The idea of a better work-life balance seems to have struck a nerve with a lot of professionals, especially parents and, more than ever, dads. The shift in gender equality hasn’t just been one that has promoted equal pay for women but also brought about changes in paternity leave and the idea that dads should spend more time at home, not just with their kids, but their family.
But establishing a better work-life balance is easier said than done. To help fix this, below are a few ideas that may help you finally get that balance you have been seeking.
Getting Daily Closure
Quite simply, leave your work where it belongs; at work. This is hard, sure, but it is just a matter of discipline. You just have to train yourself to do this. So why not take a new approach to leaving work, such as making a list of any incomplete work that may be outstanding - and any ideas you may have on your mind - before closing your laptop, shutting your notebook and walking out of the office, leaving all work behind. Getting closure is a huge step in seeking a better work-life balance, and that closure comes at the end of each day.
When You’re At Home, Be At Home
When it comes to improving your work-life balance, the first thing any working daddy will tell you to do is step away from the email. We know this can be hard, but perhaps it is worth a chat with your boss whereby you state your concerns that constantly checking your emails is doing harm to your productivity and actually causing stress instead. Switching off from work is important, so it is important you do this.
Use Your Time At Work Effectively
This means prioritising your work, setting a time limit for each task and sticking to it. We have all been pressed for time on a tight deadline, yet somehow got caught up in less important tasks or unproductive activities, for example, meetings with no agenda that take hours to successfully accomplish zilch. Long hours may feel productive, but according to the Mental Health Foundation, they can actually have the opposite effect, as well as a negative effect on you by increasing your chances of depression, anxiety and irritability by a substantial amount.
Relax A Little
It doesn’t have to take up much time, it could just be a 10-15 minute walk with a loved one, but granting yourself a little downtime, a little escape from the norm can have huge benefits on your well-being and mental health. There are hundreds of different ways you can go about doing this, but it all comes down to enjoying the small things in life, even if this is just a few times a day.
Don’t Be At Their Beckon Call
A sure-fire way to make your colleagues, or indeed your boss, know that you’re not available to them 24/7 is to delay your reply to their emails; allow yourself 24 to 48 hours. So long as you are reliable about replying, no damage will be done because people have no issue letting a small amount of time passing before receiving an answer from you. Try it.