A healthy body is a goal that pretty much everyone tries to achieve, but is having a healthy work-life balance a goal too? 

To help make it one of your goals, take a look at these life hacks designed to increase work productivity, and, just as importantly, decrease stress to find that perfect work-life balance.

A healthy work-life balance

It means tailoring your lifestyle and work style. Finding this balance can be like chasing a rainbow but there are ways to get close – and even find the perfect balance.

Unfortunately for Australians, we’re ranked 27th out of the 35 OECD countries when it comes to levels of work-life balance. Furthermore, despite more of us working from home, we’re actually working on weekends a lot more than previously.

70% of professionals who transitioned to remote work due to Covid say they now work on weekends, just one cause of an imbalanced work life.

Other causes of improper work-life balance

Work hours
Studies have shown that people who work more than 48 hours each week experience significantly more anxiety and depression tendencies than people who work 47 or fewer hours.

Remember that work hours aren’t only counted when spent sitting at a desk. Hours can quickly add up when you consider chatting to colleagues about work outside of work hours or extra phone calls to clients you may make when they’re free.

Work identification
Many people bring up work in social situations, for example, asking what each other does or discussing work with a partner. In small doses, it can be great to get things off your chest but keeping work on your mind for long periods out of hours can jeopardise a good work-life balance. 

Try to employ a few of the healthy work-life balance hacks.

A flexible work routine

This one suits night owls and early birds. It means starting and finishing early or the opposite, starting and finishing later. Most people know whether they’re more productive at the crack of dawn with a strong coffee or in the evening when others are winding down.

It’s easy to adjust work times to suit, especially with online work-from-home tools so prevalent.

Results include increased work productivity, better sleeping habits and an improved work life balance.

There’s also a bonus for businesses as offering flexible working hours to employees is a considerable perk for some. In fact, according to UK research by Capability Jane, 92% of Millennials say flexibility is a high priority when job hunting.

Remember to make sure your clients are aware of your operating hours if you change them or set reminders if they request a call at a specific time.

A dedicated workspace

Working from home is a topic that touches many Australians. By mid 2021, two thirds of Australians were working from home according to a survey by the Australian Institute of Family Studies.

For those working from home, this hack aims to reduce distractions (there are many). If you’re working from home, try to arrange a dedicated room or area just for work.

Ideas include a spare room or even a garage.

Ideally, you’ll only enter the designated work area when working and leave it when you’re done. Keep the work area clear of all distractions like pets, kitchen equipment, cleaning products / tools and TVs and remotes.

Unless cleaning your work area (which should be a quick task), stay away from it in your free time.

The result is a buffer zone between work and home as well as a clearer work environment that helps you focus, similarly to working in an office.

Other working from home tips

Retain social routine
Something that often evades people working from home is a social aspect of an office. No more watercooler catch ups and lunchtimes together.

When working from home, try to regularly chat via a messaging app with your colleagues and even have regular check-ins via video call and keep it social. For example, you might take turns to come up with interesting questions for the group or share funny stories.

Maintain your regular routine
This means preparing for work before sitting down at your desk as you would if you were going to your office. It can include a shower, breakfast (not while working) and getting dressed in work attire.

Going straight from bed to your work desk can create more distractions like needing to go make breakfast and a coffee. Try to get that done before work as you would when not working from home.

Take breaks and get moving
If you take a break at work (when working onsite), chances are you’ll walk to a lunchroom or a cafe, possibly even driving somewhere.

There’s no reason why you shouldn’t or couldn’t do this while working from home either. Unless in mandatory isolation of course.

When taking a break from work at home, try to get up and move around. Even going for a walk around the block or out in the backyard can really help.

It’s these kinds of actual breaks that can really help you refocus.

Digital detox

One of the many intriguing statistics that have come about since the beginning of the pandemic is around screen time. During lockdowns, Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN) reported daytime screen usage increased by 70-80% compared to pre-Covid times.

We’re not alone. According to Ofcom, the UK’s communications regulator, UK adults spent nearly a third of their waking hours watching TV and online video content in 2020.

A daily digital detox is a great way to avoid overexposure to social media, work emails, ads and screens in general.

For example, you might decide on a ‘no screens’ rule after 9:30pm, or no browsing your phone in bed. Some people budget an hour for dinner with no screens and use the time to talk to others in their home. 

Stepping away from screens can leave you feeling refreshed and prepared (or reset) for dealing with those emails and notifications that await.

At the end of the day

Reaping the rewards of a good work-life balance is not a one-size-fits-all solution. It takes a little trial and error, some cherry-picked methods and time – but the results are worth it.

If you need a little extra support with your workload, don’t forget Nodifi’s tick ‘n’ flick option which allows brokers to simply submit a prospective client’s name and number to Nodifi. The team takes the reins on behalf of the broker, saving a lot of time.

Additionally, reach out to your Relationship Manager for any other assistance.

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