We’re living in changing times. During the pandemic, office workers literally took their work home with them and kept it there. Now that the world has started to open back up, most of us have been asked to embrace hybrid working. Whilst we should be pleased at having the opportunity to split our working week between home and office, some of us are once again struggling to maintain our work/life balance. In fact, we’re struggling with burnout in both our working life and our home life.
We toil daily to try and achieve balance but we often find ourselves lacking in one area or the other. With so many demands on our time, it’s easy to beat ourselves up about not being able to manage, to give too much, until we end up exhausted and lacking in any energy or motivation to tackle anything. Burnout can easily happen to us all and it’s nothing to be ashamed of.
In today’s blog, we look at some ways to regain perspective and get back to the business of enjoying our home and work life. Too often we suffer from overwhelm and fatigue at the myriad of responsibilities we feel we must juggle to make everyone else happy. But what about our happiness? It should be our number one priority but we tend to put ourselves last. No wonder we’re burnt out!
Identify Your Priorities at Work
We’ve all heard the old addage, ‘this meeting could have been an email’, so why do we put up with them? For work, have a look at your daily and weekly tasks and whittle them down to the ones you believe are absolutely necessary. If you really don’t need to be in a meeting about an issue that you don’t have much input into anyway then decline it!
Delegate the small tasks that pile up in your inbox over the course of the day. If you have no one to delegate to then ask yourself, ‘will the world end if this gets done tomorrow instead?’ As much as a quarter of the tasks and jobs you’ve taken on over the years may well be sucking your time unnecessarily. Take a critical look at everything you do and eradicate everything that you don’t need to do or should not be doing in the first place.
Identify Your Priorities at Home
We all have tonnes of chores to do on a weekly basis. We often get home from work and have to get started all over again. We have bathrooms and kitchens to clean, meals to cook, carpets to hoover and we knock ourselves out trying to get it all done when we’ve already had an exhausting day! That’s not even including looking after the kids!
Take a look at all of your chores critically, in the same way you did your work tasks. Does everything really need to get done when you think it does? Could anything be farmed out to the rest of the family? Could there be a chore rota where tasks could be evenly distributed amongst the family? The kids could even get involved and earn some pocket money in the process.
Ask yourself if there is anything that you could be doing to make your week easier? Could you prep all of your meals at the weekend to reduce the stress of doing it every week night? Would investing in a dishwasher take a weight off your shoulders? Are their activities that the kids are signed up for after school that they don’t even really enjoy? Assess everything and cut out all the things that don’t work for you and don’t need to be done by you. Most importantly, if you’re really struggling, don’t rule out outsourcing to a local cleaner. Those goddesses could change your life!
Make Time For You
Once you’ve stripped out all of the unnecessary stressful tasks in your life then the number one priority is to make time for you. Create a relaxation schedule where you have one hour per day to do whatever you like – have a bath, meditate, drink wine. Just make sure that you’re doing something that is 100% for you and that you’re de-stressing in the process.
For those of you who are thinking of embarking on a hobby or activity in your new-found free time then take care, overachievers tend often throw themselves too zealously into new hobbies and end up creating more stress for themselves. Make sure that your hobby is sustainable and enjoyable and above all, relaxing.
Let Go of Guilt
The biggest obstacle to our own happiness is guilt. If we don’t please our bosses or our spouses or our friends, then we tend to feel that little niggle in our stomach. You have to stop prioritising pleasing people all the time. Understand that you matter and that prioritising other over yourself is just plain wrong.
Let go of your perfectionist tendencies. Set yourself a goal to leave work by 6pm every day. Take the full hour for your lunch break. Stop looking at your emails in the evenings and on weekends. If you don’t want to go to lunch with the in-laws every Sunday then put your foot down and just say no. Saying no does not make you a bad person. Leaving work on time does not make you a bad person. It just makes you human.
We hope that some of the tips above can help you to battle back from that feeling of burnout. Life is tough these days and if we don’t prioritise our own health and our own needs then we’ll be no good to the people that rely on us. So throw those guilty feelings away and embrace a new day with optimism, minimalism and a great big bag of self-worth.