Is your job getting in the way of finding someone? Do you often feel that you’re cancelling or rescheduling dates with your new partner to go the extra mile at work? You’re not alone. While a study showed that New Zealand is the global capital of the elusive work-life balance, some overworked Kiwis may beg to differ. Work, for many in today’s highly connected world, is more than a source of income. It’s often tied to our self-esteem, worth, status and social life. It’s only natural that we put in extra hours and take work home to get one step ahead. Having a balance between work and play can be beneficial for your physical and mental health. In addition, having more time to relax and enjoy making new connections can increase your chances of meeting a potential partner. It can also establish a solid base for a healthy relationship if you’ve been dating someone recently.
If you’re feeling like you need to strike a balance between your work and personal commitments so you can find love again, or you need to make time for your new partner, we’ve compiled a list of five suggestions to help you achieve just that.
Take control of your schedule
If your ‘to-do’ list looks overwhelming, now’s the time to take control! Sit down and work out how much you can do between your assigned work hours. Prioritise urgent tasks and due dates first. Remember, you’re not superhuman; be realistic about your work load. Start small – keep a short list of tasks daily to ensure you have room to fit in those emergency requests.
Factor personal time into your schedule; it’s important to take time to connect with yourself too. If you’ve got interests you just haven’t got around to because you’re putting in overtime at work every night, jot them down in your diary and set those plans like concrete. If you have date plans, this should also follow the same sentiment as your personal obligations. Think of your dates and personal time as non-negotiable. Your date will appreciate the lengths you have gone to in order to stick to your plans.
Get your forty winks
A growing number of Kiwis (55%) say they never wake up refreshed. Sleep is vital for workplace productivity and alertness. Take a look at what you could be doing to improve the quality of your sleep. Perhaps you work late and give your body little time to wind down, or you’re constantly under stress – set aside time to unwind after work. All types of exercise, be it running or meditation, have been proven to increase sleepiness. Aim to get at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity a day – which brings us to our next point…
You may think skipping the gym or snacking to keep awake is helping your productivity, but it’s actually making you more prone to sickness and injury. Keeping healthy is key in keeping your work-life balance maintained. It also helps increase energy levels. By improving your health, you’ll be able more inclined to want to venture out to meet new people or spend time with your date, instead of crashing on the couch.
To start your health kick, try incidental exercise. Simple commitments – such as walking around on your lunch breaks, bike riding to work or packing healthy snacks – can make a world of difference. If you find it hard to stay motivated, joining a fitness class with friends can be a great way to stay on track and meet new people in your area.
Differentiate between work and home
Many busy people make the mistake of using their home as a second office. The danger in using your devices to innocently check your emails is that it can easily turn into an obsession, with work spilling into the living areas, kitchen and even bedroom. Pretty soon, your laptop or smart phone becomes the third wheel in your new relationship, interrupting quality time together. You may start to feel like you can’t relax, as you’ve come to think of your home as a place of work.
If you must take work home, have an area where you designate to be your work zone. This might be a study or spare bedroom. Don’t let your work stray from this area, and keep other rooms of the house sacred – like the bedroom or lounge room. This way, you can spend the little time you do have relaxing.
Work may seem unavoidable, even if we confine it to a room of our home. Ubiquitous technology such as smart phones and tablets can overlap with work and play, and quality time can be interrupted by constant email notifications or calls.
It’s paramount to disconnect your devices from work when home for the sake of your personal life. It’s easy to do – simply turn off any automatic notifications you have. Some devices can bar notifications appearing between the hours of your choice, so check if this can be done on your smart phone or tablet. You can always set your phone to silent if it must be on at night.
Finally, and most importantly – never check your phone or take calls on a date. This is a deal-breaker for many people, as using your phone during a date can be viewed as impolite.
The Final Word
It’s important to self-assess the balance between your work and personal life regularly. While it’s great to be passionate about your job, your personal life is just as crucial for maintaining balance and wellbeing. At the end of the day, that’s all that matters.