5 Ways To Balance Your Workload And Enjoy Life

It’s tough enough to land a solid job that pays well and provides you some fulfillment. And then if you do get that job, trying to manage it with everything else in your life can become quite a little task.

Eight-hour days turn into consecutive late nights in the office, and instead of working to live, you end up living to work. While there’s nothing wrong with putting in the hard yards, don’t we all still want to enjoy the finer things thing in life as well? With that said, here are five ways to help you find that perfect balance.

#1 Routine

Routine is just a slightly clichéd synonym for balance. Unlike what you’ve heard, routine doesn’t have to be over the top planning, rather just some simple structure that gives your days and weeks some purpose. Depending on how you work, you might make a daily routine, weekly routine, heck even a monthly routine. Go with what works, and realise it may take you a few attempts to figure out what suits you best.

For example, you might aim to go to the gym three times a week and also aim to catch up with at least one friend per week for lunch or dinner. You might even just focus on little things, like going home on time regularly (more on this at #5).

#2 Treat Catch Ups And Personal Times Like Meetings

When work is a bit intense with meetings and projects galore, it’s easy to put your personal life on the back burner. So treat your dinners, gym time, sport and general social times exactly as you would with meetings. Don’t move them! Or at least make a solid effort at keeping them, because they are what will keep that balance on point.

Plan your work life around them, and if you have to reschedule or cancel on something, actually reschedule them. So just like you would with a meeting, make sure you move it to another time. Rather than just cancelling it because you’re too busy.

#3 Get Someone Else To Hold You Accountable

If and when you start making some lifestyle changes, let other people know about it. Maybe a good friend on what you’re doing. And just get them to hold you accountable for the changes you make. Maybe let them know about your routine and ask them if they can check in on your progress every fortnight.

Better yet, get them involved so you both check in on each other. Here’s the thing, routines are tough and we often take on a selfish mindset when we don’t hit our goals. It’s easy to say, “work was just too hard this week” or come up with silly little excuses. A little bit of friendly pressure will never goes astray.

#4 Give Yourself A Social Budget

Allocate yourself a little social budget on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly level. We’re all going to be different with how much we give ourselves, but look at it as money to use for dinners, after work beverages or a Sunday brunch – whatever works for you. But treat it as a budget to spend on social times or experiences that give you a bit of a break from the 9-5. And then if you don’t spend it, it goes straight into your savings.

#5 Be Honest With Your Managers

This is so vital, but can also be a tad daunting. But be upfront with your bosses, managers and colleagues about your work. At times we’re eager to impress and will work late nights to show that we’re committed to our work and career. But when that becomes a very regular habit, it’s not healthy for your mental health.

Start with a simple email if you’re feeling a bit burnt out or under the pump – especially if it means working beyond regular hours. It’s so easy to get caught up in the proverbial rat race, and that’s when your weeks actually feel more like a burden than enjoyable. Be honest and it’ll pay huge dividends on a personal level.

Sebastian Paulin

27 July 2018 - 5 minute read