Image Source: The Cotswold Company
At the moment I feel like I’m juggling a thousand things: a full-time job as a teacher; writing a book, studying for a further diploma in Nutritional Therapy and keeping up with this rapidly blog. Oh, did I mention I have a pretty life-altering condition (IBD) which seems to be a full time job in itself? Yep. So while I am probably not the best person to turn to if you want do less, I am extremely qualified in making the most of your work-life balance and wanted to share my top tips with you today!
1. Make the most of your commute. I am lucky that at the moment my commute is a ten-minute drive but I’m also often nipping on the train to London quite a bit. I actually love train journeys (is this weird) and find I’m really productive on them: I’d recommend downloading some TED talks for the journey to keep you super-inspired and using your commute to meet one of your monthly goals: whether it’s read a book a week, listen to blogging podcasts or learn Spanish. And if your commute is a walk then even better! Clock up the steps and feel smug when you arrive at work. Nothing like ticking something of your to-do list before 8am.
2. Take a herbal tea break.I feel like herbal tea breaks are so much more relaxing than a regular one. Everything about the relaxing smell to the fact they take 5 minutes to brew; meaning you can’t just down it and get on with your day. Take the time to sit down with your cup of herbal tea and watch the world go by. My favourite at Peppermint, Robios and Ginger!
3. Think beyond 9-5. More and more of us are looking at changing our workday routine. From September I’ll be teaching 3 days a week and writing for the other two- I know in reality I’ll probably work longer hours than ever before but it means I can harness my energy when inspiration strikes. Like midnight on a Friday night when I can’t sleep or 8am on a Saturday in the sunshine. Sit down seriously and figure out what hours work for you.
4. Just say NO. I must say I realised something a year ago that extends to all aspects of your life: no-one thinks any less of you for saying no. I used to be that girl who would go into work feeling terrible or stay for ages afterwards to show I was dedicated then I had a revelation: nobody cares. People understand if you’re sick and they understand who the hard workers are by their actions.; not by how many times they nod their head.
5. Know your limitations. This is a massive one for me and worth strongly considering if you have health issues too. When I was in my twenties I was so career-minded; always wanting to be the best and take every opportunity. When I turned 30, I realised actually what I wanted was completely different. I wasn’t particularly money orientated anymore; I just wanted more time with my dogs, my husband and my laptop. Don’t get me wrong I love teaching and I think the decision to work three days a week will actually help me enjoy my job more rather than less..
I hope these tips have got you thinking about your work/life balance!