A large part of achieving work-life balance can be done even before starting work itself. You will be taking a huge step towards finding the ideal equilibrium, even before setting foot in the office.
1. Recognise your priorities
Find out what your priorities are in life and, by extension, in work. This, when done properly, can make the pursuit of work-life balance far easier.
Work is going to take up a major portion of your life, so spend some time to ponder these questions:
What is most important to you?
What aspects in life can you not compromise on?
Identifying priorities requires you to know yourself well. If needed, seek help and advice from a mentor or loved one, but there is no standard template — the task of recognising your priorities should be done by you alone.
2. Layout your own rules
Set the appropriate rules and boundaries for your work life. Decide how much time you need to set aside and the point of the day beyond that you switch off from work.
This is important to do early on as it is very easy to get lost in your work and eventually compromise on your priorities. By laying out ground rules and following them strictly, you can save yourself from this danger.
The aim is for you to have control over your own time.
3. Find a company that fits you
Equally important as your priorities are those of the company you work for. If one does not match the other, work-life balance becomes much more difficult to attain.
Find a company that will respect your private time. Even if it is a company with long working hours, make sure it is one that has proper policies of caring for and valuing its employees’ work-life balance.
A company with policies that match the boundaries that you set for yourself would be ideal.
Manage your work and leisure time effectively
Once your priorities and boundaries are in order, it is important to manage your work and leisure time effectively.
1. Improve your work efficiency
There are many simple tips and trick you can use to boost your productivity at work. One way is to prioritise the tasks that you have at hand.
Ideally, you should be given a set of KPI by your manager. Prioritise your tasks according to the KPI given.
Ask yourself, which task helps you hit this KPI?
When completed, which tasks will help me hit my KPI sooner rather than later?
This will allow you to not only see the order in which tasks need to be done but will also help you get maximum returns for your effort, because you are prioritising tasks that are of most value to the company.
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2. Manage your breaks well
In the free time available, you can do small tasks that you would ordinarily do after work, such as a quick exercise session or running errands.
Alternatively, you can consider taking smaller breaks throughout the day to recharge. This would allow you to stay productive throughout the day as opposed to falling into a lull.
Make full use of your allotted leaves. Consider taking an extended vacation where you can use the time to prioritise yourself and your wellbeing, by pursuing interests and tasks that you would otherwise be short of time for.
It is an important aspect of work-life balance not to let work overlap with your rest time.
This article is contributed by Michael Page.