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Tips for maintaining healthy work life balance

This time of year can be a great time to sit back and reflect on the past 12 months. Life can be full of struggles and finding the right balance between work, life and happiness can be tough. Finding a good balance has to be the most important thing in your life, or you are destined to eventually self-destruct. Here are a few tips to keep in mind along the journey.

Play to your strengths

Don’t try and be all things to all people. Focus on your strengths and outsource the others. If you’re not a whiz at accounts or graphic design, outsource them instead of wasting time.

Plot some personal time

When personal issues arise, it can be tempting to bury yourself in your work. Don’t do it! If you don’t make time for your personal life – your “me” time, including your family and your health – your work life will suffer.

Have set work hours – and stick to them

Set work hours for yourself and do everything in your power to stick to them. Otherwise, before you know it, you’ll be working until midnight every night.

Manage your time, long term

Create a timeline of your activities. Specific computer programs can help with this, or you can customize your own Excel spreadsheet or Word table. Put dates across the top and activities down the side. Break each task into components. Include family commitments – such as holidays, birthday parties, etc. – so you don’t forget that you are unavailable for work on those days.

Make your workspace work for you

Regardless of where you work it tends to require long hours and not much downtime, so invest in equipment that will support you. That includes getting a comfortable chair, an ergonomic keyboard, a support stand for your laptop, etc. An ergonomic assessment of your workspace is worth every cent.

Make exercise a must-do, not a should-do

It’s easy to cancel the gym, the evening run or the yoga class because a client wants something done yesterday.

Instead, ensure exercise is given as much priority as your clients and making money. A healthy body means a fresh mind, which means you will function better and complete tasks in less time.

Do what you love

Make time for something you love – other than work – and give it the time it deserves. It will energise and refresh you and enable you to nurture the creative thought that is essential to every business owner.

Manage your mind

When fear or self-doubt or anxiety creeps in, do some work on your mental health such as meditation or reading a business book. Alternatively, spend time with someone who will lift you up and support you.

Take a break

Remember to take time out throughout your day. Some tasks are easier than others, so if you find yourself with an hour up your sleeve, be realistic about whether you can “afford” to rest or not. You might not have time every day to simply sit and “be” but do your best to give yourself a lunch break. Also, make a point of getting up and stretching every 15 minutes. It will help you become clearer, more focused and more productive.

Have that holiday

Make time for a holiday and book in breaks, at least quarterly. Even a long weekend every quarter is better than nothing.

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