The perfect work-life balance is a personal thing; what suits one of us won’t suit another.  For many of us, there isn’t a clean cut line between work and leisure time, we don’t all work regular hours or the traditional 9-5. In fact, possibly a better term is work/life blend. However, achieving a blend that works is important for us all, in order to feel happy and fulfilled both in and outside of work.  

 How do you actually know if you’ve got it right? 

 If you’re feeling any stress or unhappiness, there’s a good chance that something is off-kilter, so a good place to start, when assessing your work-life blend, is by taking some time to stop and think.  Try to reflect on what is going well and what doesn’t feel so good.  What are your priorities?   Are you actually managing to do what feels most important to you? Is work taking away from other parts of your life that would leave you feeling more refreshed and fulfilled?  

 Once you’ve identified areas that aren’t working as well for you, it’s time to consider what can change in order to improve things. If, for example, you currently fit overtime in at weekends, but it comes at the cost of family time and you end up feeling resentful, then perhaps taking on the overtime is actually doing you more harm than good?   Of course, it can be difficult, if you rely on overtime to help pay for bills, or you work in an environment where the culture or working long hours has been normalised, but if you are able to make changes, even small ones, it could greatly improve your overall wellbeing. 

 Tweaking the balance  

 Looking for some inspiration for how to tweak your work-life blend? We have a few suggestions: 

  1. Get enough sleep and eat well - it’s a classic, but for a reason! 
  2. Set good boundaries, and stick to them! Take breaks during the day. Finish work on time, don’t take on more than you can manage.  If you are working from home, try to be strict, have a dedicated work space and switch off when your working hours end.  Don’t look at emails outside of working hours or have your laptop logged in when you’re meant to be relaxing. Turn off those notifications!
  3. Give yourself time to spend with friends and family.  Take time to rest.  Consider getting help with chores and childcare if you can.
  4. If you are concerned about managing the split between work and home life, talk to your line manager.  See if they can support you and help address the balance.

 Don’t forget, once you’ve made changes, it’s worth taking the time to pause and check in regularly, to make sure things aren’t slipping and to assess if there are other possible changes you might be able to make.  Several episodes of our podcast include great suggestions and ideas for achieving balance and improving your wellbeing!