A work-life balance: How to find one & keep it.


A work-life balance: how to find one and actually keep it.

A work-life balance is a lifestyle choice. It's being able to prioritise your work and your career, but still being able to enjoy and have time to yourself. It's being able to have a life outside of the office, too. It's being able to be driven and ambitious, but also being able to switch off, spend time with family and do things that you enjoy, for you.

My previous job didn't allow for any kind of work-life balance. It was a full time job where managers expected constant overtime, and any spare time that I did get back home was filled with studying and revising for professional exams under the constant threat of losing our jobs if we failed. 3 years down the line and guess what? I was done. I couldn't give myself 100% to my job anymore, and I didn't want to. I realised that while yes, I wanted a good career, this wasn't the way I wanted to do it. I knew that I needed to find a job that would allow me the forever coveted work-life balance.

Just over a year later, and I'm so much happier. I can't even express in words what a difference it has made to my mental health and my life. So, here are a few little tips and tricks I've learned along the way.

D e v e l o p  a  r o u t i n e  &  b e  s t r i c t  w i t h  y o u r s e l f

The nature of both of my jobs so far have meant that I've been provided with a work laptop and access to my work emails on my phone. While this is great because it means that I can work from wherever I like (*ahem* my bed), it also means that I'm constantly online and contactable. So, learning how to switch off 'work mode' once the working day is done, is something that's been really important for me.

There's always going to be something else you can do. There's always going to be another email you need to reply to. There's always going to be the temptation to check your emails if you have access to them. But creating boundaries and sticking to a routine, is oh so important. When it gets to the end of your working day, it's the end of your working day. Switch off, go home, relax and enjoy your 'you' time.


B e  e f f i c i e n t  w i t h  y o u r  t i m e 

Whatever your average working day is, make the most of it. Procrastination is the devil, and is generally what then forces us into working into our evenings. Set yourself manageable goals at the beginning of each day, and split your day into little bits to ensure you gradually but effectively tick off your to-do list. 

BUT, also make sure you take breaks. Working straight through the whole day without having little breaks or taking your lunch, is always counter-productive. Trust me, I've done this so many times with little effect.


C o m m u n i c a t e  e f f e c t i v e l y

If you feel like you're getting overwhelmed and your work load is getting too much, it might be time to have a little chat to your boss. Let them know them know how you're feeling and tell them if you are feeling overwhelmed. Any good manager will listen, help you, and set out a plan as to how to make things better for both you and the business. Don't be afraid to ask them for help either, they've been there themselves at some point too.

Another little trick is to make sure you manage expectations. Be realistic with time frames you give out to your boss or colleagues. There's nothing worse than saying 'I'll have that with you tomorrow', if you know you're already swamped, because this is just going to stress you more, and most probably have you working into the night. Set yourself a longer deadline, if only then to pleasantly surprise everyone if you manage to get it done sooner!


I m m e r s e  y o u r s e l f  i n  a  h o b b y  &  a  s o c i a l  l i f e.

For me, this is quite obviously blogging, but whether it's yoga, netball, dance, meditation - anything that you enjoy, keeps you active, but also helps you switch off from work is a good thing. Get yourself a hobby that means you have to leave work behind for a little while. 

Make plans with friends, see your family and just create the 'life' part of your work-life balance, and don't let anything get in the way of it. 


FEATURED IN THIS POST

Calvin Klein bag - c/o Tessuti Women | I can't even explain how much I adore this bag. It's sophisticated and elegant, but it's so spacious. I was a little concerned I wouldn't be able to use it for work as my current bag is a little bigger, but honestly, it's like a Mary Poppins bag in here! As always with Calvin Klein, the quality of the bag is also great - I can see it being durable and putting up with me for a while yet!

Flared sleeve jumper - Chicwish.com | LOADS of you guys have been asking where this jumper is from ever since I posted it on my Instagram. I purchased it here, however, I will just say that although I love this jumper, I've had an absolute nightmare with Chicwish & I'm still waiting on a few issues to be resolved. I won't go into details, but just go ahead and purchase at your own risk!

9 comments

  1. While I haven't really experienced work life yet, I just graduated from school at the end of 2016 and am now on a gap year, I definitely will at some point this year. I'll try to keep your tips in mind when I find myself in a situation of feeling overwhelmed :) x

    Sara’sChapters

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  2. Balance is so important and I'm so glad you've found yours and are happier for it. It's always so inspiring to read these kind of posts!

    Jodie // jodieloue.com

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  3. Maintaining a work-life balance has been crucial for me - I like to try and finish work on time and get home to switch off. The other thing for me was not turning up to work too early! For a while I was turning up nearly forty-five minutes early, unpaid, and wasn't really getting much of a benefit from it. Nowadays I turn up to work exactly on time and feel much better for it!
    Jennifer x
    Ginevrella | Wellbeing & Lifestyle

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  4. love this post. maintaining a good work/life/mental health balance can be so difficult!
    jen | velvet spring x

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  5. I just love every post you do gal. They keep me sane!! xxx

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  6. Great tips! I've recently moved jobs and have finally got some sort of work life balance too :) xx

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  7. My work-life balance is quite poor at the minute - professional study does not help!

    NINEGRANDSTUDENT: A Lifestyle Blog

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  8. I really believe in a work life balance, unfortunately as a trainee teacher I can tell my profession isn't going to allow me to have a good balance and in all honesty it already makes me a little sad as much as I am enjoying it. I never wanted teaching to be my life, just apart of it. But even as a trainee I'm marking books and getting ready for lessons through breaks and lunches. I'm stay late and preparing for the next day and taking paper work home for evenings (not finishing really until 9-10) and then spending the majority of my weekend continuing with paper work and making sure everything is ready for the next week. Maybe one day I'll get a good work-balance! I'm glad you managed to create one for you I can see how happy it makes you!
    http://www.pagesfrombeth.blogspot.co.uk

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  9. Really interesting to hear your story, I started my first full time job about a year and a half ago and it was quite a shock going from uni, where more time was my own to giving 80% of my week to my employer! I've learnt gradually over time that balance is so important though.

    One of the best tips I read was to wake up early and spend the time doing something you love. Not for your employer, but purely for you. It's so empowering to reclaim your time!

    LOVE that jumper btw, shame about the Chicwish issues :(

    Sinéad ♥ Fabuleuse Du Jour

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