Work-life balance – what it is and how to get it

By Zoe Taylor

Work-life balance is the ultimate key to being happy with the life you lead. Why? Because it means that while you’re working hard and making a life for yourself while you’re at work, you’re also able to stay connected with those that mean the most to you, which will help maintain your happiness. You’re also able to enjoy yourself and relax away from work which is extremely important!

So, how does one obtain a work-life balance? We’ve all heard the phrase ‘keep your personal life and your professional life separate’, but what exactly is meant by this?

Don’t take work home with you
Even if you feel like you ‘have’ to. If it’s absolutely necessary to finish the task you’re working on then and there, stay back a little later and finish it off. Taking your work home takes away from the sanctity of your personal space, and it’s no longer a fun, relaxing environment.

Don’t fill your weekends with work
Your weekends should be dedicated to relaxing, catching up with friends and family or on your favourite TV shows! This allows you to relax and rejuvenate for the week ahead, and allows for a break from work – not for more work time!

Studying for an hour or two a day on weekends is different, however, as it’s not something that you’ll be doing forever, and it’s allowing you to work towards your career goals. That’s not to say that you should study for the entirety of your weekends – an hour or two is plenty, and allows for downtime.

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Manage your time effectively
If you come up with an effective work schedule and allow the perfect amount of time (not too little and not too much) for completing set tasks, it will be less likely that you’ll have work that requires your attention outside of your set working hours. Minimise distractions at work and focus on one task at a time to minimise stress and confusion, and therefore time wasting.

Moreover, don’t become so much of a perfectionist that you make it impossible to finish the work that is required of you. Work hard and well, and seek feedback from your manager or the appropriate heads of department – when they’re happy you should be too!

Reward yourself
You’ve achieved a goal, finished a massive project at work or received a promotion. Well done! You deserve a reward! Go and see that movie you’ve been wanting to see, or run a bubble bath and read that book you haven’t had time to read. Eat that rich chocolate cake you love so much but have been avoiding. Whatever it is, make sure it’s a special reward and be proud of yourself! You’ve accomplished something great!

Make the most of holidays
Holiday periods and long weekends are important times because they don’t come around that often in a year. Make the most of your extra days off and ensure you indulge in some time with friends and family as well as ‘me time’.

For help in finding the right career path for you, or for useful tips on areas including studying and finding success, call 1800 143 080 or visit www2.collegesonline.com.au/mycareer to contact one of our friendly career advisors!

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