In a world where communication is possible (and sometimes unavoidable) twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, the blurring of lines between working hours and personal time is becoming a regular feature of our lives. Yet, however successful or driven you are, never under-estimate the power of a bit of down time. Even the most successful business owners and entrepreneurs on the planet, recognise the importance of switching off to see results in their careers.
It’s time to start claiming back your down time for yourself and setting some boundaries between your work and your life!
Flexible working and being ‘switched-on’ can really take its toll. More and more employees are finding that being part of a world of constant communication and global business, means they are required to be constantly available to their employers. Yet keeping up to speed with your team at all times, can actually zap your energy and ultimately lead to a decrease in productivity. The same goes for the self- employed. If you find yourself switched on at all hours, every day, you find yourself working at 60-70%, when in reality it would be far more beneficial for you to be working at 100% efficiency for dedicated blocks of time.
So, is it a simple case of time-managements? Well on the surface, yes. Setting out blocks of time to focus on specific tasks and respond to certain emails can honestly work wonders. But we accept that’s not always easy, research by Cedar found that the average worker checks their phone for e-mails a whopping once every six and a half minutes. If we don’t nip this habit in the bud, our precious free time could be seriously under pressure.
With time management in mind, learn to know your limits. Don’t have eyes which are too big for your workload plate! One of the biggest reasons that the work/life balance is compromised, comes down to the work loads of individuals. Missing deadlines is horrible and it’s one of the biggest timewasting elements of your personal time. Be honest about what you can achieve in your available time- looking swamped with work could even have negative implications on your career. Dedication can easily be confused for inefficiency.
Finally, it’ll make you and those around you far happier. We all know that success can sometimes mean making small compromises in our personal life, but that’s what they should be. Small. Compromises. Got that? Not a regular thing. You’ll feel lighter, jollier and you’ll get back a bit of enjoyment in both your personal time and believe it or not- in your working day. Rather than rushing through projects or knowing you’ll have to stay late to get things done, take your time and relish your work projects. After all, you’ve probably worked hard to be there!