As part of the #SocialDad90Day Challenge, I’m looking at all areas of my health and wellness. It’s too easy for work to come home with us after a day at the office. It all starts with a one-off or a project that you just need to get finished, or a presentation that you’re preparing for first thing tomorrow.
Before you know it, you’re bringing your laptop home every night or responding to emails on your phone. Your 9-5 has become 9-5 plus 7-9 and a little email-check as soon as you get up, as well as a cheeky look before you finally slip off to sleep, and that’s no good for anyone.
A healthy-work life balance is a necessity to maintain a happy and productive team. You and your colleagues need to have the ability to switch off and decompress after a busy day, or run the risk of burning out, becoming frustrated with your work, increased risk of getting sick, or wanting to leave the company altogether.
Here are five easy steps to find a balance. These may need to implemented slowly, so take your time, but they’re for everyone’s benefit.
1.Leave work on time
Managing your time efficiently and completing tasks to your own deadline will get you out the door right at 5pm. If you can’t complete the work within your hours, perhaps your manager can discuss priorities with you and decide which ones will contribute to your goals.
2. Put your phone on ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode
When you’re home, you’re not at work. Take your phone out of your pocket, put it by the keys and spend time doing what you like doing. Talk with your family, have a quiet dinner, or go and hang out with your friends. You’re not being paid to work outside of office hours, so don’t.
3. Build down-time into your schedule
Book your lunch time into your Outlook calendar and don’t accept any meetings during that time. It’s totally fine to book off the first or last thirty minutes of your day to catch up with emails and wrap up projects without having to rush out of yet another meeting.
4. Go for a walk
On your lunch break, don’t just open a new tab and head to Facebook. Go outside, walk around and look at your surroundings. Breathe in some fresh air and grab a bite to eat. Having a break away from your screen(s) will give you the room to think and process your day so far and prioritize your afternoon.
5. Take your vacation
Before you leave for some well deserved me-time, ensure that anything urgent or time-dependent has been completed or handed to a colleague with clear instructions. Provide your team with some handover information as well as any passwords or usernames if they need to log into software that you’re using. When you book time off, take the time off. These are your days to spend however you like. It’s not your responsibility to be ‘reachable’.