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Practical solutions to the four most common work/life balance problems.
We all want to have a happy balance between our personal and professional lives. But how can we go about it? Linda Smith tackels the four most common work/life balance problems.
You want to spend more time with family and friends:
Make a commitment that when you come home from work, you are going to inspire, rather than drain, the people you love. Don’t dwell on work problems - your kids and friends don’t care, they want the fun version of you, not the work version. Make a time, say from 6pm-9pm, when your phone and laptop are switched off and you don’t think about work. Schedule a regular date night with your partner, or a girls night with friends once a month - whatever you need to make you feel like you are in control of your life rather than just being controlled by work.
You want to bolster your health and fitness:
Rather than say ‘I want to go to the gym more’, set yourself more specific goals like ‘I want to lose 10kg in 12 months’, ‘I want to train for the upcoming 10km fun run’, or ‘I want to attend three gym classes a week’. Then schedule exercise into your diary just as you would a business meeting, or trip to the dentist, so you can achieve these goals. If you fall off the wagon then get back on - if an important, last-minute work meeting clashes with your scheduled yoga class don’t get angry at your boss and give up on your road to a balanced lifestyle, simply take a few deep breaths and reschedule the yoga class - finding balance is all about flexibility and adaptability.
You want to work less for others and work more on own pursuits:
Chucking in your job to follow your dreams of running your own business is good in theory, but it’s hard work. Start slowly. If possible cut back your working hours to four days week and use the extra day to build your business at home. Also question if it’s what you really want. Working in your PJs might sound nice, but consider whether working at home will suit you -- it’s not going to work if you hate being alone or can’t work without a boss or colleagues to motivate you, and it may not be the best option for you if you value financial security and feel stressed without a regular pay packet.
You want to declutter your life:
Emotional and physical baggage can hold us back from a balanced lifestyle. So clean out your spare room and your wardrobe, create a filing system for paperwork and ditch friends who drag you down. Use your smartphone to program daily reminders for tasks such as taking your multivitamin, to reduce the amount of mental clutter. Simplicity is one of the most valuable conditions you can get in the quest for that elusive ‘balance’.