It’s International Day of Happiness, and we want to talk about what makes us happy.
However, as much as we talk about it, we don’t all end up doing those things that make us smile: going to dinner with friends, catching up with family or having a stretch at yoga. Sometimes life (or work) gets in the way, and the things that make us smile can start to slip away. But we’re not about to give up: it’s important to find a work/life balance that suits you.
Set yourself a working day that suits you. Maybe you enjoy your lie-ins and start the day a little later than others. That’s okay. Take that bit longer to walk to work and stop in your favourite coffee shop and enjoy the time you have with yourself. Then when you get to work, it’s game on. But just as you do in the morning – create that boundary between finishing work and having the evening for yourself.
If you have booked a gym class after work, or made plans with a friend, don’t cancel last minute. Stick with the plan you made. If it was a work meeting, you would show up, so do the same for yourself and the things that bring you joy outside of work.
Say No (…sometimes)
It can be tempting to overwork yourself in order to impress. Saying yes to everything that comes your way doesn’t necessarily mean that the work you produce will be good. It doesn’t mean you have to stop saying yes, but it can be as simple as ‘let me get back to you’ and taking that all-important time to consider whether you can handle a heavier workload.
In today’s work environment, we have unlimited WiFi, email and social media – the list goes on. They are all great tools to create a flexible working environment, however it doesn’t mean you should become a slave to your laptop. Use these tools to your advantage in the work environment, but when you go home, switch off and try to avoid checking those pesky emails every half an hour – the world won’t stop turning, so they can wait until the morning.
Work is important, there’s no denying that, and enjoying what you do is a great. However, overwork and burnout is real, so there is no harm in taking time for yourself, daily. People tend to do better at work when they have a good work/life balance, so there’s no excuse not to.
Everyone deserves to enjoy their working day. Having separation and a clear definition between the two is how you keep it that way. Work/life balance is something that has to be worked at, it doesn’t come automatically. On International Day of Happiness, we’ll be taking the time to think about what it is that makes us happy, and making an effort to work at achieving it.
Treat it like your job – work hard at it, stay dedicated and you will be rewarded.