Research suggests that improving the balance between our working lives and our lives outside work can bring real benefits. It can help to build strong families and friendships and improve productivity.
The Fit for the Road programme aims to help you to improve your work/life balance by providing you information on managing your time.
Striking the right balance is very much about how YOU define balance and how you would view yourself being successful in terms of work life balance. It has much to do with your priorities and your use of time, which in turn depends on your goals and personal values. Simply ask yourself what your top 3 professional and personal goals/needs in life are right now and consider what values these goals embrace. Once you do this you will get a clearer picture of how to prioritise in line with your goals.
If you are one of those people that believe that exploring issues of work life balance is a luxury you simply cannot afford at this time in your life, then you are urged to think again.
7 Tips to Better Work Life Balance
Here are 7 tips to help you achieve a better balance in your life. Take a moment to read and reflect on these tips — and then get your life in balance!
- Slow Down
Life is simply too short, so don’t let things pass you in a blur. Take steps to stop and enjoy the things and people around you. Schedule more time between meetings; don’t make plans for every evening or weekend, and find some ways to distance yourself from the things that are causing you the most stress.
- Learn to Better Manage Your Time
Avoid Procrastination. For many people, most of the stress they feel comes from simply being disorganized — and procrastinating. Learn to set more realistic goals and deadlines — and then stick to them. You’ll find that not only are you less stressed, but your work will be better.
- Share the Load
Even though we may sometimes feel we’re the only ones capable of doing something, it’s usually not the case. Get your partner or other family members to help you with all your personal/family responsibilities. Taking care of the household, children, or parents should not be the responsibility of just one person.
- Let Things Go
It’s simpler said than done, but learn to let things go once in a while. So what if the dishes don’t washed everyday or that the house doesn’t get vacuumed every week. Learn to recognize the things that don’t really have much impact in your life and allow yourself to let them go — and then not beat yourself up for doing so.
- Explore Your Options
Get Help. If you are feeling overwhelmed with your family responsibilities, please get help if you can afford it. Find a sitter for your children, explore options for aging parents, and seek counselling for yourself. In many cases, you have options, but you need to take the time to find them.
- Take Charge
Set Priorities. Sometimes it’s easier for us to allow ourselves to feel overwhelmed rather than taking charge and developing a prioritized list of things that need to get done. You need to buck the trend. Develop a list. Set priorities. And then enjoy the satisfaction of crossing things off your list.
It seems human nature for just about everyone to take on too many tasks and responsibilities, to try to do too much, and to own too much. Find a way to simplify your life. Change your lifestyle. Learn to say no to requests for help. Get rid of the clutter and baggage in your house — and your life.
In the end, the key word is balance. You need to find the right balance that works for you. Celebrate your successes and don’t dwell on your failures. Life is a process, and so is striving for balance in your life
Look After Your Health
Looking after your health plays a big role in achieving a better work life balance. If you are not in top shape both mentally and physically, it will affect all areas of your life. Stress is one of the biggest causes of poor health. To beat stress, get enough sleep, eat regularly and choose healthy options, take time out to relax and exercise at least three times a week. Learn to say no. Taking on too many tasks can be to your detriment. Learn to say no to things when there are too many things on your plate. This applies to both work and personal events/tasks. Rather than feeling guilty, you will learn that saying no can be really empowering.
Working Long Hours?
It can be tempting to rack up the hours at work — especially if you’re trying to earn a promotion or some extra money for a child’s education or a dream holiday. For others, working more hours feels necessary in order to manage the workload.
But if you’re spending most of your time at work, your home life will likely pay the price. Consider the pros and cons of working extra hours on your work-life balance:
Your ability to think and your eye-hand coordination decrease when you’re tired. This means you’re less productive and may make more mistakes. These mistakes can lead to injury or rework, and can negatively impact your professional reputation.
You may miss out on important events, such as your child’s first bike ride, your father’s 60th birthday or your high-school reunion. Missing out on important milestones may harm relationships with your loved ones.
Trusted friends are a key part of your support system. But if you’re spending time in your truck instead of with them, you’ll find it difficult to nurture those friendships.
If you regularly work extra hours, you may be given more responsibility. This could create a never-ending and increasing cycle, causing more concerns and challenges.
Sometimes working overtime is important. If you work for a company that requires mandatory overtime, you won’t be able to avoid it, but you can learn to manage it. Most importantly, say no when you’re too tired, when it’s affecting your health or when you have crucial family obligations.
Quitting smoking is one of the best decisions you will ever make. You will be much healthier, and you could save thousands of dollars every year.
It’s time to kick the habit and the Fit for the Road team is here to help you. We are sure that you are aware of all the statistics about how smoking is bad for you and you have probably seen the ads on TV. So now it is your turn.
No one says quitting is easy, but every day, people show it can be done. Remember you don’t have to quit alone the Fit for the Road team is here to help and support you. Is there someone you know that has been thinking about giving up too? Having a buddy that will quit with you may help the quitting process, maybe you know a smoker that is on the Fit for the Road Programme.
BE CLEAR about what Work/Life Balance means to YOU?
Striking the right balance is very much about how YOU define balance and how you would view yourself being successful in terms of work life balance
It has much to do with your priorities and your use of time, which in turn depends on your goals and personal values. Simply ask yourself what are your top 3 professional and personal goals/needs in life right now and consider what values these goals embrace. Once you do this you will get a clearer picture of how to prioritise in line with your goals
If you are one of those people that believe that exploring issues of Work-Life Balance is a luxury you simply cannot afford at this time in your life, then you are urged to think again.
Being Active With Your Family
Exercising together as a family is a great way to strengthen family bonds and relationships. Good health and fitness makes everyday life better and more fulfilling for parents and children alike. Kids learn about exercise, proper nutrition, managing stress, and healthy living from what they see at home. It is vital to demonstrate good habits and offer lots of encouragement in a non-competitive way. When the family spends time engaged in physical activity, it is much easier for kids to stay healthy and adopt a lifelong healthy lifestyle. You will have lots of fun together and you will be showing your kids the importance of getting physical activity on a regular basis.
Create a family fitness plan just for your family and take contributions from every family member so that everyone knows they are part of the plan.
Try these tips to get the family to exercise together:
1. Make exercise a family affair
Schedule regular time during the week for family physical activities. Let each family member take turns choosing an activity to participate in as a group. Make sure they choose something they enjoy and do well, and that makes them feel good about themselves. Consider starting the day with a family stretching session. Kid’s yoga poses are excellent for overall stretching to loosen the muscles after sleep and strengthen them for the day ahead.
2. Plan active holidays
Select family holidays where physical activity will be a central factor. Base this on the most common interest such as skiing, golf, kayaking, camping or take a cruise on a ship with a full gym on board. Join a tour that will lead you on tours of the area you are visiting. If you take a camper van away on holiday, take along bikes and fishing rods.
3. Exercise for charity
There are lots of ways to stay fit while doing good deeds. Consider having the whole family enter a fun-run or bike ride for a charity. Enter and walk in holiday parades, cultural festivals, and charity fund raisers. Adopt a highway, park or beach and be part of the clean-up crew. Have the whole family volunteer to help with physical activity events, games and fund-raisers at each child’s school.
4. Have established indoor and outdoor activities for the family
If you have standard outdoor and indoor activities you regularly do, you’ll have a variety to choose from for all moods, energy levels, and weather. For indoors: have designated areas for tumbling, yoga, rolling; keep a collection of games like twister, juggling or mini-trampoline. For outdoors: walk the dog, hit golf balls at a driving range or miniature golf, spend the day bowling, fly kites or toss frisbees on the beach or in a park, ice skating or in-line skating, play backyard sports like basketball, or soccer.