WORK­OUT Work-life bal­ance is within reach

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Indulgence -

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.

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