Please DO NOT DELETE this page.

Blog //
  • Wellbeing

The secret to achieving work life balance

06 October, 2014

There is a lot of talk about work/life balance these days, but achieving a better balance between the hours you work and the time you spend with family and friends is often easier said than done.

Why we need a better balance

There are two good reasons for improving your work/life balance. The first is for the sake of your health. Too much work not only makes Jack a dull boy, it can also make him a sick one. There’s plenty of research to show that spending too many hours working can result in stress, sleep deprivation, depression, being burnt out and ultimately a shorter life span. We need a good balance between work and rest to give our bodies time to replenish themselves.

The second reason we need to slow down a bit is for the sake of our families. Too many children grow up these days hardly knowing one or both of their parents due to the fact that they are always working. Children grow up too fast as it is, so we need to spend as much quality time with them as we can.

How to achieve a better balance

The purpose of this article is to offer suggestions on ways you can not only work less but also how to work smarter so that you have more time to enjoy the good things in life. Obviously, your own particular circumstances will determine which tips will work better for you.

One of the main factors will be whether you work for yourself or for somebody else. If you work for an employer, then arranging a better work/life balance may be more difficult. Fortunately, there is now more legislation than ever before to help those who wish to work more flexible hours or remotely from home.

Working for an employer

If you work for an employer, these tips may help:  

  • Before asking for shorter hours, make sure you can afford to do so, otherwise you could find yourself working harder than ever trying to hold down two part-time jobs.
  • Before approaching your employer, make sure you know what your entitlements are. Do some research online and find out what your rights and your employer’s obligations are.
  • When negotiating with your employer, be prepared. Expect a knock-back and negotiate a lesser agreement if necessary. Try and point out the benefits to your employer as well as to yourself.
  • If part of your problem is that you have too much work, learn to delegate if that’s an option or ask for help if it’s not.
  • Take your holidays, don’t try to stockpile them. If a long vacation is out of the question, then take odd days here and there to make long weekends and shorter working weeks.

Working from home

Many people work freelance or remotely these days, and more are joining their ranks all the time as the number of full-time jobs diminishes and part-time and casual jobs become more prevalent.

While you would think that working from home would give you much more time to yourself, the opposite is often the case. When your home is also your office, the lines can become blurred to the point where you seem to be working all the time.     

If you work for yourself or remotely from home, these tips can help you to reclaim some down-time for yourself and your family.

  • If you work in a home office, make sure it is separate from family life; ideally in a separate room. Treat it like an office and only go in there between certain hours (i.e. nine to five), then come out and close the door until the following day.
  • Get organised. If you take control of your time and monitor it closely, you will soon start to see where it is being wasted and find ways to do things faster and smarter. Prioritise your time and only do the things that need to be done.
  • Use technology. There are lots of shortcuts available online, including online shopping, bill paying and even video conferencing, so rather than wasting time running errands and attending meetings, use the tools technology offers and save time every day.
  • Outsource where possible. Most people who run their own small business soon discover that they’re good at some things and not so good at others. So, rather than wasting time wading through tax forms or trying to balance the books, outsource those tasks to the experts and give yourself more time.
  • Work to your strengths. If you’re a morning person, get the majority of your work done before noon and enjoy some down-time in the afternoon. If you’re a night-owl, do the opposite.
  • Don’t overbook. When you work for yourself, there’s a temptation to fill your schedule as much as possible to keep the dollars rolling in and to make up for the inevitable quiet times. But, it’s much better to have a steady flow of work than to take on too much at once and risk burning out, and this can be achieved if you choose your clients wisely and learn to say ‘no’ to unreasonable demands on your time.
  • Plan to have time off. Keep a diary and mark down important family commitments such as school plays, holidays and outings, plus time for yourself for things such as golf or fishing trips. Then arrange your work schedule around these commitments.

Hopefully there are suggestions here that can help you reclaim more of your time from the workaday treadmill. The secret of achieving a better work/life balance is not really a secret at all. It’s simply a matter of doing things smarter, prioritising your time and making time for the most important things in life.

As author Michael Altshuler is famously quoted as saying, “The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot”.*


1911_CBHS Skyscraper Banner-07

Suggested Articles

  • Older adults using fitness gadgets

    Top Fitness Trends of 2020

    We put our ears to the ground and asked the pros what top health and fitness trends we can expect to see in 2020.
    • Fitness
    21 January 2020
  • A tropical smoothie

    Treat yourself to a tropical smoothie

    Keep up your good intentions as January draws to a close and stay off the high fat, processed snacks. Treat yourself to this delicious tropical smoothie instead.
    • Nutrition
    21 January 2020
  • A person checking weight Loss

    Four simple rules to lose weight

    Dieting but not losing weight? You may have been given bad advice. Try following these four simple food rules to speed up your weight loss efforts.
    • Wellbeing
    16 January 2020
  • Face mask

    Should I be worried about smoke haze?

    Australia’s bush fire crisis has devastated many towns and rural communities. Cities not directly affected have been blanketed in smoke, but how hazardous is it?
    • Wellbeing
    16 January 2020

What Our Members Think

I joined as a CBHS member in 1978. Through many health events and challenges CBHS has always been there for me and my family. Their exceptional service over this time has always been appreciated.

- Jenny J

What Our Members Think

I've not long joined CBHS from another fund, but so far I've been impressed by the super helpful and friendly staff, the higher claim limits and rebates at a very competitive premium, and how easy it is to lodge manual claims through the app. Thanks CBHS - you've won me over! 😃

- Jessica B

What Our Members Think

What I love about CBHS is their customer service - friendly staff and always ready to help and email you the information you ask about. Keep up the great work!!!

- Linda S

What Our Members Think

I love CBHS as its so so easy to lodge a claim and whenever i need a question answered friendly consultant is one phone call away. The phone back option instead of waiting is brilliant!

- Rachel N

What Our Members Think

I have been with CBHS since I began at CBA 15 years ago...Now I have three beautiful children, one who has a disability. Our top extras cover has been really essential for his early intervention. I do love the ease of claiming online.

- Annette E

What Our Members Think

I am relatively new to CBHS and am loving it already. I worked for a CBA subsidiary a long time ago but was still eligible to join. So much better that the for-profit funds - our premium is only a little more and we pay a lower co-contribution and get great benefits. I am loving the massage rebate for my partner and gym rebate for me!

- David G

What Our Members Think

I'm extremely happy with CBHS! I have been a customer for about six years. I think the price is reasonable. And i would refer you to my family and friends any day. Thank you CBHS!!!

- Karen W

What Our Members Think

Love CBHS as I never have to doubt that they've got my back when I need it. Been through other insurers who have limited options or limits, yet cost the same or more.

- Mark F