The modern workplace can be a stressful place for employees, who can feel increasing pressure to remain connected and work until late at night. McDonald Murholme Principal Lawyer Andrew Jewell discusses an employee’s right to take time off, to help achieve a healthy work/life balance.
See below article for further details.
6 Ways To Create The Perfect Work/Life Balance – MyDeal.com.au
The balance between work life and real life can often become a blurred mess. Some days you may feel uncommitted to your job, the next you’re staying back until the wee hours of the morning trying to get everything done on time. Starting off, this is fine. After a while, however, it can take its toll. If you’re waking up from nightmares about your job, it may be a sign that your work and life balance is off the scale. Here are a few ways you can manage your work/life balance perfectly.
Step Away From The Email
Sometimes you need to switch off from work after a while, especially after you’ve left the office at 5pm. Instead of glueing your eyes to your phone and answering all those emails, leave them alone for the night. It’s better for you to keep your workload to a minimum at night, and focus on spending time with your family and friends.
Work Smarter, Not Harder
Sometimes it feels feel like you can’t work any harder, but you can’t see any improvement made on your end. The issue may not be that you’re not working hard enough, but that you’re not working smart enough. In order to work smarter, you should consider taking more breaks in between tasks. This renews your mind, and your ability to get the task done right, so you don’t have to worry about finishing it later on in the night, leaving you free to enjoy yourself! Another tip is to move and work in block times. Allocate certain times to each task, and focus on that task alone. Dr Sarah Cotton from Transitioning Well explains the challenge of balancing your work and your life. “From Balance to Boundaries – Challenge the concept of ‘work-life balance’ and offer the more practical and sustainable alternative of ‘work-life boundaries’. By learning to set healthy limits we empower conscious choice and personal responsibility, improving our work and life. 3 Steps: 1) get straight with your internal chatter; 2) build a Lighthouse, and 3) draw your line in the sand (remember that people aren’t mind readers we have to communicate our boundaries!)” Find out more about Transitioning Well by following them on Facebook. This saying can really pay off, and Claire Solomon is here to prove how and why. “To achieve a perfect work/life balance, it’s about working smarter not harder to get the best out of your most precious resource – time. If you can smooth out and automate those pesky sticky parts of your business that suck all your time and drive you mad, you can get on with serving clients, finding new ones and focusing on the things you love in your business and life. And here’s what I know to be true: Get the automation part of your business right and you’ll get back hundreds of hours to spend time with your family or to start focusing on next-level projects for your biz!”
Take Some Time Off
We all need a break, and often we don’t take the time we’re allocated to work on ourselves and relieve our stress. Andrew Jewell from McDonald Murholme lawyers offers his advice for those who need to take time off. “Stressed executives are legally within their rights to take some time off. You can request personal leave supported by a medical certificate without the consent of your employer. To take annual leave, the employer must agree, however, the request cannot be unreasonably refused. For a medical absence, an employee can take personal leave as long as they have accrued paid personal leave. Where an employee exhausts their paid personal leave entitlement, they can remain absent for up to three months, as long as medical certificates are provided. Beyond that, an employer has the right to seek further information regarding the absence and any potential return to work.” Find out more about McDonald Murholme by following them on Facebook and Twitter.
Sorting out your priorities is really important. You don’t want to end up killed, or worse… expelled. Carolyn Dorrian, a lawyer and owner of Dorrian & Co, offers the perfect advice to those who need to prioritise their workload. “Knowing what is important and being able to prioritize is probably the best tip you could adopt with your work from day one. Being able to communicate that to your clients or to your work colleagues is also as important. This is because if I can focus on the most important items of work first and get them out of the way then I am left with the other non-important work that I can do tomorrow and have a great work / life balance. You have to be able to work within this cycle and not get too swamped or leave things to last minute. Part of being able to prioritize, is making decisions (without procrastinating). It is hard to lose focus but then if you give yourself rewards (even small rewards) then making the decision should be easy. Don’t think too hard about it otherwise you will just over-complicate your decision. If making the call on something is too hard, I brainstorm or ask others and leave it for a few more hours and come back to it. Since making decisions (quicker and with more confidence), I have been able to not stress at home and at least can unwind in front of the TV. Learning how to compartmentalise your work will also help.”
Remember What’s Important
When you think of a work/life balance, you have to think of what you’re working towards, and what you’re not. Orsolya Bartalis from Unlimited Results offers her advice for those who need to remember what’s important. “When someone embarks on the mission to create a work-life balance, the first step is to decide what is important to them in their life. Do they want to travel so many times per year? Do they want to be home by 3pm when the kids get home? Do they want to be doing a certain sport on a certain day/time to keep fit? What time do they want to be waking up each day? Etc. Once they have a list of the wants list, it’s time to pull out a planner and jot it in. First, lock out the non-negotiables – like time with the family if that is something they valued. Then block the time out for the essentials – like time for work. Finally the nice to haves, these may not happen on a regular basis, but you still plan for them so you can make them happen and enjoy them as a treat!” Find out more about Orsolya and Unlimited Results by following them on Facebook. Shatterer of glass ceilings, Sandi Givens, has advice for those who are looking for the right balance between their work life and their personal life. “It implies we could package up all the ‘work’ stuff in one box, the ‘life’ stuff in another box, place them at opposite ends of a balance … then hold our breath and pray nothing in either box ever changes. Because if it does, we’ll be out of balance! Having to work late to meet a deadline, leave work early to collect a sick child from school … even small events like these can subconsciously leave us feeling “out of balance”. Much better if we scrap the saying altogether, and merely ask ourselves on a regular basis “Am I happy with how I am spending my time?”
Change Up Your Routine
Some of us can’t manage without a regular schedule and routine. After a while, you may end up doing the same thing so often that you end up in a rut. If you’re feeling like work is slowly becoming your life, switch things up! Invite your friends over for a barbeque; paint your walls a new colour; try a new hair style. You can make a real change in your life by adjusting something small. Suzanne Williams from Grace and Grind offers her advice for those who feel like they’re falling into the grey area between work and life. “Add joy into everyday! If you are not enjoying life and having fun, then you’re not really living! Life is too short to be so serious, be silly, be free and laugh. “Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life” If you want to switch things up but don’t want to break the bank (or change your hairstyle), why not make a small change to your home? Hang new pictures up on your walls, add a funky new doona cover to your bed and make your bedroom look brand new. It doesn’t have to be much, but making a ripple in our regular schedule can make a wave of a difference.
Perfecting the work/life balance is tough, but doable. You don’t have to have one or the other, you can easily keep both your job and your personal life amazing.
Reference: 6 Ways To Create The Perfect Work/Life Balance, MyDeal.com.au, 13th July 2017, https://www.mydeal.com.au/blog/post/work-hard-play-hard