Finding that crucial work life balance is easy, but maintaining it is often where the challenges present. Is it actually achievable? Here CEO Today hears from Karen Meager and John McLachlan, Co-Founders of Monkey Puzzle Training, who explain the steps required to develop a healthy work life balance and keep it that way.
We are increasingly encouraged these days to take steps towards a better work-life balance. As physical and mental health continues to be better prioritised, and the impact work can have on health is being recognised, the many benefits of making more time for yourself are being advocated. Of course, everybody is different, and improving your work-life balance will be a very unique process from person to person. But is the perfect balance really achievable, and how can you work towards it? Here are some top tips for striking the perfect balance and making every facet of your life more efficient and more enjoyable.
Think Rhythm not Balance
Balance is all about the finer details. Just like walking a tightrope, you are likely to sway a little to each side, and anyone who has ever tried to multitask will identify with this feeling. A good way of achieving better balance is to let go of the idea of balance completely, and consider it more in terms of rhythm. Rather than trying to achieve a sense of balance of the activities your everyday life consists of, consider what sort of rhythm works for you, and makes you feel happy, less stressed and more accomplished.
Know Your Energy Thresholds
You know yourself better than anyone, so rather than following rigid steps, take a format and adapt it to what works for you. Consider your energy levels: what drains you, and what makes you feel energised? Take a little time to monitor yourself and make notes if it helps you. Once you have figured out how you can reinvigorate yourself, you can start to more efficiently plan your days to make the most of your energy when it’s there. Once again, this helps you develop a rhythm rather than a balance.
Develop Healthy Routines
Establishing healthy routines is all a part of developing your rhythm, and once you’ve got it going, it is far easier to keep it moving. Some people avoid routine where they can as they prefer variety and unpredictability, but routine can really help you to declutter your mind and focus your energy on the important things. It needn’t take all the fun out of life, but applying it to small things like planning and prepping meals or coordinating outfits for work ahead of time can eliminate all the small things and enable you to focus on the more enjoyable aspects of life.
Although it can feel exciting and motivating to challenge yourself to make big changes all at once, this is not always the best approach. You can still achieve just as much by slowing the pace, and are more likely to hold onto the changes you make for the long term if you go easy on yourself. For example, instead of immediately beginning to work several hours earlier than you usually do, cut back by an hour for a few weeks, and then gradually leave earlier. By taking it slow, you are making the changes more sustainable, and therefore more beneficial in the long run.