It is important we manage the balance between employment, relationships and other things that make us happy.
On average Australians work 36 to 40-hour weeks (with many more working considerably longer). Studies show that the key to long-lasting happiness is closely linked to the quality of our relationships, and as work takes up a large part of our lives, it’s important that we manage the balance between employment, relationships and other things that make us happy.
Finding ways to make time for the many different aspects of life, despite a demanding work schedule, is known as work-life balance.
Tips to manage work-life balance
- Work on your communication
Effective communication with those closest to you is key. Good communication skills are as much about how we say things as they are about how we listen. If you’re concerned or are feeling the effects of work stress, talk it out with a partner, co-parent, confidential colleague or friend. Together you might come up with a better way of dealing with things. By talking about it you may even realise that you aren’t alone.
- Prioritise and keep track of time
Think about what is truly important – is it crucial that those small tasks at work be done tonight or is it realistic for them to wait until tomorrow? Knowing how you want to prioritise your time will help you find the balance you want. Download a timekeeping app or keep a simple time diary. This will allow you to figure out how you spend your time. Once you’ve got a better idea of where your time goes, see if there’s anything you can change.
- Consider what you can change at work
Are there any arrangements you can change at work? Is there an opportunity to work from home or reduce your hours? Could you get some extended parental leave? This isn’t always an option, but you can look into your organisation’s policies to see what alternatives may exist.
- Focus on your health
Regular exercise not only helps you be healthier, but there’s a known link between exercise and mental health. Exercise is widely recognised as a de-stressing activity that can help a wide range of things, from depression and anxiety to sleep.
If you or someone you know needs support, please reach out to one of our counselling services. Our professional counsellors are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.