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Eight more ways to improve your work/life balance

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We already brought you eight ways to improving your work/life balance yesterday. Here are eight more:

1. Plan in and diarise stress-busting activities

Great work life balance is not all about working less hours, it’s also about what you do with your time outside of work. Make sure that you plan in activities which help you recharge your batteries, de-stress and relax.

2. Chunk big goals down into small goals and set realistic timescales

Again, Rome was definitely not built in a day. When setting yourself a goal it can be tempting to try and achieve it immediately. Try and resist this temptation and break the goal into smaller chunks and milestones and set realistic timescales for the milestones. As a small business owner, you are generally responsible for driving the pace of your business. Therefore, if you’re finding that the pace of the business is too much, take your foot off the pedal.

3. Ask clients when they need a piece of work done by

Many of us assume that a client wants something done immediately, when there may actually be a reasonable lead time for the work to be completed. Always ask your client by when they need the work completed.

4. Set up an end of day routine

If you set up an “end-of-day” routine, it can help your brain mentally switch off from work at the end of the day. You may find it useful to write yourself out a “to-do” list for the next day.

5. Turn off work emails and phones in your non-work time

Email, BlackBerrys, and mobile phones can all interrupt your non-work time, and then suck you into doing work on your weekend or holiday time. Set the expectation with co-workers that you don’t check your emails or answer your mobile phone in the evenings or weekend.

6. Block out times in your diary when you are unavailable

Particularly if your diary is open to all to access, make sure you block out the times when you are unavailable for work. Psychologically, it also makes it harder for you to book stuff in these times.  

7. Plan evening activities which take you away from work

One owner of an accountancy practice I know had activities planned for every evening, which meant that he couldn’t work late into the evening. This approach may not work for you, but how about promising to do bath time with your children once or twice a week?

8. Split the household chores between all occupants of house

Gaining a good work/life balance means having time to recharge your batteries. If you’re coming home and then needing to be Cinderella, cook, cleaner and general dogsbody, then you may not get the right quality of work/life balance that you need. The more that you can share around responsibilities between people in the house – or use the services of a cleaner or housekeeper – the more time that you will have to enjoy yourself when not working.

Heather Townsend, Britain’s queen of networking, is the founder of The Efficiency Coach, a company that helps professionals achieve better business results for less effort. Follow her Joined Up Networking blog for more useful tips and tricks. She has just been commissioned to write the FT Guide to Business Networking.

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