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Check yourself before you wreck yourself 

By CCIWA Editor 

Strategies for a healthy work/life balance that might just save you from burnout:  

Mix it up 

All work and no play doesn’t just make you dull as the proverb claims, it can also make you overweight, stressed, burned-out, anxious and depressed.  

Making sure your life contains a mix of activities is simple way to ensure a healthy work/life balance, says Dr Natalie Skinner, a senior research fellow at the Centre for Workplace Excellence at the University of South Australia.  

“It’s good to have a variety of roles and experiences that give you a connection with your community, family time and time for leisure pursuits,” she says. 

Dedicated hours dedicated space 

Don’t blur the boundaries between work and home, warns Dr Graeme Ditchburn, Academic Chair of Organisational Psychology at Perth’s Murdoch University.  

This is particularly important for those who run a business from home.  

“Knowing their work day finishes at a specific time enables them to dedicate quality time to family and friends,” he says.  

“Similarly, if your work is in front of you all the time, there’s no break. If it’s in a separate office you can close the door at the end of the day.” 

Listen to those around you 

Everyone will have different needs when it comes to striking a happy work life balance. 

For example, whether you have children, are married or single impacts on how much time you can devote to a business before it impacts negatively on your relationships.  

As Murdoch University’s Ditchburn points out, these relationships are pivotal in providing the emotional ‘buffering’ that helps you cope in times of stress. So respect those close to you when they tell you your work hours are unsustainable. 

Set boundaries 

In the modern age, we are all contactable 24/7. Whether clients expect you to respond after hours or on weekends is entirely up to you, but be clear where the boundaries lie, advises Ditchburn.  

“With the accessibility of communication, people increasingly worry that not responding reflects poorly on their competence. Being clear as to when or how soon a client should expect a response is critical to manage expectations but also time management.’’ 

 Get a mentor 

The voice of experience can be an invaluable guide. “If you’re fortunate enough to be able to draw on the experience of a mentor, it can save SME owners from making the same mistakes,” says Ditchburn.  

“It’s also reassuring to know that others have faced similar challenges.”

Strategies for a healthy work/life balance that might just save you from burnout:  

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