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The importance of a healthy work-life balance

The importance of a healthy work-life balance

The importance of a healthy work-life balance

Today we celebrate Go Home on Time Day which is, fittingly enough, on the longest (and warmest!) day of the year. Its purpose is to raise awareness for the importance of a healthy work-life balance.

Tech giant Google introduced a 20% rule where employees would spend one day per working week doing any activity they wanted with a focus to drive productivity and creativity around the company. It was seen as quite controversial for its time but actually resulted in the creation of Gmail, Google’s cloud based email service.

This ‘forced’ work-life balance was seen by most as a strong benefit to a healthy work-life balance. Not only has it resulted in innovative creations, but Google remains one of the top names when it comes to employee satisfaction.

A healthy work-life balance should be a necessity, but many employers don’t take the appropriate steps to ensure that their workers are implementing this concept.

Risks of a work-work balance

  • You risk your health and happiness. Being overworked leads to stress which can, in turn, lead to serious mental health problems like anxiety and depression. Those with an unhealthy work-life balance are generally more susceptible in developing mental health problems at some point during their lives.
  • You miss out on opportunities! Sometimes, when working, we often feel the need to accept every job that comes our way, from making a cuppa for your boss to creating and implementing a five year plan. We can easily get so engulfed in every little task that comes our way, it becomes near impossible to do every task on time and to our fullest potential.

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The good news is that we can break this cycle, and get back to focusing on the things that really matter in life, rather than worrying about how busy we are.

  • Make time for the things you love. Taking a vacation or time out is a good thing! Learn new skills and do the things you enjoy; play sport, read a book, or listen to that new album. Spend time with the people you love. Remember that we work to live, and need to get that work-life balance just right.
  • Live for the moment. We can learn from the past and influence the future, but don’t dwell on it; we can only really experience the present moment for what it truly is. Focus on the here and now, and take pleasure in what you are doing at this moment in time.
  • Be kind to yourself. We’re great at encouraging those around us, taking time to support family, friends and colleagues. It is even more important to help ourselves; when we’re too busy it’s easy to forget what we’ve done well. Take time to reflect on your successes and achievements, and give yourself praise and recognition for these. Give yourself that well deserved pat on the back.

So no matter what’s on your plate today, make it a goal to leave on time! When the clock strikes five (or whatever time you finish), make sure you get out and spend the evening doing something you love!

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