We all talk about how to create a good work life balance, but how often do we really get there?
Recently, my wife and I took our daughters on an amazing holiday (that’s my family in the picture)… After the holiday, I re-evaluated why I do what I do – in essence, I found my “Why” (well, it was the holiday, and Simon Sinek’s phenomenal book, “Start With Why”) – which prompted me to write about something that none of us seem to be particularly good at:
Creating a work life balance AND achieving happiness…
“Something is rotten in the state of Denmark,” goes the line in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, according to The World Economic Forum. And it’s definitely NOT the Danes’ work/life balance.
The report says that the Danish have a significantly better work-life balance than any other country surveyed.
Incredibly, only 2% of employees regularly work long hours (which isn’t much when you compare it with the international average of 13%)…. The Danish spend almost two-thirds of their day (16 hours) eating, sleeping and indulging in leisurely pursuits.
Want your own awesome time-freedom? Here’s how to create work life balance AND achieve happiness:
# 1. Stop wasting your energy
Think about how you manage your time either at home or at the office: are you into HIPA or HIFA?*
HIPA: Highest Income Producing Activities
HIFA: Highest Incredibly Fun Activities
Are you sure there’s nothing you can stop doing?
Cutting down “unnecessary” activities will leave you more time to spend for something that really matter. It’s all about priorities.
# 2. Stop Trying To Please Everyone (it’s ok to say no sometimes)
People who says YES to everything tend to be taken for granted (but if you’ve been drawn to this, you already know that right?)
Try to say “NO”, more. You’d be surprised by the results: not only will you gain time to focus on your priorities, but you’ll feel (and look) more confident and in control.
# 3. Delegate, Delegate, Delegate
Is your “to do” list always too long? Why do you think that is?
You love to be in control – right?
If you’re the only person who can complete every task on the list you’ve got a problem (a BIG one).
Delegation will literally set you free. You’ll get more time to do the things that you want to do, and side benefit: your team will love you, because now they will be getting experience across different areas of the business because you’re inviting them to do other things.
It’s the definition of a win-win.
And remember that even “Super You” needs some help.
# 4. Set boundaries between life and work (and stick to them)
According to the Australian Institute, work life balance is more of an aspiration than a reality for many Australians. Unpaid overtime is commonplace in many Australian workplaces and the percentage of workers who feel overworked is also on the rise.
So if you feel like your work life balance is completely out of balance – there is a VERY good reason for that – work is literally ‘creeping’ into your life at every turn…
Here’s how you can take back control.
Give 100% while at the office, and have a plan to get through your tasks as early in the day as you can. Then in the afternoon, take the time to create a plan for the next day.
When you work to a plan, it creates space and focus in your mind, and allows you to work for short bursts with extreme intention.
In other words, you achieve more, in less time.
# 5. Use the technology you have to your advantage
Did you know there are a ton of features in your phone that you probably don’t even know exists…? Interestingly, many people are completely unaware of some of the super cool ‘time-saving hacks’ at their fingertips… (Want to know what they are?) check this out..
These timesaving tools are amazing, and yet most of the time we use our phones for calls, texts and scrolling through our social media feeds.
# 6. Monitor your level of satisfaction, constantly
Imagine, taking a few minutes each day and actually thinking about how happy and satisfied you feel in your life…
And then, making slight adjustments to improve your day.
We love the “Track Your Happiness” app (we should ALL have this on our phone…)
Created by Harvard researcher, Matt Killingsworth, this super app helps you monitor what causes your happiness (so you can do more of THAT, and less of the stuff that doesn’t make you happy). Want to track your happiness?
Believe it or not, even you have limitations. Yes, there may be times when you will disappoint someone, but guess what??
Stop feeling guilty – let yourself out of that prison and remember:
If you say YES to everything, you then have to say NO to things like spending more time with your family, watching your kids play sport, or just doing nothing
Hamish Macqueen – CEO and Founder, Cleancorp
What do you do to create your work life balance… leave a comment and let me know.