lifestyle,  self improvement

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.

4 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 me 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. 

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. 

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1. noun: a female blogger that writes about her own experiences, observations and opinions. 2. verb: to act like a complete idiot or to do something stupid. e.g: She did a Corinne.

36 Comments

  • Katy

    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

  • Sian

    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

      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.

  • Jessica

    Love this Corinne, thanks for sharing! Life/work balance is something I struggle with daily and it’s great to finally see some actionable tips.

  • Anca

    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.

    • Corinne

      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!

  • Jenny

    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

  • CELLY thesnowflowerrr

    Great tips you’ve got there, I felt the exact same way too! I am now cutting back on work hours and I feel much more relaxed and happier!

  • Chelsea

    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 🙂

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

    Chelsea

    • Corinne

      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.

  • Tina

    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

      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!

  • Sarah

    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 🙂
    Saloca in Wonderland

  • Victoria

    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

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