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It’s National Work Life Week, meaning that now is the perfect time for employers and employees to reflect on their work/life balance and wellbeing in the workplace. For many of us, balancing our working life with families, relationships and other responsibilities can feel like an impossible task, especially when our phones are buzzing 24/7 with work emails and we’re constantly switched on. Although it might feel as if working around the clock means getting more work done, the resulting stress zaps concentration and drains motivation, which causes productivity to plummet.
Starting to feel the strain of overworking? Here are our top tips for avoiding burnout…
Although it’s a struggle for many people, learning when to say ‘no’ can be a huge stress saver. There are only so many tasks that can be managed in a day and taking on more than you can handle will just mean a slip in standards when it comes to your current workload. Far from making you seem work-shy, knowing when to decline those extra shifts or taking work home shows an awareness of how to properly manage your time.
Sometimes having anytime access to systems that make it easier to do jobs flexibly can be a huge benefit – our Mobile Workforce system is perfect for scattered workforces who need to stay connected – but limiting unnecessary out-of-hours communication is a simple way to keep your work life and personal life separate. There are few instances that will require your immediate attention at 10pm on a Tuesday night, so don’t be afraid to step away from your work email account.
…Not harder. At the beginning of each working day, write down your main priorities and what you can reasonably expect to complete that day, and what can feasibly wait until tomorrow. Overwhelming yourself with work increases the likelihood that you will procrastinate, so break it down into manageable tasks and allocate a deadline to each. The less time that is spent on unnecessary work, the more time that is spent productively – and the more likely you’ll be to finish work on the dot.
If you’re one of the 7 in 10 workers who don’t take advantage of their lunch hour at work, now is the time to start. Even taking a fifteen-minute walk to get some fresh air gives you the opportunity to step away from your workload and mentally re-focus. Not only will this have a positive effect on your wellbeing by providing you with a chance to refresh, it will benefit your employer through increased productivity once you return to your work.
Although having a job is important, it’s not the be-all and end-all, and shouldn’t be the biggest element of your life. It’s crucial to set some time aside for activities that you know will boost your mood and bring you satisfaction, especially when you’re also juggling family life. From rediscovering an old hobby to booking a hair appointment, finding some time to focus on yourself will do wonders for your wellbeing. If you’re happy outside of work, you are more likely to be happy and productive in work.