How to Achieve a Balanced Lifestyle

Striking the perfect balance between work and play can be challenging, at the best of times. Even though a multitude of evidence suggests that working too much can cause damage to our mental and physical health (and lead to lowered productivity in the workplace), the knack of ‘switching off’ eludes many of us.

Well, it’s not too late. If you feel as though you could use some help to restore the balance in your life, we have some handy hints to get you started.

Set priorities and plans

Many of us find it difficult to identify our top priorities. You might find it helpful to ask yourself what you would choose to focus on if you had to dedicate your time to one or two things. Your priorities could be anything, like:

  • A family member
  • A passion project
  • Better sleep
  • More exercise
  • Socialising with friends
  • Volunteering
  • Taking a class
Brainstorm all the important parts of your life and put them in order of importance as accurately as you can.

Make a shortlist of your priorities with a rough ‘importance weighting’. Book time for each item, accordingly.

Measure your time

Try to track where most of your time is going. Make note of what you’re spending your time on, and when, and whether or not it aligns with your priorities.

Are you a multitasker? In most cases, distractions and split focus are actually big time wasters. You’re probably not being as time-efficient as you think you are. Try completing single tasks, one at a time in order of importance or difficulty, and then moving to the next thing.

Starting the day right is a big morale booster. Time saving can be as simple as making the most of your time in the mornings.

Schedule one thing you look forward to for every day and delegate or cut back on non-priority activities.

Take a proper break

As crucial as it is to have regular little rests, nothing beats actually stopping work for a decent amount of time (more than a long weekend) and leaving the office behind. You don’t have to go to a tropical island, a staycation will suffice.

Just make sure you are breaking contact with your workplace and focusing on your priorities. Don’t check work emails, turn off your alerts, and communicate with your co-workers about when you will be available again for work tasks.

Respect your plans. Try not to let other things drag you away from the time you have set aside for you.

Pay attention to your health

Take stock of your lifestyle and the areas you feel you can improve. A balanced diet and regular exercise are the foundation of a healthy life, but what else can you do?

  • Apply the best deodorant for you and get your heart pumping, with some exercise. Whether you stroll, go to the gym, or play a sport.
  • Eat well by including fresh vegetables and lean proteins into your meal plans. Try to cut your consumption of sugary treats.
  • Improve your sleep by reducing stimulants from your diet and removing electronic devices from your bedroom.
  • Learn to say “no” to people, so you are under less pressure.

Show respect for your time and your wellbeing and others will do the same. Soon, setting aside time for yourself will be a healthy habit.

Evaluate your work life balance on a regular basis. If you’re not tracking as well as you’d like to be, book in some self-care. Take an hour for a massage, relax with a bath and facial, or put on some high quality moisturising sunscreen and go for a bush walk. A quick break can offer a lot of clarity and help you get back on track!