Complex Made Simple

Balancing act: Managing work within your personal time

Finding a balance between work and play is an age-old dilemma which even the experienced may still not have mastered. How do you know when to call it quits in front of your desk and move on to a relaxing activity, free from worry of the possibility of a once again full inbox? Results from a recent survey showcased that seventy-four percent of participants could not stop thinking about work during their time off. It is safe to say that when it comes to our personal lives, it can be difficult to keep work from interfering. It is not always possible to know when to draw the line and take time for yourself, however, balance is key to a positive and productive life. Ebraheem Al Samadi, CEO of Al Samadi Group and Forever Rose London, outlines five ways to manage work within your personal time.

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Establish work-free zones at home

If you have a big presentation or a new business meeting in the AM, making sure you’re prepared sometimes means taking your work home to add final touches and ensure everything is perfect. In situations like this, where working from home is unavoidable, implement rooms within the house where work is an absolute no go. Keeping spaces that are free of work will ensure you have that much-needed haven once you have time to relax and unwind. One room that is essential to keep work-free is the bedroom as it is an area that should be exclusive to sleep and relaxation. Remove any office-related objects from the room and instead set yourself up on the dining table or in the spare study.

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Schedule your time

Over the weekend or a public holiday, pre-plan your days so that if it is absolutely necessary for you to take a business call or answer a few emails, you still have that much needed time off with family and friends. Try writing down notes in a daily planner or link your phone to your calendar to keep on track. By scheduling your work hours, it will help you organize your free time and let you make the most of it.

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Learn to say no

Although saying no to your client or boss might seem intimidating, you have every right to refuse to do work during your time off. Of course, make sure to be polite and let them know that you will prioritize their work once you’re back in the office. At the end of the day, everyone is human and they should be understanding that you also have a personal life outside of work. Doing a one-off, an urgent errand for a client is fine every once and a while, but make sure to not make it a habit as you deserve to enjoy your personal time.

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Make friends outside of work

Although it is very often the case that you become close to those you work with, it is also important to establish friendships outside of the workplace. If all your friends are also colleagues, there will inevitably be a seeping of work into your personal time. As harmless as it might be for one to ask whether the presentation was finished or if a supplier had been contacted, it doesn’t allow you to completely divert your attention away from work. Join a supper club or start a new hobby; it will not only give you time to relax away from work but also introduce you to new people with similar interests.

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Learn to switch off

As important as it is to be available during work hours, on your personal time it is understandable that you may take a little longer to reply to messages and calls, if at all. While sitting at dinner or on an outing, make sure to put your phone on silent and away from you, such as in another room or in your handbag. This will allow you to provide full attention to your friends and family and not have this time disturbed by work.

by Ebraheem Al Samadi, CEO of Al Samadi Group and Forever Rose London