Balancing work

This topic is sometimes called ‘work-life balance,’ as if work is somehow separate from the rest of your life. This topic covers suggestions for maintaining balance within your work, to avoid the demands of work affecting your overall wellbeing.

Entitlements

Take regular leave, including annual leave, sick and carer’s leave as needed.

Request reasonable adjustments for any disability, ideally before you need to call on them – but any time is fine.

Request an ergonomic assessment for any work space you spend a lot of time in.

Spread out appointments so you have some recovery time between each one.

Marking the transition into and back out of work

Maintaining a psychological separation can help prevent your work from ‘bleeding into’ your home life. Engineer a transition from work to home, even when you are working at home: e.g. you might go for a walk around the block, change your clothes, have a 5 minute dance party for one, pour a glass of wine or a cup of herbal tea – whatever helps signal to your body that you are now off-the-clock.

If you can, maintain some separation between your work space and your home space. This can be as simple as using a work phone and laptop when you’re on the clock, or using different e-mail apps and web browsers for your work and personal internet use. Not everyone has the option of setting up a home office.

Peer and community obligations

Informal needs or requests for peer support are going to pop up when you are not working. Work out how to express your boundaries and refer people to the service when it’s a need you don’t feel you are able to meet (right now or at all).

Sometimes you may set aside boundaries (e.g. ‘I don’t work after 6pm’) in an acute crisis – so report those occasions to your supervisor so you can access time in lieu (TIL) afterwards. Other times you may preserve time and space just to be a peer, not a worker.

Practice saying no, asking for more information, asking to get paid for work, for the inevitable requests that will come through on top of your usual paid work.

Knowing your worth

Keep a rough list of your skills, achievements, and the additional events and opportunities you have been asked to take part in – this will help you know your worth and be prepared for future job opportunities.

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