Balancing work and life is tricky. It’s hard to keep on top of everything at work and make enough time to see your friends and family. It can be difficult to know which way to turn when your job demands one thing and your family commitments demand another. Which way do you go? Work longer and get through your massive to-do list but have major FOMO (fear of missing out) because you missed a family dinner. Or finish early and go to the family dinner, but then you’re up all night trying to get your tasks done.
With more people becoming self-employed, getting that work life balance has been a huge topic for conversation. And to be honest there isn’t one answer, there’s not a magic hack that extends the hours in the day. But there are a few tips and tricks that can help keeping both areas of your life under control. So, Psych2Go shares with you 5 ways to balance life and work.
I will admit I am a super organised person. I like spreadsheets, to-do lists and weekly planners. When things get really busy I like to be able to see what I’m doing each day, and the amount of satisfaction I get when I tick things off my list is unreal. Obviously intense scheduling isn’t for everybody but, having a list or calendar that tells you what is coming up can help you to organise your social life around work. For example, if you know you’re going to have a busy week, make sure you see your friends and family the week before, or schedule yourself in some downtime after a busy day. Getting organised stops last minute rushes and means you won’t forget your great aunts birthday party!
I’m terrible at doing this but go through your responsibilities and decide which is more important. If you promised your mum you’d see her, but you’ve got a bit of work left over that needs doing, assess which one is more important. If you need to ensure your work is complete for the day ring your mum and explain, she should hopefully understand, and you can rearrange. Or if your work can wait, go see your mum and have a great time. As long as you get your work done and see your mum it doesn’t matter which order they happen in.
3) It’s okay to say no
It’s important to know you can’t be everywhere at once, something eventually has to give. So before you get to that stage be sensible and say no to things. It doesn’t make you a bad person to put yourself and friends/family before work or vice versa. For example, if your boss asks you if you’d be okay to stay late but you really wanted to go home and chill, politely decline and suggest someone else. It’s perfectly okay to acknowledge that you need time to decompress from work and saying no doesn’t mean you’re selfish. Alternatively, if you’re doing a big project at work that you’re working overtime to complete, and your friends have invited you to go out, explain that you want to finish your work but maybe next time. Like I said, saying no doesn’t make you a bad person.
4) Diminish guilt
Following on from my previous point. Don’t feel guilty for saying no. You are in charge of your own life and you don’t have to feel guilty for prioritising your time. It’s impossible to do everything that is asked of you and sometimes saying no is the only option. It’s important to remember that people won’t hold you accountable because you didn’t work late one night or because you said no to a dinner party. Sometimes you’ve just got to say no and feel comfortable with the decision. After all there are only 24 hours in a day.
5) Be realistic
There’s no point setting yourself 20 tasks to do in one day and then wondering why you only got around to 5 of them. Seriously look at each thing you’ve got to do and assess how much time and effort they’ll take and go from there. If you know you’ve got to leave right on time one night give yourself relatively quick and easy tasks for that day. If you know you’ve got nothing on socially for a couple of days, then that’s the best time to tackle those consuming tasks. If you’re not realistic with your workload, you’ll never be able to balance work and life.
What do you think?
Do you struggle balancing life and work? What do you do to help? Psych2Go would love to know! Be sure to leave a comment below!