Originally posted on medspace

Wondering how to achieve that work-life balance? Although we strive to, most of us struggle to achieve this. Those of that do manage to find the secret are truly blessed. The rest of us will just plod on as best we can, but these 5 simple tips might just help you achieve that dream work-life balance that you crave.

1. Do a budget

What’s the primary reason that most of us work? I’m usually not because we really love our jobs. Sometimes it is, and that’s great if you have a job you really like, but most of us at best are happy with our job, but we’d probably rather be doing something else if we had the chance.

Unfortunately, most of us have to work, and the primary reason for that is money. But how do you know how much money (and therefore) work you really need? Do a budget!

Make sure to include all your expenses. Be honest. You are only lying to yourself if you don’t. You may just find that you really don’t need to work that extra shift after all and can spend it doing the thing you love the most – not being at work!

2. Stick to the budget

There’s absolutely no point having a budget if you go and blow in one go. Fair enough if you’ve budgeted to go buy a brand new car. But if your budget is designed to allow you to cut back on work but you go and spend all your money on something you don’t need, then you probably won’t be able to cut back from work after all!

3. Separate work from home life

If you work from home this one can be really tough actually. It’s very hard to separate work from home if you actually work from home, but it’s still possible. Depending on your budget (set it and stick to it) then you may have the option of having an office in your house. This can be very useful if you have it, as it really allows you to set a room in your house that is for work, and the rest is for home life, but most of us don’t have this luxury.

You can still separate work from home though, and usually, the easiest way is to not bring your work home with you.

Depending on your job this could be simple or not, but it’s always tempting to think you can be more productive by bringing work home with you to do, but you may find quite the opposite is true. Having quality time away from work can make us refreshed and energised and more productive in the working week.

Leave work at work, and just enjoy the time at home. Don’t fret about the work stuff you didn’t do, you can deal with it on Monday.

4. Get a hobby

It’s no good having time off work if you don’t do much with it. Having a hobby is very important to give you something to do, and give you a sense of identity. It doesn’t have to be some huge thing like going scuba diving. Unless you are super rich and never work, you probably won’t be going scuba diving every weekend. Sure, have it as a hobby, but don’t make it your only hobby or you may get very bored very quickly.

Make it a small thing that you can do most evenings or weekends. Even if your hobby is just ‘not work, sit on the sofa and watch my favourite TV shows’ that’s fine. It’s great in fact. As long as it’s an ‘active’ choice. What I mean by this is that you choose to do it, you don’t just do nothing really but have the TV on in the background.

5. Make it quality time

Make the time off count. Even if you have a hobby, if you don’t actually find it quality time that you are spending, then you are not going to enjoy the time off. This is even more important when it comes to spending time with the family, both your kids and significant other.

How many times have you thought ‘I’d love to do more with the kids’ or ‘I wish we had more time to spend together’ with your partner? Probably loads. Well if you make it quality time you don’t need to spend lots of time because the time you are spending together really matters.

Dr Suresh is a GP and Skin Cancer Doctor in Brisbane

If you are interested in some idea of how I strive for work-life balance then, see this linked blog where I discuss a day out with my family.

https://workingdad.me/family-time/family-time/

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