New Year's Resolution: Work-Life Balance

Work-life balance. It’s the greatest balancing act on earth...

Quick Balancing Act Tips

  • Build downtime into your work schedule. Like a meeting, put it into your diary if you need to.
  • Drop activities that zap your time or energy. Some people waste time on activities (or people) that add no value. Stop.
  • Rethink your responsibilities. Buy groceries online. Pay someone to mow the lawns.
  • Get moving. Find a place for fitness and it will actually save you time and make you stronger.
  • Relax. Don’t change everything overnight. Take your time. And take time to relax.
  • Learn to prioritise. Make a list, then number each task by level of importance. Only then can you focus.
  • Delegate. You don’t always have to do everything all the time. Make a roster.
  • Say No. If you don’t want to do something or can’t, just say no. You’ll be surprised.

Read on for more balancing act tips as told by salon-owner Kirra Longmuir of Trendz Hair Studio.

There’s a long line of psychologists ready to tell you that a lot of people are struggling to find balance in their lives because there have been cut-backs or a total overhaul of organisational structures based on the sorts of work we now do. Not to mention the always-on culture that’s come about through our smart phones, email and the internet.

Even if you don’t have much control over the hours you have to put in, take a minute to ask yourself one of the most important questions of all: “what other ways am I bringing greater enjoyment into my life?”

For starters, business owners are putting increasing pressure on themselves to achieve greater results and as a result they are expecting more from staff too. There’s a knock-on effect. However, maintaining work-life balance is not only important for your personal health and relationships, it can also improve the efficiency of your work performance.

Maintaining a work-life balance seems counter intuitive at first, but apparently it really does work. We spoke to Kirra Longmuir of Trendz Hair Studio located in the lifestyle mecca and sun-soaked holiday destination of choice for millions of people, the Gold Coast.

Kirra said, “My company went from just a few stylists to 20 staff in what felt like overnight. I had to quickly adjust and realised that cutting back from being full-time on the floor not only helped me manage my business better, but also gave me more energy and the ability to handle stressful situations better.”

“I am always looking for ways to make my salons the best workplaces possible by creating a culture that makes everyone feel like they’re part of the Trendz tribe.”

How does that work, exactly? Any tips? “Rewarding people with bonuses, holidays and regular staff lunches, surprise Christmas parties, company cars for managers and a real team environment – we’re more than just a bunch of friends, we’re more like sisters,” Kirra explained. Sounds like life’s a party on the Gold Coast.

Trendz is famous for their beautifully blended Balayages and extreme colour transformations. So we can surmise that it’s not all play and that some actual work is going on.

Kirra believes that organisation is the key and even if you’re a control freak start by handing out small things like responding to emails or checking your message bank. “Basically, free up some time to work on the things that really need your attention,” is Kirra’s advice.

One final note from Kirra, “make sure your staff know what their roles are. Most people go to work and do what they think they should do. We need staff to know what they’re meant to do.” All good advice.

If you’re finding it more challenging than ever to juggle the demands of your job and the rest of your life, you’re not alone.

Dodging the Burnout Blues

Occasional stress is normal for every job, but burnouts should only ever happen in highperformance cars …and under strict safety conditions. The negative effects are felt at both work and at home. What to look out for? Well for starters, when stress at work infiltrates your home life it’s a strong indication that your work-life balance is out of whack. Talk to your family, but most importantly talk to your boss. If you are the boss, then give yourself a good talking to. Life is too important.

Park it at the Salon Door

If you leave your work at the salon, your full attention will be on your home life and vice-versa. You want to enjoy and fully absorb the time you spend with friends and family with total focus. Likewise, at work you want to be a more efficient, creative, capable worker who is focused on the job. It’s not easy to switch off work and flick the home switch like a machine. As you work towards better work-life balance, at first the main thing is to at least recognise when those two worlds are overlapping a little too much.

Healthier Minds & Bodies

You know that thing that happens when you finally take some holiday time and your body suddenly falls into a heap and you get sick? That’s a real thing. It’s called “leisure sickness.” There are a few theories as to why this happens. The most popular is that your stress hormones and adrenaline is helping you to cope with deadlines and your workload. And when that suddenly drops it leaves you open to infection.

When we’re run down, tired or stressed our immune system suffers. Of course, trying to fit even more in to compensate for time off only makes things worse. And if the transition from stress to relaxation is too fast you might not be going anywhere. A cold or flu is one thing, but in some cases it can create more serious respiratory or digestive problems.

So look after yourself, and be especially aware of your body. Consider this, if you’re really aiming for greater life balance, taking time to exercise is going to be hard, but it has its benefits. You’re making yourself more physically resilient and becoming more able to fight through fatigue and illness.

According to SEEK, recent reports show that almost half the workforce is unsatisfied with their work-life balance. Things have changed and for many of us clocking off at a set time is a thing of the past. Be flexible, but limit the amount of time that work disrupts home life. Working overtime is normal, but taking time off when you want to is equally normal. But for some, working to set and agreed hours is a fast-track to finding the right balance because all expectations are managed.

Whatever work-life balance means to you, it’s important to understand what options and opportunities you have as an employee. If you are the owner of a salon, you can set the rules that favour you and your employees. The research shows that you’ll be rewarded with happier and more productive time spent at work, as well as at home.

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