Do you have a healthy work-life balance?
Running your own business is tough. A lot of people, especially self-employed or freelancers, consider their downtime to be money lost, but just because you’re working does not mean you are working towards your goals effectively.
A survey by the Mental Health Foundation found that more than 40% of workers are neglecting other areas of their life due to work. This can lead to mental health issues, including stress and depression. Their survey also concluded that the more hours spent at work, the more hours spent outside of work thinking or worrying about it. So, the thought of putting in the extra hours to relieve stress might actually be doing the opposite.
Alongside long working hours, it is common to feel overwhelmed by the need to “juggle” different aspects of life; this may include children, relationships, or demands from other responsibilities.
It is important to not beat yourself up about this, at some stages of life the balance has to be tipped, but this mustn't be long term as it can lead to overall burnout. Not only will this affect your personal life, but you may also see the impact of this on your working day through difficulty concentrating, elevated stress levels and low mood. At times, this can even lead to losing passion for your work and everything you have worked hard for.
Learn to strike the right balance for you.
1. Quality over quantity
As tempting as it may feel to put in long hours, this can have a negative impact on productivity in the long term. If possible, try and engage in a task management technique such as goal setting or creating ”to-do” lists to keep productivity high.
2. Putting on the breaks to keep you moving
Having regular breaks within your day is important to give you a chance to feel refreshed and focused. Try scheduling these in hourly to ensure you stay hydrated, eat regularly and to look after your posture. Just a quick walk around can help reduce the chance of headaches through eye strain, postural issues through slouched posture and can even increase your productivity.
3. Draw the line
It is important to have a distinctive end to your working day, whether this be in the office or at home. Working hours after the supposed finish time or for a bit longer when you get home may occur regularly if there is no specific cut off. To ensure a definitive end to your working day, try shutting down your laptop at a set time, physically changing rooms or going for a walk (if working from home).
If you recognise your work-life balance is not right for your wellbeing, then the first step is to keep track of your working hours. This will help you to monitor them accumulating, giving you the opportunity to make changes that will allow for greater balance.
Also, try and find what works for you in your personal life. Whether this is a hobby, spending time with your family or just having some time to yourself. If you prioritise and schedule this within your week, as you would for work meetings or project deadlines, you are more likely to achieve it and less likely to fill your free time with working. Your wellbeing can be the key to flourishing work life, so make sure your balance has you in mind.
This week is #WorkLifeWeek helping you to weigh up the balance in your life.
Ensure tomorrow has the right balance for you.
Here at EnterprisingYou, we provide fully-funded support to the self-employed and gig economy workers of Greater Manchester to improve their health & wellbeing. If you feel you would benefit from some guidance to help you build your new normal, get in touch with the EnterprisingYou Team for a diagnostic and eligibility check onto the programme by calling us on 0161 667 6900 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org