Establishing a sensible and realistic work-life balance is a vital part of caring for our wellbeing.
A demanding job can make it difficult to switch off during down time and the pressures of day-to-day responsibilities can sometimes start to take over every waking minute.
In 2021, 52% of UK employees admitted that their workload was regularly eating into their personal life.
If you think you are part of this statistic, here at Spencer Clarke Group, we want to help you meet your work deadlines whilst still having time to relax and enjoy life!
Here are our 6 favourite tips for doing so:
Don’t be afraid to say no or set boundaries
Nobody wants the reputation of being lazy or unhelpful in the workplace and the desire to avoid these labels can sometimes result in employees taking on an increased workload.
If you constantly find that your day-to-day responsibilities are being outweighed by additional tasks that don’t fall within your job description, don’t be afraid to raise this with your manager.
Whilst this might be easier said than done, most employers would prefer to have a productive team of employees who are successfully balancing their work and personal lives than a team of tired and overworked individuals.
Being honest if someone asks you to take on additional tasks will mean you are able to keep work at work and relax in your free time.You can handle this situation by politely pointing out that you have other tasks to prioritise.
Ask if the additional tasks are of higher importance than your existing duties. If they are, set expectations that timescales will need to be amended in order to complete all the tasks.
Setting boundaries is a vital part of not feeling burnt-out at work. Make it clear that you don’t intend to check your work emails or answer a work phone outside of office hours. This way, if a colleague does need to contact you, they know not to expect a reply until you are back at work.
If you set boundaries it is important to stick to them. Even the odd reply to an email here or there could result in the sender frequently expecting you to be on hand during your down time.
Plan your time off in advance
This is one of the best ways to ensure that your job doesn’t become your entire life.
By making plans for your time off, it will mean that you not only have something to look forward to, but that you can’t be tempted to work overtime.
Try to plan a range of activities that you can do with friends and family so that you are able to spend your time off doing the things you love. Whilst work is important, spending time with loved ones is vital for maintaining positive mental health.
Prioritise your time
Having your priorities in order will help you to create a better work-life balance.
It is possible that some of your work responsibilities are not as urgent as first thought and instead of working overtime to complete them, they can be carried out the following working day.
‘To Do’ lists are a great way to ensure you don’t overlook any job responsibility. By organising your list from the most urgent to least urgent task, you will clearly see which jobs need your attention first.
Try allotting a particular amount of time to each task. This will help you to structure your day so you can finish work on time.
You should also look at the bigger picture. Ask yourself if working longer hours is worth missing out on valuable down time with your friends and family. Are you getting anything in return for doing so?
Leave work at work
If the pandemic means you are still working from home, this could be trickier than it once was. However it is still possible by working in a separate space to where you relax so you have a physical separation of work and home life.
If you are working from an office, avoid taking work phones or laptops home with you. If they stay at work, you can’t be tempted to log on during your down time.
It could be a good idea to set an ‘out of office’ reply to your work email so if you do receive messages during your time off, the senders are aware not to expect an immediate reply. This will help to take the pressure off feeling like you have to be available 24/7.
Delegate your workload if possible
Depending on your job role and personality type, you might feel comfortable with the idea of doing this, or you might squirm at the idea of asking for a helping hand.
If you struggle to maintain a healthy work-life balance, there is no harm in asking for or accepting help.
If you are delegating tasks to colleagues, ensure that they have the time and means to be able to complete the job. You wouldn’t want to put someone else in your shoes.
Be prepared to make changes
If you are unhappy with your work-life balance, you have to be willing to make some changes within your lifestyle and even your mindset.
It is all very well wanting to make a change but only when these changes are put into action will you see the benefits.
Maybe you have always found it difficult to switch off during your downtime and this is something that has been a trait of yours since an early age. The key thing to remember is that it is never too late to rethink and change your behaviour.
Only you can make the changes to your lifestyle that will give you a better work-life balance and if you have found yourself in the position where you know this has to happen, don’t put it off any longer!
Who is Spencer Clarke Group?
Formed in 2017, we're a multi-sector recruitment agency, specialising in a range of key disciplines within both the public and private sectors, offering permanent, temporary, contract and fixed term opportunities.
We currently specialise in 8 sectors:
Accountancy & Finance
Construction, Trades & Labour
Education & SEND
Health & Social Care
Interim & Executive
Surveying, Technical & Engineering
If you’re searching for a new role, why not check out all our latest vacancies at spencerclarkegroup.co.uk/jobs now.