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April 1, 2021

We live in a world that is obsessed with being successful, working hard, and achieving high milestones -- while we might not have a problem with that we do have a problem with mental issues caused by an obsession. Strong mental health produces better productivity, So let’s look at how to achieve a better work life balance.


So let’s start with what causes this obsession with working and being a workaholic :


The primary reason for this obsession is due to the materialistic nature of modern society. It would appear that social media has had a profound effect on exacerbating the desire to purchase nice clothes, cars, homes, and holidays. The desire to provide more for themselves and their family has resulted in honest people being willing to work extremely hard to do so. What they do not realize, however, is that this can be very damaging, particularly if their job involves large amounts of time spent working and not living life or obtaining a sensible balance. Those individuals who are prone to overwork should always be aware that maintaining a work-life balance is one of the most important things in life - to be happy and have good emotional and psychological well-being should be a priority. In a society where lots of people are struggling with mental illness (often due to overwork, stress, and sleep deprivation), it is important to establish a way in which one could improve one’s own balance. A good work-life balance allows one to live a fulfilling life – a life that is about more than just career trajectory and finance.


Here are a few tips which would allow an individual to better utilize the time spent away from work which should, in turn, allow them to enjoy all the finer things that life has to offer.


Tip 1: Limit your time on social media


The first way that you could improve your work-life balance is by ensuring that you limit the time you spend on social media and various other online platforms. It is becoming more and more common for people to spend endless amounts of time on social media platforms, be it for work or entertainment purposes. 


However, this is not always beneficial and can reduce the amount of genuine interaction that an individual may have with their friends and/or family. It is important, therefore, to limit yourself to a certain amount of social media time per day. This needn’t be an extremely small amount of time, however spending time away from these platforms, you are allowing your mind to rest and recover which is vital for anyone who lives a busy working life. It may also give you back time to utilize in other ways such as adequate time to relax and to spend quality time with loved ones. Stats have shown that digital detoxing is very important in a society in which social media platforms can be very impactful on one’s mindset.


If you think you don’t spend much time on social media, platforms like Instagram now allow you to review your daily average via the ‘your activity option in the main menu on your profile. Most smartphones also log the most used apps in your settings. If you want to cut down your average time spent you can set alarms but most importantly, think about how the time could be better spent on other activities!


Tip 2: Separate work life from your personal life


Sounds easy on paper but I am all too conscious of how hard this is to do, believe me!


Another way to improve your work-life balance is to ensure that you use your time away from work to concentrate on being away from work i.e. putting up boundaries.


For most people, checking their emails or text messages for work updates has become habitual (believe me as an entrepreneur, I am no different). This means, however, that their mind is far more likely to be thinking about working than relaxing, thereby limiting the time which they may need to recuperate. One simple solution to this problem is to avoid texts or emails which involve work over the weekend or outside of work times. By doing so, you can enjoy time to yourself, or with your family.


This might in principle means not having work emails on your personal phone or just being EXTREMELY disciplined. Either way, if you are at dinner still responding to work emails that are not urgent – then it is time to think about what to do.


Tip 3: Create some protected ‘Me Time’


It’s genuinely surprising by how rarely people spend time by themselves; this might be because they are too focused on the week ahead, or other less important things. 


But we think it is vital to spend some time focusing purely on your own needs - as your well-being is so vitally important. One way of doing this is might be by picking a hobby which you can do by yourself, or with a small group, which allows your mind to relax. The common hobby that most people adopt is a sport. Sport is a good option as it allows you to ensure that you are both physically and mentally fit. Also, by playing sport you are likely to interact with new people, therefore meaning that you are able to build new relationships which is a positive step in the right direction.


Tip 4: Spend time with people you like


As well as allocating some alone time, you should ensure that you allocate time to spend with people you like – e.g. family, friends, romantic partners, etc. Time with loved ones is, after all, one of the most precious things that an individual could ask for. One idea that I quite like is the idea of a family games night because it means that you are able to interact with your loved ones in a way that does not have to involve television or technology. All you would need is a few simple board games and a pack of playing cards. This method of relaxation is good for anyone who struggles to relax when they are alone because you may well find it easier to chill out when others around you are trying to do so. I also like to throw in the odd night out (theatre, comedy night, concert, cinema, etc) and holidays / short breaks. Shared experiences can only ever be a good thing, right?


So there we have it. Now you know my four steps to maximizing your work-life balance, it is up to you to put them into place. Lots of people fear the idea of relaxation as they believe that by not working they will get left behind and overtaken by competitors. This doesn’t have to be the case. Relaxation can, in fact, allow you to recharge your batteries and come back stronger, healthier, and smarter than those around you. You should, therefore, try your best to relax because not only can it improve your mental well-being, but it can also improve your ability to work at your best!


As the saying goes, sometimes the best way to move forward is to retreat.








Source: WSJ
Image Source: Getty Images