Work life balance in an agency setting can be challenging. It’s not easy to know when you need to take a break, who should take the lead and how to introduce new ideas without upsetting the current situation. Therefore, we’ve been working on it, trying to find ways to improve so that we can make our lives easier – as a team.
For example, there were instances where our CEO would make sure none of the team were left to work late hours or weekends on client requirements. Work-related calls were banned on weekends and in off-hours and thanks to this habit our team members were motivated to complete work requirements daily, which did enhance our productivity by 25% over time. We have been working from home for more than 3 years, so it meant regularly checking upon team members to ensure they were healthy both physically and mentally. It was made clear that our individual responsibility was to ensure workload is separated equally as possible and nobody in the team will secretly burnout.
Throughout our journey, there were mishaps, setbacks that we learnt from. Some are gold because we learned and practiced them the hard way through making changes to our approach. Others were more theoretical, but we hope they will be useful for anyone who wants to practice on improving their workplace productivity.
We’d share some of our best practices with you. Hopefully, they will be helpful to others as well!
1. Setting Priorities
In your team, you need to set priorities and figure out what’s really important. What are the goals? Both for your role and personal well-being. Personally, we encourage each team member to assess their values to decide how it fits into their current job role.
If you’re not happy with your current work situation, maybe it’s time to start looking for something new. But don’t make any rash decisions—take some time to really think about what you want. You might find that the answer lies in changing your current job, not finding a new one.
It’s important to remember that it’s ok to take some time for yourself. You shouldn’t feel guilty about taking a break or spending time with your family and friends. In fact, we would argue that it’s essential for a healthy work-life balance.
2. Setting Boundaries
You need to set boundaries with your boss and co-workers. If you don’t, you will quickly find yourself working all the time and never getting any time for yourself. And that’s a surefire recipe for burnout.
Start by defining your work hours and sticking to them. If you’re not available during those hours, let your boss know ahead of time. And don’t be afraid to say no to requests for overtime or additional work. You need to make sure you’re taking care of yourself first and foremost.
Another way to set boundaries is to avoid checking your work email or answering work calls outside of work hours. This can be tough, but it’s important to draw a line in the sand and stick to it. It’s also a good idea to turn off notifications on your phone or computer so you’re not constantly getting interrupted.
3. Taking Breaks
It can be tough to find a work-life balance, but it’s important to try to take breaks throughout the day. Get up and walk around, take a few minutes to stretch, or just step outside for some fresh air.
This will help you stay focused and productive during your work hours. And when you’re done for the day, you’ll be able to relax and enjoy your time off without feeling guilty.
4. Scheduling Time for Yourself
Start by scheduling time for yourself in your day. This could be an hour in the morning or an hour at night. Block it off in your calendar and treat it as sacred—no emails, no phone calls, no distractions.
Use this time to do something that’s just for you, something that relaxes you and makes you happy. Maybe that means reading a book, taking a walk, or spending time with your pets. The key is to find something that allows you to de-stress and unwind so you can return to work refreshed and recharged
5. Learning to Say No
Saying no can be hard, but it’s a crucial skill for maintaining a good work-life balance. When you’re constantly overworked and stretched too thin, you’re going to end up stressed out and unhappy. You need to learn to say no to new projects, to requests for help from your colleagues, and to anything that’s going to take you away from your family and friends.
It’s not easy, but it’s worth it. When you’re able to say no, you’re able to focus on the things that are really important to you. You’ll be able to work more efficiently and effectively, and you’ll be less stressed out overall. So start saying no today, and see how much of a difference it makes in your life.
6. Asking for help
Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. We all need a little help from time to time, and there’s no shame in admitting that you can’t do it all on your own.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a step back and assess what’s causing that feeling. Maybe there are some things you can delegate or outsource, or maybe you need to set some boundaries with your clients or colleagues.
The bottom line is that you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. It’s not a sign of weakness—it’s a sign of strength. And it shows that you’re serious about making positive changes in your life.
You’ve likely heard the saying, “Work hard, play hard.” While there’s some truth to that statement, it’s important to find a balance between work and play.