Does the routine of get up, go to work, eat, sleep, repeat sound familiar? Thought as much. Sometimes life can feel like a never-ending cycle. We’re all commonly guilty of putting our efforts into working hard at our main job, battling through the to-do-lists and organising our meetings that by the time we return home, everything is chaos.The key to a balanced life is to not absorb yourself with being organised and productive during your day job alone but to have balance across both work and home. Ever heard the saying about having a healthy work/life balance? Well, it applies to your organisation, too.
It shouldn’t be the time we spend at work that takes up all our productivity and order. It’s about getting things done in our out-of-work time too, using our evenings, weekends and time off for doing the things we really want to do. We’ll never get there unless we add some organisation and planning to our time. Whether you wish to start focusing more on fitness, catch up with old friends or even just read a new book, it’s time to break the workaholic cycle.
If you find you’re pretty useless at time management or organising out-of-work life, see how you can use your work commute to help you. Perhaps you could use it to drop a message to a different person on each different day, checking in on how they are and arranging a meetup? In a diary, write down the names of five people you would love to catch up with but just never get round to organising it. Then, contact them on your commute on the days you have set aside, asking if they would like to go for dinner or a drink after work. If they work in the same area as you, why not look at a lunch break coffee catch up?
It’s important that relaxing is one of the activities you take up during out-of-work hours. And yes, before you ask, relaxing is an activity. Sometimes, all we really need is a catch up on sleep or a solid hour soaking in the bath. Try to schedule in a pamper evening once a week, ideally in the middle of a busy working week – right when you need it! Avoid scheduling it for a Friday or Saturday evening, as you’ll only end up cancelling it when plans come up. Choose the evening of the week which tends to be uninterrupted, like a Tuesday or Wednesday.
It could simply involve listening to your favourite podcast in the bath, while you treat yourself to a face and hair mask. Make sure your bathroom is as inviting as possible before you make this a weekly ritual, as if you don’t enjoy your bathroom or find it visually pleasing, you may find yourself not associating it with relaxing feelings. Perhaps you need to invest in your bathroom first, or upgrade any of its features so you can make it into a spa-like room? Check out Bathdisc online for some bathroom inspiration here.
Are you guilty of saying you will approach something ‘this week’, yet that day or night never arrives? It usually falls across topics like analysing budgets, looking into travel plans or switching utility providers. The truth is that you’ll never make time to plan these tasks in if you don’t treat it like a meeting. Think about your working day. You always attend the meetings your boss arranges with you because you have no choice. Make your at-home tasks become unavoidable by scheduling meetings with yourself in your calendar, even setting an alarm when the ‘meeting’ is due.
We’re all allowed to give ourselves downtime to scroll through Facebook, send silly memes to friends or watch useless TV shows. However, it’s all about how much time should be dedicated to this, and quickly recognise when you’re wasting time. A harsh way around this is to ban Facebook or TV for a week. Yes, it sounds extreme, but imagine how much more productive and organised you could be if you without the two for a week? If a complete ban sounds a little too scary, try banning one of them for one day a week, or limit yourself to just one hour a day.
We spend most of our lives trying to cut back and make savings wherever we can, but sometimes, spending that additional bit of money in carefully thought through places can give us time back, when we need it most. For example, we’re not talking about paying a salary to someone to be your personal assistant. What we are suggesting is perhaps paying someone to come in and clean your home top to bottom once a week, or to have an ironing company take care of your families ironing.
It can even be as simple as paying for home delivery on your weekly food shop or taking your car to the car wash for 10 minutes instead of doing it yourself on a Saturday morning. Think about what tasks take up a lot of your time, when you could make the most of your after-work/weekend hours instead. Above all, it’s all about remembering that your time outside of work is just as important as the time you spend in work – and both should be streamlined and organised. Carry out to-do lists at home as you would in the office, and keep referring back to the tip above that discusses planning in meetings with yourself. You won’t regret it!
Are you a productive and organised person outside of work?
*This is a guest post