4 tips for a work-life balance.

work life balance tips

Work/life balance.

This is something that has been quite a hot topic for me in the past few months.

When I first left university and started my career in 2008, I was launched into a management placement pretty quickly. Work/life balance wasn’t something I found really important. I was fresh out of university, young, eager, motivated and ready to rule the world.

I could also drink two bottles of wine, get home at 2am and still manage to be at work for 7am feeling fresh as a daisy.

  • I would work long hours.
  • All my staff had my number
  • I’d take work home with me.
  • I’d drop everything for work.

Things are a bit different now I’m older.

My need for a work/life balance seems to have grown.

It’s not that I’m lazy or less committed – it’s just that I’ve got a lot more hobbies now than I did a few years ago.

In the past few years, I’ve started blogging (which feels like another full time job in itself). My fitness routine is pretty intense. and I’ve been getting a bit of a social life.

Fitting in a full time job and 2 hours commute on top of my hobbies isn’t easy.

Here are some tips on how I cope.

4Β work life balance tips

work life balance tips

1. Change your mind-set.

When I stopped putting in extra hours at work, I did start to feel guilty about it.

I’m viewed at work as a highly motivated person and I was afraid that by doing less hours, I would be viewed as not pulling my weight.

But it’s what I needed to do to remain a highly motivated person.

The truth is that working 4 hours extra a day, falling asleep on the sofa out of exhaustion and not being able to make plans because of never knowing how long my day would be was making meΒ feel bitter and hostile towards my job.

Time for you is really important. And that’s okay.

2. Be honest with your seniors.

My manager and his direct manager know how much my work/life balance means to me.

I’ve been approached about progressing into senior management and I was honest with them.

In my first few years of being in manager, I was putting a lot of hours due to my lack of experience and struggling to delegate tasks to others because I’m a complete perfectionist and MUST DO IT MYSELF OR IT WON’T GET DONE PROPERLY AT ALL.

I just explained how I have a lot going on in my life at the moment and it’s not something I’m looking towards doing at the point in time.

I want to enjoy the last year years of my 20’s. I want to focus on blogging, exercise and my friends while I have no other real commitments.

The option to progress will always be there, but my youth won’t.

They understand that I don’t want to work overtime and if they need me to work a Sunday, I’ll do it if I can have a different day off during the week rather than being paid.

They understand that I have to travel 2 hours a day and if they need me to change shifts, they need to ask me first due to any other commitments.

As long as I am committed while I’m at work and give it my all, they’re fine with it.

If things happen that are out of my control, like a staff member calls in sick and I need to cover, I’ll stay behind. If my workload is high, I’ll work through lunch.

It turns out that most people understand the need for a work/life balance.

3. Set boundaries.Β 

I make it clear that I’m not to be contacted at home unless it’s an absolute necessity.

This is because when I’m at home, it’s really important for me to be able to switch off and not have things playing on my mind.

I’ve been in situations in the past where my staff would text me when they were calling in sick which makes me feel stressed about my departments. But it’s stress I don’t need because I can’t do anything about it if I’m not at work.

Or I’d get text messages asking for holidays and days off, which again, I can’t do anything about while I’m at home and it’s just another thing I’ve got to remember to do when I get back to work, rather than them speaking to me directly so I can just sort it out there and then.

4. End your work day right.

Leaving work with loads of loose ends plays on my mind.

I like to ensure I finish my day properly, by either not leaving any unfinished work, or if I have, I make a physical list of things I need to do on my return to work.

This means that when I go home, I can spend my evening focusing on blogging and other things rather than feeling distracted and running through my to-do list in my head.

Take this quiz to see how your work/life balance is.Β 

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36 Comments

  1. May 27, 2015 / 10:39 am

    Fab post Corinne! I used to be awful at balancing my work when I was doing admin a few years ago. I had to have a work Blackberry on me at all times and would be constantly going through emails and getting stressed.

    Thankfully it was only a 4 month contract and everything’s a lot easier now, but it made me really aware of how much I hate having to take work home with me! xx

    Little Miss Katy | UK Lifestyle Blog
    Katy recently posted…Scarlett of Soho | My New Glasses + a Giveaway!My Profile

    • Corinne
      May 28, 2015 / 12:16 pm

      Sounds like a crazy 4 years! Blackberry’s are awful!

  2. Jackie Harrison
    May 27, 2015 / 11:18 am

    Great tips very helpful

  3. May 27, 2015 / 12:17 pm

    It’s so important to get work/life balance correct! For me at the moment, its balancing school work with having a social life, something which is becoming more & more difficult with the amount of exams I have coming up!
    Olivia xxx
    http://www.sunshineinadress.com

    • Corinne
      May 28, 2015 / 12:15 pm

      Yeah, exams would make it hard but they’ll be over soon! Good luck!

  4. May 27, 2015 / 2:41 pm

    I completely agree with all of this! My work life balance is so much better now that I don’t work shifts, but I used to be a reception manager in a hotel and I would ALWAYS take work home with me, and the staff would text me asking for days off etc., as you said. I had to tell them to stop eventually because it was making me so stressed. Work/Life balance is SO important!

    • Corinne
      May 28, 2015 / 12:13 pm

      Yes – people asking for things outside of my work hours is something that brings me a lot of frustration and then guilt. I know some people don’t mind but time for me is so important.

  5. Candice
    May 27, 2015 / 2:51 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing these very useful tips!

    CANDICE | BEAUTY CANDY LOVES

  6. May 27, 2015 / 3:25 pm

    These are great tips! I feel like it is so easy to get taken advantaged of!
    Melanie @ meandmr.com

  7. May 27, 2015 / 4:21 pm

    I work from home, so is much more difficult to find a balance between them. But I love my job, I can also blog as a hobby and I wouldn’t change anything.
    Anca recently posted…10 Good thingsMy Profile

    • Corinne
      May 28, 2015 / 12:12 pm

      Yeah that would be hard. I’d love to be self employed but I think I’d have to fine some place outside my home to do some work so I don’t get distracted!

  8. May 27, 2015 / 5:25 pm

    A 2 hour commute is tough! I have no idea how you manage to fit all these things in. Such a good post, I find it to be a constant struggle to switch off, and the guilt whenever I do is awful!

    Ash | Liakada
    Liakada Travel recently posted…Dinner at L’Ecrivain DublinMy Profile

    • Corinne
      May 28, 2015 / 12:11 pm

      Haha I have no idea either. I do something’s think I spread myself a little thin!

    • Corinne
      May 28, 2015 / 12:11 pm

      Toddlers must be hard work! You should grab a babysitter every once in a while and go treat yourself πŸ™‚

  9. Tash
    May 27, 2015 / 9:31 pm

    I don’t know how you do it all! Though all are great tips!

    RedLip&Love

  10. Jenny
    May 27, 2015 / 11:55 pm

    Wow loved these tips and I honestly don’t know how you can sleep at 2am and get up at 7am ha,ha!! I can’t even do that on the weekends :’D go you! I’d be taking some of these on board as they definitely help xx

    β™₯

    • Corinne
      May 28, 2015 / 12:09 pm

      Haha I don’t. I used to when I was younger but need sleep more now!

    • Corinne
      May 28, 2015 / 12:08 pm

      I’d love to cut back on work hours. Working 4 days a week instead of 5 is one of my dreams.

  11. May 28, 2015 / 3:30 am

    These tips are so important to keep in mind and one of the reasons that I chose to quit my job and travel. Work is so important and the pride I had from succeeding kept me going to work, but I also did not want to miss out on living my life. So I made a big decision and happy I did it because when I get home, work will still be there πŸ™‚

    Thanks again for the wonderful reminder of the importance of work/life balance.

    Chelsea
    Ginger Side of Life
    Chelsea recently posted…Mount John Star GazingMy Profile

    • Corinne
      May 28, 2015 / 12:07 pm

      That’s great. I’d love to be able to save enough up to travel one day! Hope you’re enjoying every minute of it.

  12. May 28, 2015 / 4:35 am

    this is so true!! it’s important to be able to communicate this concern with colleagues!

    Animated Confessions
    libys11 recently posted…288My Profile

  13. May 28, 2015 / 5:55 am

    Wow it sounds like you have a pretty intense schedule! That’s awesome that you moved up quickly and are looking into senior management now. I am totally with you when it comes to work-life balance. I used to be in consulting for a large company so I was traveling 75% of the year for 3 years. It was so difficult, tiring, and I missed out on so many social events. But I’ve switched to a more laid-back job where I don’t have to travel and I love my work-life balance! That’s actually one of the main reasons why I started blogging too! Anyways, sorry for my yapping heheh. I love that you are a go-getter but realize that work isn’t everything!

    Tina
    http://www.justatinabit.com

    • Corinne
      May 28, 2015 / 12:04 pm

      I think it’s one of those things you don’t miss until you start to get one. Then you realise how important it is!

    • Corinne
      May 28, 2015 / 12:03 pm

      Yes! There’s nothing worse than having issues on your mind at home!

  14. May 28, 2015 / 8:45 pm

    Great post. I’ve learnt that come 5.30pm, it’s time to switch off, turn off the lights and head home. I’ve stopped doing overtime and sticking to my contracted hours and oh me oh my has it made a difference!

    I’m able to make plans – and stick to them, swell as blog more, go to the gym, see friends and family, even binge watch Netflix and NOT feel guilty about it. It’s great!

    Sarah πŸ™‚
    Saloca in Wonderland
    Sarah recently posted…Old websites revisited – part 1!My Profile

  15. May 28, 2015 / 11:00 pm

    Love this post, sometimes I feel like 8-5 can be so tough 5 days a week. Loved these tips.

    xoxo
    Chanel
    JeMappelleChanel.com
    chanel recently posted…On Taking RisksMy Profile

  16. May 30, 2015 / 10:43 pm

    This couldn’t have come sooner for me as I’m trying to squeeze even more in my week. You’re definitely a really determined person and I think with determination comes success even if it means admitting you need help or taking a step back.
    Victoria xx thedaisyjaynes.com

  17. June 14, 2015 / 3:26 pm

    Such fab tips! It’s so important to keep a work/life balance, work isn’t everything! I hope to keep up blogging too πŸ™‚
    Amber recently posted…Happiness this week is… #46My Profile

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