Where do you start trying to rebalance your work and personal life? Before starting to rebalance it, we need to identify why it’s gotten to this position in the first place.
Is it because you have a hard time saying no when your boss or colleagues ask you for something? Is it because you struggle to unplug from work?
The best way to find this out is to look at what work you’re doing and when.
For example, if you’re just browsing through work of your own accord in the evenings and weekends, it’s most likely because you’re bored and you’re using work as something to occupy your mind.
Extra work when busy?
Alternatively, if you’re taking on extra work, either towards the end of the day or during the weekends, or while you’re already busy, this would indicate that you’re perhaps reluctant to say no to people or let them down. In this case, we would advise speaking to the people giving you the extra work around other options that could work, for example, instead of doing the work for them, offer to check it over or support them in a less demanding way. After all, you also have a job to do too!
Daily habit of working outside office hours?
But what about if you find yourself looking at the work out of choice, even when you have other things to do too, such as spending time with your family and/or friends? Or what about if you’re stuck in the habit of looking at work in your free time? Something that may have started as a one off “oh I’ll just finish this bit of work tonight while I don’t have a lot to do” has now turned into a daily habit of looking at work outside of this office that you can’t break for love nor money? That sounds like you struggle to unplug from your work and you feel like you just can’t leave your work alone.
To try and help you unplug, here are some ideas that could help:
Studies show that people who start big have a higher rate of failure compared to those who start small and work their way up. So instead of saying that you’re not going to look at your work outside of the office anymore, set the goal of not looking at it for one night a week, and be forgiving of yourself on the other nights. Then, once you feel comfortable not looking for one night, try increasing it to 2 nights. This way may take a while, however evidence shows that it’s more likely to work in the long run!
Use your lunch breaks to get out of the office
Whether you have a 30 minute break, or an hour long break. You are in your work environment for 8+ hours a day, and you need a change of scenery. Keeping active daily and getting some fresh air, especially on your lunch break helps improve your mood before returning to the office to finish the day off. It’s simple, but an effective thing to add into your routine.
Avoid using technology and create boundaries
It’s more difficult to ‘disconnect’ when we’re so attached to our phones, iPads and laptops. Use the tip above to slowly come away from feeling like you need to use technology for 24 hours a day. Taking breaks from screens helps our eyes, minds, and enables us to relax.
Find your ideal ways to unplug
This may be one of those ‘easier said than done’ ones, however there are still plenty of options! Find a new hobby, either by yourself or with a local group, exercise, go for drinks with friends, go down to a bar, pub, or club, try cooking or baking, try playing video games (even if it’s candy crush!) or go and visit relatives.
Build a plan
If it helps, build a plan, a schedule/routine so it’s easier for you to follow. Keeping organised and knowing what we’re doing day to day saves us time and reduces any anxious feelings.
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