[BLOG] The importance of work life balance
We all know about balance, the idea of keeping the weight of (typically) two objects to create an even levelling. Well, the Oxford dictionary’s definition is a bit clearer.
“An even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.”
Did you pick up the keywords there? Upright and Steady. It sounds a bit mechanical but science plays a big part in our day-to-day life. It all started with the weight of a beam. But nowadays, balance has a higher meaning.
Remember: “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” And “No beer and no TV make Homer something-something. Go Crazy? Don’t mind if I do!” Now, of course, these are quotes from 1, an iconic film and 2, a timeless Treehouse of Horror episode. Although I can’t help but feel as though both Jack and Homer would have benefited from exercising the idea of a work-life balance.
Work-life balance can be easily forgotten when you’re the only person in your business, managing your time and your income is not only overwhelming but also can feel impossible to get right at the beginning. It’s cool though, throughout life, no matter what it is you’re striving towards, you’re going to have hectic times and times where you’re twiddling your thumbs more than often.
It’s important to make proper use of this time. I often find myself reading more or looking into learning a new skill. I tend to get very fidgety, very quickly. Can you relate? Always craving the next project to get stuck in to. But when life goes the other way, when everything feels like it’s getting on top of you and days become hectic, you have to allow yourself to unwind.
Relate it to running, if you’re suffering from a tight chest or some killer shin-splints, you wouldn’t continue to run. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health and you have to organise your time so that you have a chance to catch your breath and catch up on what makes you feel whole.
Here are the DARETOGROW three top tips for maintaining a work-life balance:
Have a good break every day: no matter how busy you are, it’s never a good idea to keep the engine running if there is no fuel inside. That relates to your mental and physical energy. We can’t maintain full speed ahead if we’re not in the right mindset. You need to break up your working day. Never work through your lunch, it’s a chance to refresh your mind and fuel up with a nice nutritious bite to eat. Afterward, head outside, take a brisk walk in the countryside or if it’s not easily accessible, why not visit your local café and get a coffee. Ah, that’s another means of getting some human interaction too!
(This is one of my favourite ones.) Get enough sleep: There used to be a sign up at my old college that said, “Sleep 8, feel great”. Not only did I love the cheesy rhyme, must be the poet in me, but it has stuck with me since. The importance of having a regular bedtime can really improve your performance in everyday life, be it in the workplace or socially. You really do show up more for the people around you and yourself when you are well-rested. And hey, who doesn’t love hitting the pillow each night?
Don’t forget about your hobbies and passions: Granted, your business might be your passion however in your downtime, make sure you’re setting aside time for the passions that you can use as an escapism. I’m not suggesting running away from reality, however getting lost in something that completely takes your mind off of the admin of day-to-day business. For Lisa, it’s building Lego (and lately, she’s been visiting the ice rink.) Matt likes to hit up the pictures whereas I like to listen to music. You might have a knack for painting, collaging or writing. Even going to the cinema to see the latest blockbusters. Whatever it is that excites you, escape for an hour or two.
Most importantly, during these hectic times, let people know how you’re feeling. Allow them into your space, it can be incredibly daunting and lonely building a life for yourself, just be sure to not lose the ones around you. They always understand.
Finally, make sure you plan out your time properly. Get yourself a huge wall calendar, stay on top of your admin and the rest will feel like a natural push. Motivation for the new decade! I’m coming for you.
Writing by Amy Linsdell.