Work-Life Balance – Does This Exist?
A New Year’s resolution is a tradition based mostly in the western hemisphere.
We resolve to change an undesired trait or behaviour to accomplish a personal goal or otherwise improve our lives.
However, this tradition may be far older and more far-reaching than we previously thought.
Different eras in history had different ways of starting their new years.
Not every new year was in winter as we have today.
Egyptians would make sacrifices to Hapi, who was the god of the Nile and their year started in July.
This is when the Nile would flood and then the surrounding land became fertile.
The Romans continued this ‘tradition’ and changed their calendar from 10 months.
Closer to the one we know today with Julius Caesar reforming it by adding January and Janus the god of home and hearth.
Jump forward in time to today.
We are constantly creating New Year resolutions every year. We want to be thinner, happier and have a better work-life balance.
And every year it fails…
In a recent survey, it took only 13 days to revert back to old habits, and the most popular resolution at 53% is to get into shape.
The reason behind the huge fail is sighted as either:
loss of will power
being too busy
or it being too hard
becoming a close second and third.
If you are over 55 making the resolution the higher the fail does to a lack of will power.
25 – 34-year-olds were too busy or found things too expensive.
We rarely look at one of the biggest areas of our lives which is the office, but another popular resolution as technology is more accessible is a better work-life balance.
So I ask myself is a work-life balance even possible?
Creating less stress and ‘switching off’ when you get home. We rarely look at the way we work in the office and even less about being able to change it.
Creating a more even work-life balance is about being organised – on both sides of your life.
If you know something is to hand you stop worrying about it.
You become confident in the knowledge its ready to go, be delivered, handed on, or filled in.
But is that easier said than done?
Are you a person that needs to be last minute.com, do you believe in leaving things till the last minute makes you work better?
It’s a well-known fact, management promote people perceived as being more organised in the office as well as being efficient at their job role.
There are several things that can be done to make sure you get the best and most productive day you can have.
This also means you can measure your day, look back and see what you have done rather than know you were busy but not sure what you have to show for it.
Here are some top tips for getting a head start in the New Year:
Step #1: Start by cleaning your desk!
Take some time to declutter, move things that can be addressed at a later date.
Have some shelves or drawers that can be labelled so you know what documents you have to work through.
Every morning have a tidy up just so you can start on a clean slate, it clears your head.
Step #2: Know your goals
Sit down and think about short term and long term goals and aim towards them – are they financial, growth whatever they are, your daily plan should revolve around tasks and activities that directly relate to them, and to generating income and growing your business.
If you find it hard to plan ahead in the morning take 15 minutes at the end of the evening to clean your desk again and plan your next day’s jobs.
It helps separate work and home by allowing some decompression time.
Coming in to a clean desk is more energising for the day rather than having to clean a messy one.
Step #3: Write down your to-do’s, prioritise them and keep a notebook
Getting your to-do’s down on paper gets them out of your head!
It frees up the space to concentrate on the job you have to do at that moment and stops you stressing as you don’t have to remember the next job to do or run the risk of forgetting.
Having them prioritised means the most urgent gets done first and in time.
Don’t put your least favourite to the back (procrastination)! Do it first, if priority allows.
If you’re not sure how to prioritise see the below:
Important and urgent — Tasks that must be done. Do them first right away.
Important but not urgent — Tasks that appear important, but upon closer examination aren’t. Decide when to do them.
Urgent but not important — Tasks that make the most “noise,” but when accomplished, have little or no lasting value. Delegate these if possible.
Not urgent and not important — Low-priority stuff that offers the illusion of “being busy.” Do them later.
Once it’s done, the rest of the day is potentially better.
The stress of forgetting something and then being chased by a colleague, then rushing to do it as it has become urgent.
Being last minute lends itself to making mistakes as you have no time to check your information.
Getting your thoughts on paper means you can let go and concentrate on the task to hand add to your ‘to do’ list if need be.
Step #4: Use your calendar
Either paper or digital using a calendar means you do not run the risk of being double booked.
You will also be able to plan your day effectively.
Step #5: Reward yourself and find your comfort
Take the breaks you need to clear your mind and find your comfort.
Many people feel they have to work through lunch to get the work done.
This can have negative results
Not eating lowers blood sugar that can make it harder to think
Panicking can also cloud the mind, take that time out to clear your head
Stepping away for a moment can give you a different perspective and reward yourself with something that makes you happy even if it’s just a cup of coffee or tea.
Sometimes you can be the most organised and in control person.
If you are relying on other people or machines to help your workload and they are not delivering on time or are constantly in a state of ‘out of order’ can be stressful.
It might be time to look at streamlining the business at the same time.
Euro Digital Systems can help get the New Year off to the best start possible.
By replacing your old office equipment including Multifunctional devices and printers with more reliable and up to date technology.
We can look at your business processes and workflows, help with achieving GDPR and make sure documents never get lost on desks and are filled properly.
Give us a ring this new year and let us help you and your business create a calmer and more equal work-life balance for 2019.
Feel free to add your work-life hack below!