We’ve all heard the saying working to live or living to work, haven’t we? It’s a phrase which strikes some level of fear into many hearts. After all, who would want to live to work? Okay, that’s not entirely fair. There are workaholics who love what they do, and good for them. Being happy enough in your career to dictate your life around it is admirable for sure.
But, the majority of us would admit to a desire to work so we can live. In short; that means we want our lives to come before our jobs. Only, this is easier said than done. Even those of us who try to embrace life as much as possible can get into a rut here. You know how it is; you get up, go to work, come home, repeat. It’s a terrible feeling and can lead to increased stress, and even depression in some cases. After all, it’s difficult to stay happy when you don’t have time for the things you love.
The good news is, there’s now more focus than ever on achieving a better work-life balance. Fewer people are happy just to roll over and accept their work-focused fates. Instead, we’re doing what we can to alter the scales in our favor. But, what can you alone do to make sure your life gets the time and attention it so deserves? Read on for a few ideas to help you get this right.
Seek remote opportunities
Thanks to a little thing called the internet, remote working is a big business right now. And, guess what? Working when and where you want ensures that you can make the time for things you love. That’s a definite win for team life. As such, it’s worth seeking remote opportunities if you can. If you’re willing to make a complete change, you could look out for a full-time remote position. This would be the ultimate way to take back control, as you would never need to adhere to office hours again. As long as you were available for meetings and such, you’d be free to work whenever was convenient for you. Opportunities here include everything from personal assistants to digital marketing roles.
If you would rather stay in the role you know, it’s worth asking if there are remote possibilities. In most cases, it should be possible to work at least one or two days from home. And, even that small shift could make a considerable difference towards living the life you dream of. After all, you could work into the evening, and free up large parts of your day. You could run out and complete errands without the whole office noticing it. What’s more, you would get the much-needed opportunity to set up in a new and exciting environment. That’s sure to inspire you more than your work office.
Develop a decent relationship with your boss
The idea of a decent working relationship with your boss is nothing new. This is essential for ensuring happiness at work as a standard. What you might not realize is that this is also crucial for work/life balance. If you’re on bad terms with your boss, they won’t have any real drive to make allowances for you. Heck, you might not even be on their radar. But, if you take time to please your boss and stand out from the crowd, you may find you have a little more leeway to play with. As a valued team member, you would stand a better chance of acceptance when asking for early finishing times or flexible shifts. After all, your boss won’t want to lose you. What’s more, opening communications can help them understand, and try to meet your needs. This could help in a variety of ways, namely getting time off when you need it. It may be that you need to finish early each day to pick up your children. Or, perhaps you have an unwell relative, and need allowances with work hours, as well as time off should things take a turn for the worse. As you can see from articles like Peninsulas employee bereavement leave guide, your manager doesn’t have a legal obligation to give you time off in this case. More, the matter is down to their discretion. And, if they understand your position, you’re far more likely to achieve the balance you need.
Stick to your guns
That said, it’s still important to stick to your guns with issues such as overtime and workload. It’s tempting to take on all those extras to get in your boss’ good books. But, it’s a catch 22 situation which you shouldn’t approach in that way. After all, taking on extra work to impress your boss is not going to lead you towards better life balance. Quite the opposite. You’ll end up working far more than you would otherwise. Instead, it’s crucial to know your limits when it comes to issues like these and stick to your guns. One piece of overtime a week could well be necessary for impressing and work in your favor in the long-run. But, anything over that would be tipping the scales very much the wrong way. As such, it’s essential you learn to say no to extra work. If you’re already used to doing extras as standard, slowing down your life like this would free up an astounding amount of time.
Another simple way to get this right is to get into the habit of planning workdays. Something as simple as writing out a to-do list can keep your work flowing in the right direction. And, increasing your productivity can ensure you finish earlier than you’re used to. Once you start monitoring your tasks, you’ll likely to come to notice how much time you waste in the office. And, that’s obviously going to tip the scales towards work. But, by tackling your timings, you may find you can leave the office early, guilt-free and ready to embrace more living.