Do you find yourself attempting to juggle the pressures of working life, household errands, and spending time with your friends and family? Well, you're not alone. With the rise of flexible working, the boundaries between our working and personal lives are becoming increasingly blurred, meaning it's harder than ever to know where to draw the line.
Many women feel the challenges associated with work-life balance, where busy days at the office are followed by a hundred things to do at home. We often forget to take our foot off the pedal, breathe and take some time to ourselves. But it doesn't have to be this way. Although it's not always easy, there are some simple steps you can take to help.
Ollie Neveu stepped off the corporate treadmill a couple of years ago and understands the pressures of working life better than anyone. Now working as a part-time life coach and a Tasker at TaskRabbit, Ollie has shared her top tips on how you can achieve a better work life balance and banish stress - for good!
1. Fill your social calendar
Give yourself things to look forward to - there's no better way to lift your mood, clear your head and ensure you get out of work on time than the incentive of spending quality time with your friends and family. Even better, book in holidays and fun treats - such as meals out or a trip to the countryside. Think how you can do something different to create memorable moments.
2. Organise your time
Being organised is key. There are loads of ways to help manage your to-do list to make sure you get everything done. First, prioritise your most important tasks and then consider what you can delegate. There are services like TaskRabbit that allow you to outsource your life admin or most time-consuming tasks, whether it's clearing out your wardrobe, picking up the weekly shop, DIY, handyman assistance or helping with a spring clean. With a couple of swipes on your smartphone, you can hire a Tasker to take on your to-do list and help free up some precious time to concentrate on the things you enjoy doing, like spending more time with your friends and family.
3. Leave work on time
Don't work late! Set a deadline for leaving the office and stick to it. It might seem obvious, but as many as four million employees in the UK are working at least 48 hours a week, well over the recommended 37 hours. It's not healthy, you'll be less efficient late into the evening, and feeling like you're staying the office for the sake of it is detrimental to team - and personal - morale!
4. Pursue hobbies
It's easy to let work take over but don't let your 9-5 responsibilities rule your life. It's important that you pursue hobbies, but sometimes there's just no way we can do everything. Whether from family, friends, neighbours or experts, look for support to help with life admin so you can focus on making more time for the things you love. Follow your passions, try something new, and enrol on that pottery course you've always been interested in.
5. Get fit
Exercise is one of the best ways to beat stress. Just 30 minutes of light physical activity a day will boost your mood, and make you feel and sleep better. Find an activity you love doing, or try something new like a fitness class. Failing that, just sit less and move more!
6. Enjoy random acts of kindness
Don't forget you're not the only one trying to conquer your work-life balance. Everyone is dealing with their own worries and stresses. A small act of kindness can go a very long way! Even something as simple as making some home-baked goodies for your loved ones can really help - and will be gratifying for you, too.
7. Embrace the outdoors
Working too much can lead to the 'hibernation' effect - when people feel lethargic, stay indoors and eat comfort food. As tempting as that is, fresh air works wonders for the soul. Go for walks, even if it's just a stroll around the block on your lunch hour or a ten minute walk through your local park.
8. Get enough shut-eye
Sleep is paramount to help you relax. Aim for at least seven or eight hours sleep each night. Create a wind down routine before bed and keep your bedtime and waking times consistent. This will help reset your body clock so that you wake feeling refreshed and ready for another day.