD because I know it’s only 15 minutes and I feel much better after.
6. Set a timer
When I have a big day of work that could involve 8 hours of computer work, I’ll set a time for 25 minutes. When I’ve worked solidly for that 25 minutes, I’ll use the next 5 minutes to make myself a cup of tea, chat to friends on Facebook or stretch. I find I always head back to the task with a more productive mindset.
7. Have boundaries
I have rules with clients that they only point of contact for me is the work phone. I try to take Professional Babe business via email and these are two boundaries I have in place. This is just an example of something you could do but I think everyone should have work boundaries set in place – just make sure you stick to them.
8. Pace yourself
It’s easy when you want something badly that you’ll work yourself into the ground to get it. The downside is when we get what we want, we usually end up resenting it because we’re tired, we’re sick or we’re over it. Rome wasn’t built in a day, so take the afternoon off to relax with a wine with your friends.
At the end of the day, you are more important than work. You need to honour your health (and mental health too!) as you can’t be the best version of yourself if you’re constantly working yourself into the ground.
You have my permission for a wine today!