Being able to find the perfect work-life balance takes a little more than a bi-weekly Neom induced bubble bath and a glass of wine on a Friday after a week from hell. Finding the perfect work-life balance can be exhausting and overwhelming, it goes deeper than planning in one activity a week,
but we’re here to help.
I hear motivational speakers saying if you’re not working every hour of the day towards your dreams you are not working hard enough. And to a degree, I agree. You can’t expect success to just fall on
your lap, it’s anything but an accident, but you have to have the emotional maturity to know when you are about to run into a burn out. Listen to your body, because you cannot be the best version of you if I’m running with an empty tank. I used to work 12 hours a day because I was so determined to
be successful. It wasn’t until I took a step back and realised, I was still achieving my goals whilst enjoying some time for myself that I quickly established I was killing myself for no extra benefit. If you work in an office, or for a corporation and like me you are a perfectionist, chances are your work life balance is pretty unstable, and I don’t mean just physically. You may not bring the physical work home but if you still have 5 tabs open in your mind when you leave that door you are carrying your work stress into your own, unpaid time. How do you expect to be rested, focused and level-headed if you haven’t done anything for you?
A life coach once taught me the 12-8-4 rule. He said that everyone should get 12 hours of sleep per day, spend 8 hours working, and 4 hours for themselves. When he first told me this, I thought, are you serious? I can’t even shower without a 3-year-old (cuter) version of me impatiently waiting for me to finish. But he pushed me to keep perusing it and eventually, after months of figuring it out, I have started to prioritize space in my head for me. Sounds weird right? Let me give you a little insight. I am 30 (almost) years old, I have 2 small children, I am a single parent, a high school teacher, a freelance journalist, a sister, a daughter, a partner, a friend, and I often forget that I am also – me. I leave school and automatically parent. My children to go to bed and I am still adulting – More than likely staying true to my perfectionist personality and adding extra to my school planning for the week, instead of just leaving that piece of me at the school gates. It takes time, but the feeling you get when you mentally switch off and kick-start that work, life balance is exhilarating.
The best piece of advice I ever received was to have something to look forward to each night. When it hits 7pm that is my time to unwind. It doesn’t have to be an extravagant event each night, it could be nestling down with your favourite show, cooking something good for your soul, calling a friend, seeing your partner but actually putting down your devices and having a conversation. Whatever it is, make sure you turn off your work tabs and give yourself a sense of gratification. You were not made to work all hours of the day, the world needs exploring, and you need rest. There is a reason the 9-5 exists.
There has never been a more trying time to perfect the work-life balance. Especially now most of us are working from home and our living rooms have become our meeting rooms and dining table our desk. There is a million tips for WFH but in case you need a little inspiration - You matter, your mental health matters, its okay to need your own space and its absolutely necessary to separate your work and home life. Start your day by getting changed out of your loungewear. The majority of us aren’t productive in our pyjamas. Take breaks and move rooms! If you can, use one particular room in the house for work, and the rest for pleasure. Your work-life balancing scales will be way off if you’re cooking in the same room you had a meeting and sleeping in the same space you write your reports.
Having a work-life balance is learning to separate your life and prioritising your tasks for the day. Be mindful of knowing when you work best and at what speed. Your mind has more power than you realise, so use it to ditch the guilt of not working at 500mph. It’s easier said than done, but make sure you have something to look forward too. No matter how busy you are today, make sure to do something for you.
Written by Hollie Wilkinson