There’s an old saying that you should work smarter, not harder. It’s certainly a philosophy that you can apply to help you achieve work-life balance. However, despite most people agreeing that working smarter and having work-life balance makes sense, plenty of Australians struggle to do it.
Here are 6 ways that you can.
Tip 1. Value your time
It’s important to analyse how you spend your workday. Time is money, so if you’re wasting time by being inefficient, you’re essentially wasting money. While no business owner wants to waste money, time is a resource you can’t get back, so be mindful of where it goes.
If you’re working longer hours than you should, here are some possible reasons why:
- you aren’t working efficiently (see tip 2 below).
- you have an unrealistic workload (and if you do, see tip 3 below).
- you’re pushing yourself too hard (and if you are, see tip 4 below).
Tip 2. Plan and prioritise your workload
If you analyse how you spend your workday, you might find there are less important tasks that take up too much of your time. You might be able to do them more efficiently, or some unimportant tasks may not even need to be done at all.
It’s crucial to plan and prioritise your time so that you spend most of your time on your most important tasks.
Tip 3. Get extra support
If you’ve planned and prioritised your workload and you still can’t get through it all consistently in a typical working week, you need more hands on deck. You may need additional support to help you (such as having some of your work delegated to others, outsourcing tasks, or investing in new technology or training to help you become more efficient).
Tip 4. Focus on your mental and physical health
It’s no secret that working long hours regularly can negatively affect both your mental and physical health. It can lead to burnout. Long hours are one of the major causes of work-related stress.
In addition, according to a recent study, people who consistently work more than 55 hours a week have a 35 per cent higher risk of having a stroke later in life and a 17 per cent higher risk of suffering heart disease.
You can help to avoid this by paying attention to both your mental and physical health.
If you spend long hours sitting at work, consider investing in a stand-up desk or treadmill desk so you can keep active.
Tip 5. Schedule downtime
Scheduling time for downtime is just as important as prioritising and scheduling your work tasks efficiently. You need to make time to recharge your batteries by relaxing on your days off and taking regular holiday breaks.
Use your free time to look after your mental and physical health by spending time with your friends and family doing things you enjoy as well as doing some regular exercise.
Tip 6. Schedule downtime
This can be harder to do now that many of us are increasingly working from home. If you’re in that position, try and keep them separate as much as possible. For example, set clear boundaries between work time and home time. Turn your devices off outside of work hours.
And if you don’t officially work from home, resist the temptation to bring work home with you.
It’s essential to strive to achieve work-life balance as it can boost your quality of life, your mental and physical health, as well as helps you to be more productive while you’re at work.
Earlypay has supported Australian SMEs with fast and flexible alternative funding solutions for more than 20 years. Our invoice finance, asset finance and trade finance products allow business owners to proactively manage their cash flow, freeing up your working capital for investing in growth. To chat about whether our solutions could be right for your business, call us on 1300 760 205. If your business has been impacted by COVID-19, our participation in the SME Recovery Loan Scheme could be of interest.