With 10 October marking World Mental Health Day, co-authors of business book Time Mastery, Karen Meager and John McLachlan, reveal their four secrets for maintaining a healthy work-life balance – considered by many to be a key determinate for good mental health.
Everyone’s idea of the healthy work-life balance is different, and so aiming towards a single goal is extremely difficult.
For some people, sitting in front of the television is relaxing and for some that’s the definition of complete boredom. Finding the perfect balance is about working to your own strengths and finding what works for you. The following four tips may help you do this.
(1) It’s about rhythm not balance
Have you ever tried cooking dinner, checking your emails and entertaining the children all at the same time? This is the definition of trying to balance, but in reality, you are always swaying from side to side like a tightrope walk and not actually balancing.
Instead of trying to perfectly balance all your daily tasks, think instead about creating a rhythm that you stick to that works for you and allows you to achieve everything you set out to.
(2) Understand where your energy threshold is
One of the keys to finding your rhythm and the most productive way to work is understanding what gives you energy and what leaves you feeling drained, which will be different for everyone.
For example, some people feel energised by going for a run or having a night out with friends and for others, these activities will simply drain them. Once you understand what gives you a buzz, you can do more of those activities to increase your productivity and efficiency.
(3) Ensure your routines are healthy
Developing routines can be tricky for those who enjoy living life day by day and take things as they come, however having routines in place cuts unnecessary thinking time giving you space and time to think about the things that really matter.
For example, planning work outfits in advance or making meal plans for the week allow your mind to concentrate on something else.
Sometimes, having variety and choice in when you go to the gym or what you eat for dinner can bring joy to people, in which case keep it. As previously mentioned, it’s about creating the perfect rhythm and working to your individual strengths in order to succeed.
(4) Pace yourself
When making changes to anything, it’s important to take it slowly and avoid drastic changes that could easily go wrong. Both yourself and others around you will need time to adjust to these changes.
Rather than suddenly leaving work at 5pm instead of the usual 7pm, decide to leave an hour earlier a few times a week, increasing this until you reach your ideal balance. It’s important to start with changes that you know are easily achievable rather than a couple of larger goals that all fail.
Whether it’s in order to spend more time with the family, go to the gym or simply ensure you have enough down time each day but still progress their career, it’s important for everyone to have healthy work-life balance.
This will be different for everyone and it’s important to play to your individual strengths. Achieving a health work-life balance is easily achievable if you aim towards small, achievable goals, rather than larger, long term aims that you may not be able to achieve and will leave you feeling deflated.
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