Achieve work-life balance

Achieving a healthy work-life balance is all about striking the right balance between your work commitments and your personal life, and it needs to be done in partnership with your employer.

Many roles in the disability and community care sector do not conform to a standard 9-5 working day, or even a standard week. These roles can offer greater flexibility when it comes to organising family life, working while you study or pursuing a particular hobby.

Some of the recognised benefits of a healthy work-life balance include:

  • Reduced stress levels, at work and at home
  • Greater focus and concentration on the task in hand
  • Higher levels of job satisfaction
  • The opportunity to participate more fully in family and community life
  • More time to pursue personal goals and hobbies
  • Improved health

Here are carecareers' top tips to achieve work-life balance:

  • Work out what matters – be realistic about your needs and goals – it's far better to know that you won't be able to manage on a Part Time salary before you've started discussions with your employer than to realise halfway through.

  • Know your entitlements – there's a lot of information available on flexible, family-friendly working arrangements, so make sure you take advantage of it and know exactly what you're entitled to. 

  • Negotiate an agreement – whatever outcome you're looking for, aim for a win-win situation by anticipating your manager's concerns, and highlighting business benefits.

  • Schedule your time – an easy way to manage your time is by using activity logs, prioritised to-do lists, and action plans to successfully monitor where time goes.

  • Learn to say ‘no' – to get real balance in your life; you sometimes need to say ‘no' to unreasonable demands and leave work with a clear conscience.

  • Ask for help – if you're working to the best of your ability, and you're still feeling the stress, ask for help, or delegate because there are people and processes in place to help.

  • Look after your health – make sure you get enough sleep, eat healthily, and exercise regularly. Relaxation is a great stress-buster, so make time for your favourite hobby.

  • Focus on end results – stay motivated, focus on positive outcomes as much as possible, and take action rather than procrastinate.

  • Take time out for you – resist the temptation to let work spill over into your personal life. Consider ‘unplugging' regularly from your laptop, email and mobile phone.