When you plan your week, make it a point to schedule time with your family and friends, and activities that help you recharge. If a date night with your spouse or an day out with friends is on your calendar, you’ll have something to look forward to and an extra incentive to manage your time well so you don’t have to cancel.
2. Document everything!
Keep a diary on hand to see your schedule at a glance and check your workload early each day so you have an idea of what you have to achieve – this should allow you to realistically timetable tasks and a to-do list can help you add structure. Ticking off completed tasks will bring with it a sense of achievement and a wall chart is indispensable for planning much-deserved holidays.
3. Learn to switch off
Today it is physically possible to work around the clock. The rise of mobile internet and the ‘anywhere-working’ culture means it’s sometimes hard to switch off. This, coupled with the globalisation of the business world, means that working traditional nine to five days is not always practical.
For this reason, it is often hard to find time where work is not at the forefront of your mind. Make sure you spend some time each day away from your phone and email. Turn the Wi-Fi off on your smartphone, close your laptop, and don’t feel guilty about it.
4. Set yourself a cut-off point
A recent report by the online data back-up service Mozy suggests that Brits now typically start work at 7:17am and finish at 7:02pm – but in reality we are rarely offline. It’s wise to set yourself a cut-off point to make a clear distinction between time dedicated to personal and professional pursuits – particularly if you work flexibly or remotely.
It may be tempting to finish a report or put together a presentation but by failing to set a clear benchmark you could easily end up working until late in the evening or beyond. If you do this repeatedly it will not be long until you are feeling frazzled. Make a rule to stop working after a certain time and stick to it.
5. Learn to relax
Whether it be yoga, baking, painting or even playing computer games, spend some time doing something which requires singular focus and allows you to zone out. Studies have shown that regular relaxation reduces stress, helps eliminate insomnia and decreases the chances of developing certain health conditions so you owe it to yourself to set aside time to relax.
According to the ONS, the average worker spends 5 weeks a year commuting – use this time to listen to music or an audio book if you drive to work, or read if you travel by train to decompress after your day.
6. Make the most of your free time
It can sometimes feel like Groundhog Day when the working week becomes a continuous cycle of work and home. But by making an effort to break this rhythm your days can become much more fulfilling. Get out and about in your lunch hour – even if it’s just a brisk walk around the local park. The fresh air is good for your body, the change of scenery is good for the mind and light exercise releases endorphins which will help your performance in the afternoon. Mixing with a wide group of people is a great way to switch off. Likewise, it’s essential that you make the most of your annual leave. Well rested staff result in greater efficiency in the workplace and the experiences that you acquire while out and about can add value to your career. Stepping away from work for longer than a day or two allows you to put things in perspective. You will return fresh, full of ideas and raring to go.
It may be tempting to curl up in front of the TV in the evenings while checking Facebook on your phone, but lack of human contact can be depressing. Arrange to meet with friends – if only for an hour after work, or join a class or group.
8. Be Aware – Identify opportunities in the making
The finest detail can make all the difference, see things in the bigger picture and beyond the common perspective. How do I do that? I hear you say… by looking at objects, people, places and things outside what they are supposed to do or be
For example: You have a favourite restaurant that you frequent with your friends, you love the service, the food and even the ambiance. So speaking with the restaurant owner why not organise a profitable food tasting event for those who are not regulars, why not host aa network event there to build contacts and also to generate income in partnership with the restaurant
9. Brand yourself!
There’s nothing more effective then being a walking promotion. How you conduct yourself, and the service you deliver speaks a lot about you as an individual. Never over promise, it is better to set a realistic or even a lower realistic target then exceed your client’s expectations.
This can work both professionally and personally.
Even with friends and family if you honour an invitation for a house warming and they requirement is bring a bottle or beverage of some sort you can make a snack and bring along too. You have not committed yourself by letting the celebrant know your intention but as you arrive with the snack you have exceeded their expectation.
10. Refer! Refer! Refer!
Some people do not actually understand the power of a referral as the referee and not the benefactor. But let us break it down for you.
As someone who is known as a reputable person you will be asked to refer fellow reputable people. Now if those people do their job successfully they will get recognition but so will YOU!
That client will feel indebted to you for putting them in touch with someone of an excellent skill set and will find their won way to repay the favour.
11. Forge Ahead!
There is no doubt that managing personal and professional responsibilities is a balancing act but remember you work to live – not live to work. Professional success is not possible without hard work and dedication, but investing time in your personal life will arm you with the drive required to climb the career ladder.