Ahead of ‘Work your proper hours day’, a leading expert in work-life balance and wellbeing puts forward her top tips on how to manage the working day with the rest of life’s daily requirements.
‘Work your proper hours day’ falls on February 26thand is a day to encourage workers who regularly work unpaid overtime to take a full lunch break and leave on time, giving them a chance to reflect on their work-life balance.
Janice Haddon, MD of Morgan Redwood and Thrive in Life 360, is a qualified coach with over 25 years’ experience in strategic and operational human resources and management consultancy. She commented: “According to analysis by the TUC, in 2014 employees completed nearly 32 billion pound’s worth of free work thanks to unpaid overtime. That’s a staggering statistic, and one that just goes to highlight how many of us are often putting more into our working life than we’re taking out of it. I am an advocate of successful business and high performance and some of us enjoy putting in the extra time. If you are doing it because you are stressed out or too scared not to then it is time to reconsider. It’s essential that we strike the right balance if we’re to live life to the full and keep a healthy hold on our wellbeing.”
Janice’s top tips on how to establish the right work-life balance are…
- Be fully present with the task/person at hand. Too much time thinking about other things is when thinking and decision making loses clarity and focus.
- Develop communication and engagement skills. A lack of interest in people, will cause relationship breakdown.
- Write a ‘to do list’. Holding it all in your head overloads the brain and depletes resources needed for clear thinking.
- Be organised and develop time management skills. Check emails at certain times. Dipping in and out of your inbox is distracting and increases work timescales.
- Exercise. A brisk walk at lunchtime will raise endorphin levels, the body’s natural happy hormones, and will help counter balance any stress chemicals.
- Drink water and eat a healthy balanced diet. Caffeine and sugar provide an instant energy surge followed by a crash. Replace the chocolate bars and coffee with a handful of nuts and herbal or green tea. Everything in moderation is key!
- Make time for family and friends, laughter and fun. Find hobbies and interests to help with switching off from the ‘to do list’.
- Rest and relaxation are essential for us to recharge. The body heals and regenerates when we sleep so make sure to get 7 to 8 hours in a night.
Janice Haddon concluded: “The steps to take are simple ones, but sticking to them is essential. If making changes in all of those areas feels overwhelming, then go for one or two to help improve some aspects of your life. When you have those nailed you can work on other aspects. If you want to see genuine change, follow the tips and you’ll reap the wellbeing rewards.”