A good working life balance is a coveted thing – but it’s not always that easy to achieve. Work and careers have a habit of interfering with our personal time and lives, especially if you work as a self-employed individual or have a working role that is not the traditional 9-5. It’s hard to achieve a good balance between work and the other areas of your life. Here are some top tips tips for maintaining a better home/work life balance and enjoy the freedom that it brings:

#1 Make An Appointment With Personal Time

In the same way that you’d book in a meeting, make sure you’re plotting out your own personal time. An appointment in the diary makes it much more likely that you’ll stick to the event, as well as preventing you from booking in something over it. It also allows you to keep a track of how much personal time you’re actually taking – you might be surprised at how little time you give yourself! Do something you love with this time, go for a walk or run, take an exercise class or go for a swim, catch up with a friend or grab a cuppa and dive into a good book. You’ll come back feeling refreshed and more productive.

#2 Outsource Tasks

Two hands are better than one! Know your strengths! If outsourcing your workload, or administrative tasks like finances and making appointments, means that you have more time free to focus on your family and outside tasks – it’s a good use of time and money. You cannot be ‘good’ at everything. You may not find that managing your finances or marketing your business come naturally to you, taking up more time than they should, or making you feel stressed. By employing someone, like a virtual PA, marketing consultant, accountant are ideal for allocating resources and allowing you to prioritise your work and downtime.

#3 Have Set Working Hours

By giving yourself set working hours, you’re ensuring that once your day finishes your mind is completely free to focus on the other things you enjoy in life. Step away from your emails and avoid corresponding to colleagues or clients outside of your designated working hours. It’s tempting to check your emails or your social media accounts – once you are in – there’s potential a quick check turns into you replying and worrying about getting tasks done on time and before you know it you are working late through the night.

#4 Work Smarter

Do you drag out tasks to fill up the full time available? Are you aware of your full working potential? Give yourself tighter deadlines and you may find that you achieve the same level of work but in a much shorter time-frame. By allocating yourself a set amount of time for each task you’ll ensure that your time is used productively and that you’re left with more free time for your home life. Make sure your workspace works for you, ensure you have the technology you need and find a space that you turn your back on or close the door on at the end of your working day.

#5 Regain Your Morning Hours

Don’t put yourself on the back foot every day! Getting up an hour or two earlier is an easy move to implement in your daily regime and you may be surprised at the amount you can achieve in that time! Get your admin tasks out of the way, focus on your work tasks during your work hours, meaning that your evenings are completely free to enjoy yourself.

#6 Take a holiday

Make time for a holiday or book in a long weekend to enjoy with your family or friends. We all need that time to completely switch off, de-stress, rest and enjoy ourselves. By booking in advance you can make sure you have all your work and projects up to date and handed over to a colleague (if that is required) meaning you don’t need to think about work while enjoying your holiday. If you are self-employed, make sure you tell your clients, so they are aware you will be unreachable for a period of time.

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