Tuesday, 21 May 2013

The Work/Life Equilibrium Step-by-Step

A recent study from global management consultancy Hay Group affirmed that a massive 39% of employees do not feel as though their professional and domestic lives are “balanced”. Furthermore, only half of employees feel their employer is “sensitive to the relationship between work and home”.
Mark Royal, Senior Principal at Hay Group, stated that "employees are working longer hours with more erratic schedules than ever before". In light of these statistics, Exclusive would like to provide you with 5 easy, manageable tweaks to make to your daily routine which should ultimately help you achieve this work/life equilibrium.

1.   Leave Daily Reminders
We realise that it’s often difficult to keep any two areas of your life entirely separate, especially when there are stresses involved. Your work and home life are not mutually exclusive concepts, but there are ways to avoid having home anxieties running over into your time at work, and vice versa.
Start small: try documenting any necessary home reminders before you go work – this works both ways. It’s is an easy and effective way to find a divide between the two, leaving you completely focused on the job at hand, with the knowledge that other aspects of your life can be dealt with later at their allocated time. Whether the reminder is handwritten, digital or otherwise, make a note and then put it out of your mind until it can be the priority. If you make a habit of this, it will eventually become second-nature and you should feel as though you have a greater handle on the balancing act.
2.   Don’t Be a Martyr – Delegate
If you’re accepting more work than you can handle, you aren’t doing yourself any professional favours. In the likelihood that you’ll be unable to complete your current workload in the required timeframe, there’s no longer anything admirable in the acceptance of the work. Delegation is key. Each day, take a look at your current workload and have a think about how much can realistically be done by you alone. Anything surplus could, and indeed should, be delegated to someone else. Successfully completing a feasible amount of work is undoubtedly preferable to the failed completion of an impractically great number of assignments.
Not asking for help can be a symptom of pride or, conversely, lack of confidence. While there are no instant fixes for these issues, learning to concede that you’ve taken on more than you can handle is a great start. Breaking stubborn habits or summoning the courage to admit that things aren’t going well can be facilitated firstly by remembering to delegate whenever necessary.
3.   Practice Saying “No”
The concept of agreeing to everything you’re ever asked to do for fear of disappointing people is a universal one, don’t worry. No worldly amount of caffeine and/or adrenaline would enable you to get through the workload you’d have if you actually said “yes” every time – and we don’t advise that you test this theory. Employers will be infinitely more vexed by an employee taking on work that they’re already quite aware they can’t manage than an employee who declines what they know is too much. This particular tweak can mean breaking the habit of a lifetime, so as always, we begin with baby steps.
The next time your colleagues try to “donate” some of their work to you, resist your perpetual people-pleaser urges – don’t let them take advantage of your good nature. Say “no” (in a professional and courteous manner, of course). If you gradually introduce this word into your daily vocabulary, you should feel your workload become entirely manageable by comparison – this should result in you being regarded as a more reliable employee and esteemed colleague.
4.   Choose Efficiency Over Perfection
Perfection is rarely a realistic goal. There are certainly some cases where serious attention to detail must be paid, but more often than not, the priority is simply the effective completion of a task. Efficiency is the objective here, meaning that the time in which the work was done is of great importance. The recipe for a desirable employee includes both speed and effectiveness, so try to avoid making any sacrifices in that department. Reviewing your briefs regularly can be the first step to improved efficiency. Make sure you’ve done exactly what’s been asked and no more, unless you have solid justification to think they’d prefer the extra effort. Gradually cutting out wasted time will render you a more effective employee and ultimately improve the balance.
Another thing to bear in mind is that the extra time being dedicated to the pursuit of magnificence means later work will inevitably be compromised. The recognition you’ll receive for submitting perfect work rather than perfectly adequate work won’t be sufficient to justify the substandard specimens which follow – just get the job done.
5.   Do Something That’s Just for You
We’re giving you permission to be a little selfish. Indulge yourself – work time is for making your employers happy, this is for you. It doesn’t matter if it’s important or even worthwhile – however you spend this personal time, make sure to take it just as seriously as you take your job. General happiness is the unequivocal greatest influence on a positive work ethic and one of the few things that can help you find the ideal balance between work and life is reconnecting with your freedom, even if it’s only for a little while. Every day you should be doing at least one thing which qualifies as fun or self-indulgent, be this watching low-grade TV, having a long, hot anti-social bubble bath, engaging in a few cheeky drinks with friends, or whatever you so desire. Don’t forget.
If you keep these tips at the forefront of your mind every day, they should quickly become a habitual part of your routine. Just remember that your job satisfaction is entirely dependent on your life satisfaction, so look after yourself.


  1. perfect and easy to understand article. Thanks for sharing it.

  2. Just loved reading every sentence of the article. Beautifully written.

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