So, What Exactly IS Work-Life Balance?
Have you ever wondered what we mean by the term “work-life balance”? In the past 18 months it appears to have taken on a significance all its own – not least due to the effects of the pandemic on our mental health. Suddenly, our emotional wellbeing both in and out of the workplace is everywhere.
And, not only that: what’s going on in our heads has gained equal importance with our physical health. Well, here at The Werks Group, hurrah to that, we say. Whilst none of us have had an easy time from Covid-19, we approve of a well-structured, positive way of living and working – it’s why we exist, in fact – so we’re celebrating the end of a stigma.
World Mental Health Day - 10th of October marks World Mental Health Day every year.
Spearheaded by MIND in the UK, but observed in an impressive 150 countries, this very special day was founded in 1992 by the World Federation for Mental Health. It’s all about global mental health education, as well as fighting the myths that surround these issues.
Thousands of supporters throughout the world come together to celebrate this annual awareness programme. And, we should all take it seriously. Our mental health has major implications and knock-on effects for every part of our lives: how we function on a daily basis, how we interact with others, our jobs, relationships, health – everything.
So, may we ask you: How Are You Today? No, really, it’s a serious question. How ARE you? Happy, sad, something in between? Feeling positive about the future, we hope? Perhaps things are going well - or maybe they could be a bit better.
And, also: How is Your Work-Life Balance? And what even IS Work-Life Balance? Let us explain. It’s not just a buzzword. It’s about having a healthy working environment, reducing stress, fatigue, and helping to avoid burnout. These negative elements can knock the stuffing out of you.
Plus, for your clients they can result in a lack of productivity and a decline in your work performance. Also, to be fair, working too much and too hard in difficult working conditions can quite simply, make you ill.
Your labour and leisure time should be distinct. Your health, your home, your family and friends are as important to you as how you earn a crust. On your grave, will you have inscribed: “I wish I’d worked longer hours”? No, you won’t.
Whether you rent a workspace with us, or you’re thinking about doing so (or even if you’re happy working from home), we thought we’d put together some tips on how to create and maintain and healthy work-life balance.
Here they are.
1. Consider your working space. Yes, we would say this, but if you know that there are too many distractions at home, leaving in the morning Monday to Friday to go elsewhere, even for a few hours, could help you to focus in ways you can’t even start to imagine.
2. Think about your environment. If you are based from home, try as much as you can to create a division between where you work and where you don’t work. Is this easy? No. However, having a good chair is essential, as is good lighting and a supportive stand for your laptop or computer. And, put everything away at the end of the day. Talking of which:
3. It’s about timing. So much to write about this subject; so little time, and not quite enough space. But it’s so important. Within what’s possible, creating limits on your working hours will set you free. You can be more productive in six hours, say, than just continuously work-work-work for 12 hours, with no let-up or breaks. Your clients will thank you for better quality work. Your back will thank you. Your family will recognise you. Your sleep patterns and general wellbeing will benefit, too. Setting boundaries is important. You need down-time. Being available at 9.00pm to answer emails may not serve your credibility as a business owner, plus to be honest — you’re going to be totally knackered (technical term).
4. Think about your body clock. Having said that, when are you most productive and positively creative? Early morning, or do you spring into brilliant genius towards the end of the day? Ace out your best personal body clock to get the balance right.
5. Do you have a Things to Do list? Set your priorities every single day but be realistic. Yes, you can achieve 3 or 4 important things, but no — not 12 important things, it isn’t going to happen, and you will feel bad.
6. Take a break. Leave your desk and do some power walking. Exercise is a must-do, not a nice-to-do-if-you-have-time. Keeping your body healthy is keeping your mind healthy. If
you’re lucky enough to get to the gym, there’s nothing like some marching on a
treadmill to clear your brain of “stuff”. You’ll function better and be more productive.
There are a few other things to mention:
- Meet your tribe. Getting together with other like-minded people for a chat and a coffee is very good way to re-set your motivation and solidify your support network.
- Do something you love. You are doing the right thing, yes? If your work drags you down, should you actually be doing it?
- Have some fun. It’s great to relax with a glass of wine but going to the cinema now that we’re allowed will make some great memories. Seen the new James Bond yet?
- Book a holiday. Without a doubt, do this. Switch off your email and tell your clients that you’re going off-grid — but do give them plenty of notice.
So, there you are. Hopefully, you’ll have picked up some useful advice on achieving a better work-life balance from us, here at The Werks Group. Do check out MIND. They’re an excellent charity and we support them wholeheartedly. Mental Health Day is once a year, but every day should be a day to look after what’s going on in your head. Wouldn’t you agree?
Need to talk? https://www.mind.org.uk
Written by: Susan Beckingham (Sussex Copywriting Services)
Based at: Yacht Werks, 28-29 Richmond Place, Brighton