Why a Work Life Balance is Difficult, and Methods to Improve
Work-life balance. Sound impossible? Well what if we told you that there are easy, small things you can do to improve your work-life balance. Yes, you may be snowed under with document after document and the words “work-life balance” may instill laughter, but bear with us. For anyone, a better work-life balance is possible.
Let’s go through some statistics. Fear not, these can change. Right now though, they show that we all have a responsibility to ourselves to improve our work-life balance. We all owe ourselves better mental health, happier days (and nights), and a better work ethic.
According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), an association for human resource management professionals, around two thirds (68%) of workers would like to work flexibly in a way that is not available to them. The Independent cites that British workers believe work takes up almost half of their life. A Harvard Business School survey found 94% of service professionals put in over 50 hours a week. Finally, Qualtrics, an employee experience company, states that 85% of UK workers report stress in the workplace.
These statistics are normal, though, right? There’s so much to do? Everyone’s in the same boat?
You may feel like you need to:
- Balance enough sleep with a deadline.
- Manage to explore fulfilling hobbies while juggling work hours.
- Have enough time to cook a healthy lunch for work, rather than rushing to get something hot and greasy.
- See friends and family, but also keep your colleagues happy.
- AND keep happy, healthy, exercise plenty, sleep well, have enough water, get your five a day.
Sometimes, it can feel like this:
Breathe. it is possible, trust us. A work-life balance may be fragile, but it is so, so, so important. That’s why we have some of the best ways to improve yours.
Working Hard or Hardly Working?
According to the UK health foundation, work is good for your health. It’s not difficult to see why. It keeps us focused, it gives us purpose, and it’s better than laying around wondering which television show to watch on Netflix. Teamwork can both help you live a more fulfilled life, and can also help you decide between Good Girls or Line of Duty, so work can solve aimlessness in oh so many ways.
However, there are the natural shifts in balance you’ll need to contend with. There are many reasons why a work-life balance gets upset. The times your routine breaks down. There’s friction in the office because nobody’s sleeping. The partners want results but you’re all already stretched thin. Sure, everybody in the office understands, you’re all in the same boat. Until you celebrate reaching that big deadline as a team, though, that extra loud tea-sipping is going to make your eye twitchy.
Sometimes, you can predict these shifts in balance. Sometimes, you may underestimate them. Sometimes, they come out of nowhere. If you work in eCommerce, say, there might be a random day where you receive hundreds of orders.
Another problem is, a Summer routine will need to become a Winter routine. Blue skies means lower melatonin, which means you feel more awake. Television can help with this shift, with “more comforting” shows coming out in Winter, and “more trashy” (*ahem* Love Island *ahem*) shows coming out in Summer. Yet, you’ll still always be more tired and have a lower mood in Winter, because the skies are darker and you’re getting less vitamin D.
Home is Where the Heart Is
The warm glow of your TV, Laptop Phone, or Gaming PC may well be the light that guides you home. Maybe you’re into yoga or cooking or you play an instrument. Maybe you’re ready to win the pub quiz this time, after hundreds of attempts.
Here’s part of the problem: when things are going well, when life is easy, a work-life balance is easy to maintain. When everything starts piling up, you look back at the days of carelessly thrusting your head back in laughter at work before heading home and doing your favourite thing and lament them. It’s like getting a cold, you know that familiar feeling of regret that you’ve taken not having a cold for granted?
Home life has a lot of admin and things to remember. We all find ourselves juggling with things like insurance, car MOTs, tax, contents insurance, pensions, house insurance, utility providers, bills, subscriptions. Then something breaks. It always feels like everything goes wrong in the same week.
When we think of a work-life balance, usually we think it means a perfect balance throughout the entire year. This is too much to ask, because things will always come up that create stress. When your work-life balance has shifted and you’ve got insurance renewals piling up, an MOT to book and the rest it is possible to reduce stress and keep on top of things.
Once you’re back on top of all your house admin, you’ll be able to switch providers yearly to make sure you get the most out of your money. You’ll be able to take advantage of the cashback offers you usually miss, and more!
Improving your Work Life Balance
In such a loud and busy world, there’s so much to do in so little time. So, what if you had more time? What if you could save time on work and life admin?
There are a few ways you can do this. Sometimes, it’s not enough to simply put the phone down when you’re out of the office. If you’re successful enough to have out of office calls or work, you’re probably successful enough to have to take them.
So, if you lessen the time you work at home by managing your work things with reminders and a more efficient system than spreadsheets provide, you’ll still be able to solve Jenny’s mishap and have enough time for a walk or some other leisure time.
After the call, though, there’ll always be life admin. It’s been a long day. All you want to do is relax. Everything’s messy, you need to sort out taxes and bills, your car is due its MOT. Netflix is waiting but you have to promise it later.
If you’re using a thousand spreadsheets to track everything from your receipts to your bills, everything is going to be far more difficult. You might forget something and remember it when you’re trying to get your hard earned sleep.
Using an asset register at work to track critical assets and IT assets will reduce stress and ensure you and your team waste less time hunting for the assets you need, allowing you to get more of the important stuff done.
At home, you can also keep on top of all your life admin by using a system that keeps track of what’s due for renewal when, which provider you’ve switched to for car insurance, gas and electric, and the rest! Setting handy reminders so you’ll never forget an important date again. A tool like itemit means that you’ll be able to sort out life admin faster, and concentrate on your tasks one by one, and still have time to lie in bed with your feet up and catch up on Stranger Things.
If you track your car, an effective asset management app can remind you when your MOT is. Less stress. If you track your IT assets, such as your laptop, an effective asset management app can remind you when bills are due. Less stress. If you track your home, you’ll know where all of your contents or home insurance details are. Less stress.
All of this means more time doing what you love. Get more out of work, and life, by using an asset register. Check out itemit now and thank us later!
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