5 ways to improve work-life balance

| December 14, 2012 - 11.09UTC

As a new year dawns, it’s time for a little lifestyle re-evaluation. We’ve got heaps of ideas, but here’s a quick guide to getting the mix of personal and professional just right.

1 Get organised
To make the most of your time, you need to be in control of it. Get the whole household to note all their business, family and leisure commitments on one calendar, so any clashes are immediately obvious and you can delegate chores if necessary.

2 Go flexible
Some employers offer flexible working options (working from home, flexitime, etc), to enable employees to juggle personal commitments. Consider asking your boss if that’s a possibility for you.

3 Maximise your commute
Commuting by car is bad for your health: according to a US study, workers who drove longer distances reported decreased cardiorespiratory fitness, greater waist circumference and higher blood pressure. Try to build exercise (even just walking) into your journey.

4 Use technology carefully
Be sensible with accessing emails and the like: to maximise family time, restrict your home-working to otherwise empty periods, such as while dinner is cooking or the kids are doing their homework.

5 Take a break
Sometimes you need to switch off entirely. Book a holiday and leave your phone at home. Also, make time for activities completely unrelated to your work. If you have an intellectually demanding job, do something purely physical such as aerobics or kickboxing – not only will it relieve stress, but signing up to a scheduled class means that you’re less likely to drop out.

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