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Work Life Balance – Making the hard ‘easy’ choice

There’s a new TV advert out at the moment that features an old song “Lucky, Lucky Me”

The lyrics to this song made me smile:

“Lucky, lucky, lucky me! I’m a lucky son of a gun. I work eight hours, and sleep eight hours. That leaves eight hours for fun.”

Now I know I sleep 8 hours (usually) a day but I don’t seem to have 8 hours of fun every day. A simple ratio of 8:8:8 should be simple to achieve, but I cant imagine many people reading this actually have that balance?

This made me think I should share some tips on achieving the perfect ratio. These are my ideas, not necessarily suitable for all…

Plan Ahead

It sounds so simple but carving time out of your diary in the short term can be a near impossibility for some, putting some time in your diary for 2 months ahead is much easier. I start with KEEP FREE time in my diary on certain days – meaning I know I will always have some time to finish those jobs that creep into early evening and weekends.

Use Your Calendar

Another simple one and diary related but Outlook diaries don’t have to start at 9 and finish at 5, I often found that I had planned a meeting away from home and not taken personal plans into account for that evening, using outlook to log your personal events as well as work events helps you plan work time around home life and not necessarily the other way around.

Do things that only you can do, share the rest

A very smart lady once asked me why I was spending my time doing something that at least 10 other people could do. By doing this task I was giving up my free time because the things I should have been spending time on were neglected. Look at your ‘to do’ list and be brutal – am I doing this because I should be or because I don’t want to let it go.

When on Holiday, be on Holiday!

Try not to take work with you when you go on holiday, allow your mind to switch off. I love those moments on holiday (usually in the sun) when you sit there and stare into space and think there is nothing else I should be thinking about right now. Peace and Serenity soothe the mind and when i get back to work I know my creative juices are restored.

Do something you love

For me work doesn’t have to not be fun, the lyrics to the song assume that work isn’t fun – the old saying “Do what you love, love what you do” comes to mind. Having fun at work shouldn’t be frowned upon, enjoy what you do and if you don’t enjoy it try something else. I know after a change in career that doing something you really enjoy has a massive effect on your confidence and opportunities – give it a go!

So, whilst the lines between those 8 hours may be blurred I hope some simple tips will help to spring clean the diary and make time for the summer!

This Blog was written by James Proctor – Head of Consulting and Services

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