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7 ways to improve your work life balance

Tom Sweeney

Tom Sweeney | Marketing Assistant

Friday 11th Oct, 2019

With increasing workloads and growing to-do-lists it can be hard to switch off from work in what is meant to be your downtime. We all want to tick that extra thing off our list in order to give us a head start on tomorrow. But doing this can leave us with very little downtime, which is the kind of time we enjoy the most, so how can you as a contractor improve your work-life balance?

  1. Switch off your work phone when you finish

    When you’ve finished work for the day there is always a temptation to check your work phone to see what’s landed in your inbox to get a head start on what’s awaiting you in the morning or to return any missed calls. All of which has you thinking about work, when you’ve only just finished. So, turn off your phone. You’ll feel much more rested and relaxed in the morning!

  2. Adopt flexible working

    Although working from home doesn’t always mean a better work-life balance, the occasional day where you cut out the struggle of battling through rush hour, dealing with office distractions and other annoyances allows you to focus on work and power through the day. By doing this you’ll find yourself being more productive than normal, meaning you can finish on time and then switch off from your work life quickly and easily.

  3. Set boundaries between work and home

    To achieve your ideal work-life balance, setting boundaries is vital. When you get home, take 5 minutes to relax and clear your mind before you do anything else. Having hobbies is also a great way to forget about work, try having different activities or hobbies that you do on 2-3 nights a week. This always gives you something to look forward to, getting you through those harder days!

  4. If you work part-time, don’t feel pressure to reply to emails on days off

    Working part-time can be a great way to fit in more time for family life or relax more, but you must manage the workloads that you are taking on and the timeframe which you have given yourself to complete the project. Poor time management combined with a lack of discipline will lead to you effectively becoming a full time worker, but for considerably lower pay. Whilst you may feel that you shouldn’t neglect your work emails or phone calls on your days off you must manage your client’s expectation of you. It is important that you set clear and distinctive boundaries about what they can expect, or not expect from you on days off. Adding your working hours to an out of office message or to your email signature will also notify external contacts that you will not respond until you are next in the office.

  5. Take a break

    This can be anything from a 15 minute walk to stretch your legs and get some fresh air, to a weekend away all the way through to 2 weeks away to that idyllic location that you’ve been wanting to visit. Don’t be afraid to take your holidays for fear of returning to a mountain of work, taking these breaks will allow you to mentally and physically recharge, meaning you will come back to work feeling rejuvenated.

  6. Use technology available to work smarter

    Technology is constantly advancing with new software and hardware to save us time, so invest in proven, new technology to reduce time spent on certain tasks. Things as simple as using a video conferencing software instead of commuting to a meeting can save hours. Time that could have been spent with your friends and family or resting on your own.

  7. Prioritise your own health and well being

    Your overall mental health and physical health should always be one of your top priorities. If you struggle with an illness, this could be anything from the flu, a mental illness or a physical illness don’t be afraid to take a day off work. Being stubborn and working through it will only inevitable make it worse in the long run, it’s better to take a day in the short term rather than a week in the long term.

    Whilst following our hints and tips above will help you to improve your work-life balance when it comes to your work-load, if you’re a contractor, working through your own limited company you may find that your time is quickly taken up with the time consuming admin that comes with running your own limited company, however that’s where PayStream can help.

    Our limited company accountancy services are designed to give you what you need at a price that makes sense for your business. Whichever you choose, you benefit from free, quick and easy setup, a dedicated accounting team and 24/7 portal access.

Want to learn more about which limited company service is right for you?

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Working from home means that you can really concentrate on the work that you’re passionate about. It offers greater freedom and flexibility, but it can also have its drawbacks in that it’s easier to be affected by distractions you just don’t have in an office.

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