AS NATIONAL WORK LIFE WEEK BEGINS IT'S #TIMETOREBALANCE AND GO HOME ON TIME
National work life week begins again today in the UK and if you've recently been feeling the pressure, no matter where you are in the world, then this is a great week to sit back and take a fresh look at your working life and where it is that you may wish to redress the balance. This Wednesday 5th October also marks the annual Go Home On Time Day as part of the week long campaign so if you're someone who always finds themselves stuck in the office long after you should have headed home then why not make a pledge this Wednesday to pack up and head home on time. Go and do something good for yourself to help you feel more balanced.
National work life week is a campaign run by Working Families UK who are at the forefront of helping UK workers find a more family friendly and flexible working life. But whatever our circumstances I'm sure we can all do with taking time now and again to check in with the balance or lack thereof in our lives.
This week why not take a moment to ask yourself a few questions about your work and life.
- Which fulfilling activities do I enjoy doing that have no association with my working life?
- Do I build enough time into my week to make time for these activities?
- If not, how can I make more time to fit these in?
There are always some tasks that can ultimately wait, that maybe sap more time than they should, or that maybe you need to be willing to give up in order to make more time for something else. You have to make certain times in the week sacred whether that be after work or perhaps at the weekends. Times when you don't spend hours scrolling through social media, when you leave that last email that could actually be answered in the morning and you take the time to do something different. Even if that just means relaxing with your partner and watching the latest must see on Netflix! There has to be time each week that you let your mind off from thinking about the pressures of work.
Over the last couple of years interviewing different people for this blog I've come to pick up some useful tips about finding work-life balance from various people with all sorts of different commitments, deadlines and hectic schedules. Today I've gathered together some of the wisdom that they've imparted that I think is well worth re-thinking about during this week in particular.
HOW DO OTHERS DEFINE AND IMPLEMENT THEIR OWN WORK-LIFE BALANCE?
1. Erica Buist, Guardian Journalist and author of the blog 'How To Be Jobless' wisely says:
"Weekends are sacred. They are set aside for my fiancé and I to be together. If I absolutely have to work, we plan for him to be doing something at the same time, plan a mutual finish time and often go on a date to make up for it."
"Talking about work is allowed, but dwelling and repeating ourselves isn't. Once we've talked through a worry, we stop each other from getting stuck on it."
Read my full interview with Erica here: The Guardian's Erica Buist Talks Surviving Joblessness.
2. Louise Padmore, Co-Founder of Work Wellbeing talks about how she makes sure she finds a weekly balance:
"At the beginning of my week I always make sure to schedule into my diary the times of yoga classes that I will attend that week, times for catching up with friends or calling family, and time for my own free choice of doing whatever takes my fancy, be that reading, shopping or doing absolutely nothing! I treat these appointments as I would an important meeting with a client, and try my very best to never cancel or reschedule."
Read more about Louise's thoughts on wellbeing in the workplace (and beyond) here: Discussing Work Wellbeing With Louise Padmore.
3. Film Director Matthew Harman discusses how he gets his balance back after a particularly full on period of work:
"There are times when work takes over my life, like when I’m away on a multiple day shoot, but then it’s important to take some time out when it’s all over. Step back and reconnect with your life, whether it’s catching up with friends, your hobbies, or just getting some exercise. It’s not just for your own health - it’s easy to burn out and make yourself ill - but it’s also because it gives you better perspective on your work."
Read more about Matthew in his full interview here: Loving Life In Film With Director Matthew Harmer.
So how is your work-life balance looking to you? What will you do this Wednesday? Go home on time and spend time for you? Or stick at your desk way beyond the close of the day?
Not just this Wednesday but maybe at least once every week, why not make sure you definitely get away on time and fit in one of those life activities that you keep on meaning to do. Not work related, not chore related, purely life related that makes you feel much brighter and gives you time to unwind and reflect. Let me know what it is that you plan to do and get more involved in the conversation and share ideas with others using the hashtag #TimeToRebalance on social media.
Enjoy your week everyone.