Collectus – Graphic Design Studio Melbourne - Brand & Logo Design


Journal 09

Losing focus on your work/life balance?

We all lose focus on the balance of our working and personal lives from time to time. When your job gets busy it can seem to take over any downtime you might try to carve out for yourself.

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I know when things get busy for me, it seems like I’m working all hours, and any so-called balance is all out of whack. Here are a few tips I’ve gathered from some awesome small biz owners as well as what I’ve tried to do over the years.

1. Try to keep work at work

With all the technology now to communicate at any time of the day or night, this is a really hard one to do. But to keep the balance I would really recommend not bringing work home if you can help it at all. Now sometimes it is unavoidable (and I’m often a bad example of this myself!) but keeping work at work, gives your brain space to turn off when you’re at home and not let work spill into your home life.

2. Turn off push notifications on your phone

There’s nothing worse than your phone dinging and interrupting whatever you are doing at multiple times throughout the day, whether you are having fun with friends or in a meeting with a client, it's bound to interrupt your thoughts and distract you from your purpose.

Try turning off push notifications on your apps, like email, Slack, Facebook and yes, even Instagram. This really is the best way to keep the focus on your current task and allow you to work while at work and not lose time by looking at that cat video on Facebook (even though I’m a fan). Because you’re not going to be able to leave work on time if you keep getting distracted!

3. Have separate email for work and personal

Separate work and personal email accounts save you from seeing that dreaded work email when all you want to do is check out what your fave fashion store has on sale. Set up a personal Gmail account, it's free and separates your inbox into primary, social and promotions, allowing you to see your important direct emails at a glance and keeps you from getting distracted from any work emails on weekends, when you really need to be relaxing.

4. Maintain consistent working hours

It’s always a constant battle for me to leave work on time (and not to take anything home to keep working on!). But I find that the best weeks for balance are when I maintain consistent working hours and aim to leave work at a reasonable time each day. Having a routine and the same working times allow you to work with the time you have and not stretch the day to fit. You prioritise your work schedule at work and leave on time to prioritise your personal life when you get home. It will all be there again tomorrow, so if you get tempted to just finish off that last email, aim to pick it up again first thing in the morning instead, when your brain is fresh.

5. Plan out your social activities and healthy meals

I find that I need to plan in my coffee dates and catch-ups with friends and family well in advance or I tend to let work take over my spare time. I also prioritise cooking a healthy meal each evening as this helps to ward off stress and sickness if I am under the pump with a heavy workload. Nothing makes me feel worse after a long and stressful day at work than to have that greasy takeaway. Urgh.

So I hope you get some benefit from these tips. Try one of them out this week, to help you get some balance back into your life.

Sarah Lawrey