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Marlene Powell – Establishing and maintaining an effective work-life balance

Updated: Jan 21, 2022

Let me start by wishing you all a wonderfully restful, peaceful, and happy holiday season. Some of you may be in an industry that is flat out at this time of year, and some of you may have already wound down and are preparing for some quality family time, but still have work issues in the back of your mind. Whichever category you fit into, you need to establish and maintain a solid work-life balance to keep stress levels low.

The definition of work-life balance is to “create a state of equilibrium in which the demands of an individual’s jobs and personal life are equal”. We need to accept that there is no perfect solution to creating an ideal work-life balance, however research suggests that human resource professionals seeking innovative ways to ramp up their organisation’s competitive advantage in the marketplace

have found that effective work life balance challenges offer a win-win solution.

Interestingly, work-life programmes existed as early as the 1930s. Before World War II, the W.K. Kellogg Company in the US created four six-hour shifts to replace the traditional three daily eight-hour shifts, and the new shifts resulted in increased employee morale and efficiency. People were spending more time with their families – and were happier. Today we are all looking for the ideal way to balance our lives with work commitments – to keep productivity levels high and stress levels low.

Some tips that will help you create a solid work-life balance include:

· Being able to manage your time on a long-term basis. Create a timeline of your activities. This can be done easily with various computer programmes. Put dates across the top and the activities conducted at the side. Make sure that you BLOCK OUT days when you have family commitments. Make them a priority.

· Don’t try and be all things to all people – rather play to your strengths and outsource what you’re not efficient at.

· Prioritise your time and plot some valuable personal time. Include your family and your health. Both absolutely vital. If you don’t prioritise these two, you may not have a business to go back to!

· Ask yourself what is urgent and important that needs to be dealt with immediately.

· Have set work hours – and stick to them.

· Find time for your finances. You need to feel confident about your finances no matter what size your business is. Cash flow is a challenge that faces many small businesses and you need to start using established accounting tools early on so you know what is going on in the finance department.

· Make your workspace work for you! With many people still working from home, it’s vitally important to create a work space that will help with productivity – and your overall wellbeing.

· Get lots of exercise! In fact, make it a priority. It’s a wellknown fact that a healthy body = a healthy, productive mind.

· Nurture your network! Networking has become vital in establishing relationships and building a solid data base. Prioritise growing your network and make sure you have a well-structured lead/conversion system in place so that you can track the time and cost involved with regards to expanding your network.

Most importantly – do what you love! Whether it’s spending more time with your children, gardening, taking photographs, cooking – whatever it is that you love, it will give you the energy that will help with creative thoughts – essential in any business.

You may not be able to travel overseas, but South Africa is full of the most amazing places to visit. Now is the time to take a break. You deserve it!


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