Long hours, difficult workloads and challenging deadlines; life as an Accountant can be arduous and whilst many are experts at balancing the books, most cannot say the same when it comes to balancing their work and life. That said, Accountants from all walks of life are prioritising spending more quality time with friends and family, and time away from work to improve personal and professional development. Work-life balance as a priority in a new role is on the rise but how can you achieve it now?
Create your own deadlines
Whilst you’ll have KPIs and targets to meet set by others, it’s equally as important to set yourself your own smaller deadlines to keep yourself in check. For instance, we’re surrounded by technology that can sometimes distract and hinder. Instead, use that technology and set yourself a reminder on your phone or Outlook calendar to go for lunch at a set time or to take a break and stretch your legs. Not only will it increase your engagement and productivity, but it’ll also help improve your health.
Take annual leave
Whilst we’re on the subject of taking breaks, make sure you actually use your annual leave and spend it to refresh and recharge yourself. Once again, technology can hinder this by keeping us connected to everything regardless of where you are. It might be tempting to check your work emails to keep on top of the latest updates whilst on the beach, but making an active effort to disconnect and recharge will help you become happier and even more productive when you get back. If you can’t completely disconnect from work then actively limit your exposure to it once or twice a day and enjoy your time with friends and family.
If you don’t end up using all your annual leave close to the end of the year, there is another option that is growing increasingly popular. That is to use your annual leave to periodically extend your weekends. It could even be a great way to test whether your job can allow for a four-day work week before committing to that work style.
Allow some time for exercise
Back to your workday now, and when an urgent request from a manager or client comes in, cancelling that gym workout you booked in for your lunch break to focus on that task can seem like the obvious decision but it’ll quickly lead you to burn out. Exercising throughout the day can be a great way to stay healthy whilst boosting your mood and clearing your mind.
Make time for yourself
While your job is important, your entire life shouldn’t have to revolve around it. You need to allow yourself a life outside of work. Spending time with family, friends or taking a moment to relax by yourself can really impact your attitude and energy you bring to work. Scheduling time to focus on activities or hobbies that make you happy can also increase your emotional well-being and health in and out of work.
Schedule your social life
Most Accountants often work during their workdays, see their families during the evenings and spend time with friends at weekends, but it doesn’t have to be like that. If you work nearby to friends then your lunch break can serve as a great moment to catch up and grab something to eat at the same time. In between all the work, deadlines and professional development, we often neglect the fact that we’re incredibly social creatures. So, spending your free time during the day to catch up with a friend or a colleague can have huge benefits for your wellbeing.
Set boundaries between work and home
In order to achieve a good work-life balance, it’s vital for you to set clear boundaries between work and home and separate the two as best you can. If you’re the type of person who responds to emails and calls at all hours of the day then you colleagues and stakeholders will come to expect that from you, and it’ll be harder to switch off and unwind when you need to.
Achieving a good work-life balance may seem impossible for some but you don’t need flexible time or a four day work week to get there. Start with managing your time more effectively and what others expect from you and when and the rest will fall into place.
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