WORKOUT Work-life balance is within reach
IS there an easy way out of a stressful work situation?
Even if there isn’t, you can work on it consistently and you will eventually get there.
How about starting with this one: be the first to leave at close of business hours.
In fact, the new book in the Dummies series, Work/Life BalanceforDummies, recommends it.
Don’t feel guilty about leaving as soon as your work is done. You may even set an example for others and create a healthier workplace for all.
Among other stress-busting tips from the book: ■ Don’t feel obliged to be available at all times. Switch your mobile phone and laptop off when you are at home. Being mentally at work 24 hours a day will create the impression that you can be called at any time. This may involve a huge cost — far greater than the benefits you derive from work. Remember that work will go on and your company can survive without you. ■ Negotiate a flexible work routine with your bosses. If you do your job well, flexible working hours may be within reach. You may be able to work part-time, work from home, or work when it is more convenient for you. ■ Don’t let emails run your life. They are important, but allocate a time in the day, say a couple of times during the working hours, when you will answer them. ■ Have a break, have lunch. Get away from your desk, go for a stroll during the lunch break. Breathe the air outside the office environment for a while, it may be refreshing. Besides, it is free. ■ List your tasks for the day in a diary. Be realistic about how much you can do in a day, break up your work into little chunks and set about doing them one after the other.
Allocate time for family and friends. Ensure work isn’t the only activity that describes all of you. Surely you wear other hats and there are other roles you perform in life. Guess what, these roles deserve to be performed well too. Taking the time to be with a friend or relative or hobbyist can give you a sense of well-being and balance. It is probably the most cost-efficient way of saying goodbye to stress.
The best time to start working on work/life balance, the book says, is now.
It doesn’t need a great deal of preparation — just do it.