The importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance is often spoken about throughout various industries. But are team members putting what they’re told into action? Or completely ignoring it? A lot of people don’t even realise that their work-life balance is poor and in turn, don’t realise the negative effect it’s having on their lives.
Answering non-urgent phone calls and emails on annual leave, constantly checking their inboxes out of office hours, trying too hard to chase perfection - while these may not sound like negatives for your business, they could be putting an unnecessary strain in other areas of your life.
We’re sure your other half won’t be happy when you’re replying to Slack when you’re meant to be out for your anniversary meal - right? Well, don’t worry. To help you achieve a healthy work-life balance, we’ve handpicked some of our most usual tips and guidance for you to try out.
- Stop focusing on perfectionism
- Sign out of all devices
- Always make time to exercise
- Eradicate time-wasting activities
- Out with old habits… in with the new
- Start small and progress
Stop focusing on perfectionism
We hate to be the ones to break it to you but you’re not perfect - but it’s ok! Nobody is. So, the sooner that you let go of trying to achieve perfection in everything that you do, you’ll find that your work-life balance becomes a lot more level. Don’t strive for perfection, as you’ll unfortunately never attain it.
Instead, strive for excellence. We’re not telling you to not set the bar high - oh no. What we’re saying is don’t set it so high that you’ll never achieve your goals and meet the level of demands that perfection requires. As we grow older, our responsibilities grow too - so, if we were to demand perfection in all our responsibilities, we’d burn out REAL quick.
“My biggest weakness is that I’m a bit of a perfectionist” - the age-old interview answer that employers are tired of hearing. However, perfectionist tendencies are ingrained to some people. Once you let go of trying to control every facet of your project so that it’s perfect, you’ll start seeing a lot more reward and less stress within your role.
Sign out of all devices
With the advancement of technology, it can be too easy to just check work emails or jump on Slack and reply to conversations that you’d normally be involved in at work. However, when you’re on annual leave, you’re not at work so you shouldn’t be in those conversations! Granted, there’s an exception of emergencies, however, they’ll be dealt with correctly.
By signing out of all tools that you often use on your laptop device and smartphone, you’re removing all temptation of having a “quick five minutes” to see how things are going without you. It’s natural and we’re all guilty of it - but when is it ever just five minutes? And you’ll undoubtedly be left thinking about what you’ve read for the rest of the hour, if not day - when you’re not even meant to be at work!
If you’re constantly checking your devices, you’re not spending your time away from work relaxing and enjoying quality time. You should always prioritise your quality time - after all, you can’t get it back!
Always make time to exercise
Exercise has SO many health benefits but why is it the first thing that gets shifted out of our schedule when we get too busy? We still manage to complete the other crucial tasks in our life - eating and sleeping - so why isn’t exercise seen as a necessary task for us to achieve a healthy work-life balance? It should be!
Going out on a run, a long walk, playing competitive sport for an hour are all great ways to get out of an exercise. Plus, what’s the last thing you’re thinking about as you’re smashing a latest PB? Work. Exercise is a well-renowned stress reliever and is a great way for people to switch off from the stresses in their life.
Of course, they don’t just go away if you literally run away from them. However, you’ll return with a fresh mindset and a clearer perspective on how to tackle the task at hand. I’ve found this particularly useful when working from home. Things can become a little monotonous when working alone but breaking the day up with a run means that my mind is fresh for an afternoon of blog writing.
Eradicate time-wasting activities
In current times, when working remotely it’s so easy to get distracted at home. Whether it’s the television, sitting in the garden (weather permitting, of course) or your phone, you can quickly find yourself doing something unproductive, right? Well, unproductivity is what leads to tasks stacking up, meaning that you have to do overtime to make up for the downtime.
Rather than having to give back time that can be used for personal matters, you should eliminate all distractions so that the task at hand has your undivided attention. Phones are a big distraction - especially social media apps. One quick glance can easily turn into a video rabbit hole, so how should you deal with it? Simple - leave your phone in another room!
That way, you don’t have to constantly fight the urge to check your phone and can continue smashing your tasks to a high standard. Don’t let distractions creep into your work and cause time delays and quality detriment.
Out with old habits… in with the new
Bad habits can creep into our lives at any point - and that goes for work and personal too. Of course, both areas can affect your work-life balance, so any habits that you do establish may have an adverse effect. Are you getting enough sleep? A lot of people underestimate the value of sleep and how it can set you up for the week.
Of course, that’s not the only bad habit that you can slip into. If you notice that an area of your work isn’t performing as it should be, you should take a step back and review the performance. Are you trying to do too much? Or, are you not doing enough? What can you change? And how will you implement it?
By analysing the project like this, you can instil new processes for the team. That way, you can establish new ways of working that include good habits for the team to fall into. For this to be effective, you should lead by example and show exactly how what you’ve suggested will benefit the cause.
Start small and progress
As with anything, if you aim for the stars from the off, you’ll likely give up after a short while due to frustration of not being there. We’re not saying don’t reach for the sky, but you can’t get there in one jump! You need to be realistic. If you start small, you can see clear progress, which allows you to start making bigger jumps and shows you’re capable of doing so.
Think of an area in which you’d like to improve and set your goals within that area. For example, you’d like to start filtering exercise into your day. So, don’t start off by saying you’re going to run 10 miles a day - that’s unrealistic. Start with short distances and short frequencies and eventually move up into your end goal! Slow and steady wins the race.
A healthy work-life balance is a large part of the Red-Fern culture
If your team isn't maintaining a healthy work-life balance, you’re not achieving the results that you’re capable of. That’s how we see things at Red-Fern - we care about our team members and it shines through in the standards that we uphold. You have to look after your team, especially as a digital agency, otherwise you’re nothing.
A lot of businesses are quick to shout promoting a work-life balance but it’s all for show! While it may look good when recruiting, they’ll soon be found out when candidates join and are expected to work gruelling hours without any incentive. We’re always open and honest with our team, it’s the least they can expect.
Sure, there’ll be times that a little extra is needed. But to just expect this as a minimum - HELL NO. Reward, reward, reward. For further insight into how we promote a healthy work-life balance at Red-Fern, please feel free to download our free culture book! It includes everything you need to know about our culture and how we operate.