Summer can be a time of early finishes, long lunches and vacations. Summer is also now over. Everyone's work is going to be cranking over the next few weeks, so how can we keep that balance between achieving our goals at work, and not going mad?
If you get the balance between work and life wrong, it can have serious consequences. According to a survey carried out by the American Institute of Stress, 20 per cent of American workers attribute their stress to an imbalance between work and lifestyle. This is such an important issue we should address: 25 per cent of the US workforce have felt like screaming or shouting because of job stress, 10 per cent are concerned about an individual at work they fear could become violent.
3 fantastic female entrepreneurs from Britain share their thoughts on how to hit that sweet spot between work and life:
1. Schedule "non-negotiable" time
Alessandra Sollberger, CEO and Founder of Evermore, a keen windsurfer, Oxford University Alumnus, ex-Blackstone, says that this is essential - "I genuinely believe that you've got blot out areas in your diary for activities such as fitness. I see it in my schedule alongside all meetings and tasks, so it becomes normal. I suggest 2/3 times per week and then a longer (and more social) physical activity over the weekend. Same goes for friends & family time!" Evermore are growing 50% each month with a margin close to 60% and recently expanded internationally by selling into the US market.
2 . Start As You Mean To Go On
Alison Cork, Founder of Alison at Home, serial entrepreneur and broadcaster, has a good life hack for you - "Try to start and end your day having a conversation with your partner or family - that way, whatever happens in between, you have bookended the day with them and stayed in touch."
3. Be Flexible
Karina Robinson, CEO & Founder of Robinson Hambro, ex-Bloomberg correspondent and merchant banker, suggests being "flexible on which day and which hour you do things. Saturday night is not sacred - you may well end up working then. And in fact, that's exactly what I am doing as I write this!"
4. Measure Productiveness Over The Period of a Month
Everyone has those days when they leave the office and thinks "What did I actually do today?" Maybe you got distracted by social media, a news story or the weather (if you're British). But as with most things, it's a marathon not a sprint. "Be realistic about achieving a balance. Being super-efficient at work EVERY DAY...Forget it! Measure that balance every couple of weeks, not every day or you will always let yourself down" according to Robinson. And she applies this to her life outside of work too - "Do measure or consider the balance in your life every couple of weeks. Not to judge yourself, but to ensure that a whole month doesn't go by without having enjoyed the changing seasons/giggled with a friend/helped another woman."
5. Figure Out Who You Are
"For some, spontaneity is best. For others, a calendar entry is crucial. I am of the latter variety and however absurd it may sound, an entry marked "dinner with son" or "walk dog" means I will stick to it." - Robinson.
And as Robinson also suggests - "Ignore all of the above. Well, not always, but there will be times when rules go out the window. And that's fine too!"