BREAKING UP WITH HUSTLE CULTURE: HOW TO FIND BETTER BALANCE IN 2022
WFH - not too long ago this acronym wasn't part of the national lexicon, but there is no doubt our collective efforts to minimise the spread of the pandemic over the past few years has had a lasting effect on the capacity in which workers are now allowed to "show up". With flexible working arrangements more common now than ever before, it is easy to see the line between home-time and work-time has blurred even more as well.
There is no doubt the benefits of flexible working are clear; encouraging mothers back into the workforce where perhaps the logistic of having children and running a household made it near impossible before, and maybe Dads are able to be more hands on with the children's activities or school pickups now too. Perhaps your alarm goes off a little later than it normally would on a day where you have to factor in a long commute into the office, or maybe you're occasionally able to have a quick coffee and a chat with your SAHM friends after school drop, a regular affair that occurs when you'd have normally already been at your desk for an hour.
The pandemic has certainly forced companies to consider other options rather than just the standard 9-5 workday in the office. Sure, we all know the technology has existed for years to permit this level of flexibility, but what Covid has achieved is to force the mindset shift of management levels everywhere so that WFH is no longer a dirty word (or, more accurately, a dirty phrase). But when you work where you live, how to you ensure you are actually switching off, being present with your partner and/or kids, and having the downtime you not only deserve but, more importantly, need to maintain a healthy work-life balance?
According to Rebecca Klodinsky, founder of celebrity-loved swimwear brand IIXIIST, who at 32 wears many hats - mother, dual-business owner, designer, HR manager, fiancé, Endometriosis fighter and more - taking control of your life where work, productivity, connectivity and wellness successfully comes together is certainly not an easy task, but with a little resilience and courage, it can be done. If you're looking for a way to have better balance in 2022, read on for Rebecca's strategies for mastering work, life and everything in between:
1. Create Boundaries.
Plain and simple, if work boundaries don't exist in your life at the moment, create them. It can be as simple as not checking your email before 7am or after 7pm or having a consistent schedule where you clock-on and clock-off at the same time - while they can be challenging to abide at first, it does get easier with time. Tell your co-workers, staff or family about them so they can help keep you accountable.
2. Schedule Personal Time.
If you’re having trouble tearing yourself away from work, try scheduling personal time on your calendar. If you make plans after work with friends, block the time on your calendar as you would any other meeting. It also helps to get reminders throughout the day so you’re not tempted to work through your plans. Another idea is to use your lunch break to go to the gym, get coffee with a friend or run errands you’ve been putting off. Getting out of the office midday is a great way to recharge and improve your productivity for the afternoon.
3. Get Comfortable Saying No.
Many entrepreneurs have a hard time saying no to things, whether it’s taking on additional work or accepting a last-minute meeting invitation. While capitalising on new opportunities can do wonders for your business, it’s a one-way ticket to burnout if you’re not careful. You know how much work is already on your plate, so only take on more if you can make it happen without getting stressed. When someone asks you to do more work and it immediately invokes anxiety, that’s a good sign that you should probably pass.
4. Define Your Priorities.
While you'll never achieve the perfect balance, the first step is to get clear about your list of wants and needs. This list will differ for everyone, so make sure it reflects your priorities. Typically, there's a range of components that influence work/life balance - from securing a flexible schedule, having more time for family and hobbies, not having to work overtime, being able to take breaks during the workday and having the ability to take sufficient vacation time without being made to feel guilty for taking it. Ask yourself what's most important to you now: Do I need to work from home full-time? Do I want more vacation time? Would I be happier if I could take time for exercise during the workday? Only after you acknowledge your specific drivers, can you be clear about the best solutions.
5. Focus On What You Control.
It's easy to blame others for your work/life challenges. But, in reality, you may have more control over finding balance than you realise. A quick fix for greater work/life ease is to account for how you spend your time, zero in on priorities and cut out the fluff. Our to-do lists tend to be filled with tasks that might be nice to do in a perfect world, but don't fit our imperfect lives, it's better to focus on two or three achievable things within your control.
Rebecca launched IIXIIST at the age of 24 while working in retail full-time and studying a double degree in forensic psychology, and has since transformed her business to a $7M a year powerhouse that maintains a 333% profit margin. Over her eight years of operating, Rebecca has built a dedicated legion of followers and bevy of celebrity customers such as Kim Kardashian, Hailey Bieber, Kris Jenner, Kylie Jenna, Rihanna and more. IIXIIST is 100% sustainable and ethically made, giving the conscious consumer what they need - swim and loungewear made better.