6 tips that improve work-life balance

6 tips that improve work-life balance

In this article, you will find 6 simple tips that improve work-life balance, with personal mental health becoming more openly talked about, with the excellent work of Prince Harry, and numerous institutions and charities I thought it would be pertinent to write about keeping a healthy work-life balance especially as it is something I have personally struggled with in the past.

With the ever-increasing pressures of the modern workplace in the UK having a healthy work-life balance may become one of the most pressing issues of a generation. For instance, how do you switch off? With modern technology – mobile phones, internet, cloud computing – it is easy to work 24/7 and not to take time out to spend with family and friends. One of the first things to consider when looking at your work-life balance is what are the signs of an unhealthy balance?

What are the signs of an unhealthy work-life balance?

A Mental Health Foundation survey found:

  • one-third of respondents feel unhappy or very unhappy about the time they devote to work
  • more than 40% of employees are neglecting other aspects of their life because of work, which may increase their vulnerability to mental health problems
  • when working long hours more than a quarter of employees feel depressed (27%), one third feel anxious (34%), and more than half feel irritable (58%)
  • the more hours you spend at work, the more hours outside of work you are likely to spend thinking or worrying about it
  • as a person’s weekly hours increase, so do their feelings of unhappiness
  • many more women report unhappiness than men (42% of women compared with 29% of men), which is probably a consequence of competing life roles and more pressure to ‘juggle’
  • nearly two-thirds of employees have experienced a negative effect on their personal life, including lack of personal development, physical and mental health problems, and poor relationships and poor home life.
  • So what can I do to help myself to a better work-life balanced life?

    The following 6 actions may help you get a better work-life balance:

  • Take personal responsibility for your own work-life balance. Remember, only you know when you are doing too much, so speak up tell people NO when you have too much on.
  • Try to ‘work smarter, not harder’. Prioritise your work – use an egg timer to control the amount of time you spend on a given task – avoid unstructured and unnecessary meetings at all costs.
  • Make sure to allow time for proper breaks during work hours, get up and walk about at regular intervals ( I have found while – wandering to the kettle – that the answer to a problem often arrives unexpectedly.
  • Set clear boundaries between work and life. If you must work from home – set aside a designated area and time for this work so you can close the door on it.
  • Take seriously the link between work-related stress and mental ill health. Try to reduce stress, for example through exercise, relaxation or hobbies.
  • Try to spend your spare time doing things you enjoy, with family and friends. I learnt a long time ago that have a full weekend to recharge my batteries meant that I achieved more in my working week.

  • Here are some other articles with tips on a better work-life balance.


    How mentoring/coaching can help you achieve a better work-life balance.

    Some people can recognise their own signs and get by perfectly well on their own, however, others may need a bit a guidance. Generally, most of us turn to family and friends for support but sometimes we need a professional approach.

    A mentor or coach can help you in a number of ways:
    Get a mentor

  • Help you identify the roadblocks that currently stand in your way to success.
  • Enable you to change your behaviours in order to get a better balance.
  • Enable you to build your own confidence and self-beliefs.
  • Manage stress.
  • Improve your effectiveness at work and at home.

  • Remember life is far too short to spend it all at work, be healthier, happier and spend time with family and friends.