By Cate Murden, Founder and coach at PUSH
The importance of a good work-life balance has never been more prevalent, however, balance is susceptible to so many external factors and can easily be overturned by events arounds us. Cate Murden, Founder and coach at PUSH believes that instead, people should strive for work-life brilliance. A strong and stable sense of work-life brilliance plays a fundamental role when it comes to creating happier, healthier, and more productive businesses and individuals. Cate shares her advice around the most effective ways to achieve this, especially in light of the fact that many of us are now working from home indefinitely.
The lines between work and personal time have been blurred for a while, especially with the introduction of smartphones and laptops, making remote working very accessible. The recent global pandemic has accelerated this trend ten-fold with many of our daily routines drastically shifting from physical meetings to a series of back to back zoom calls.
Cate explains that “we have to be really careful to safeguard a healthy work-life brilliance, which focuses on prioritising oneself and mentally draw a line between what is work and what is not.”
A good work-life brilliance is imperative to a healthy lifestyle; however, it is easy to push it to the side when there are crucial work tasks to tend to.
Workaholic and Burnout
Cate explains that “If you’re a workaholic or feel you can’t switch off your professional brain, your mental wellbeing will suffer, which in turn will spill into the workplace and affect productivity. There needs to be a balance and the work we do with our clients is focused on supporting them to achieve a much healthier approach to work.”
There are a multitude of ways in which delegitimising the seriousness of mental health can take over other elements of life. This stark decline in productivity manifests itself in symptoms such as a lack of concentration, frustration and, the most crippling symptom of all, the feeling of anxiety one develops by the simple thought of going to work.
This doesn’t have to be the case and Cate believes that “Many day-to-day tasks can be done with ease, so start off with the right mindset – reflect on things from the day before that you are proud of and think about things that make you excited about today. Kick start the morning by creating a plan for the day and outline what are your ‘be before do’ tasks and what entries on your to-do list keep leaping from one day to the next, i.e. ‘eat the frog’, and tackle it head on.”
Another helpful tip is to practise what Cate calls self-audit: “Determine what you want and make sure to express it specifically, firmly and clearly to your fellow colleagues, and take the emotion out of the communication process. Instead, focus on the ‘thing’ you want to communicate as oppose to the ‘person’ you’re communicating it to.”
The Necessity of Routine
In order to overcome a lack of productivity, concentration loss, and work-related anxiety – it is important to make some alterations to your work schedule. The fact that we must adjust to working and relaxing in the same place is relentless, exhausting, and bound to take a toll on all of us.
The pandemic has forced us to make many adjustments to our usual lifestyle but the way in which we apply ourselves to our work should be no different. There are various proven positives of working at home, and creating a more personalised work schedule, however, in order to reap these rewards, it is essential to make sure that we all stick to some sort of a routine.
Energy and Motivation Sources
Cate also encourages her clients’ team members to find their energy pots. What are they? “ Cate explains: “These can be people, places, objects, values, organisations and ideas. Find out what boosts your energy and make sure that you set aside time in your diary for it and, most importantly, don’t let anything interfere with this ritual.”
Whilst it’s essential to keep everyone at work at their healthiest and safest state, it’s equally important to communicate regularly and where possible switch to calls or actual meet ups, instead of zoom. This will also encourage homeworkers to get out of the house and walk whilst on the phone. Zoom meetings have been an innovative extension to working from home, however, they are not the only means of contact. “Wherever safe – make that effort to meet in person, and whenever it is convenient – go on a walk and pick up the phone instead.” insists Cate.
Cate believes that “as an employer, you can help maintain high spirits by providing your team with 1 or 2 hours per week for their wellbeing – and enforce that they take this time. If it’s possible to schedule this around committed sessions that support their mental health or personal development at a time where everyone can consume this together – all the better.”
Individuals that pursue brilliance in their work-life routines will nurture a much stronger mindset, which in turn will increase productivity, as it’s something only they can control and even set metrics on their day to day routines, which can be adjusted according to the tasks at hand, the day ahead or even energy levels.