Attaining the elusive work-life balance is easier and more realistic than you think, with some simple lifestyle changes.
They might not say it to their bosses, but it is common to hear Singaporeans talk about poor work-life balance — from long hours to demanding schedules and unsocial hours. In fact, according to a 2016 study, 47 percent of Singaporeans find work-life balance to be “awful”.
In our globalised and digital age, we seem to be treading a fine line between work and our own personal time. Many of us may find it difficult to ignore a WhatsApp message about work at 11pm, or check our work email on weekends, even if it causes stress and affects our well-being. So how can we change this and achieve a better life-work balance? You don’t have to make big changes, start small with these minor tweaks to your life:
- Don’t Procrastinate
The American author Mark Twain, famously said that if the first thing you do in the morning is eat a live frog, then you will be able to go through the rest of the day knowing the worst is behind you. In other words, don’t procrastinate; start your day by completing tasks that require a lot of effort, then the rest of your day should be smooth sailing.Whether it is making a call to a difficult client or writing that monthly report, schedule major tasks for first thing in the day while your mental energy is fresh. Once it’s crossed off your to-do list, you will have more time to complete other tasks, likely reducing the need for overtime work and unnecessary stress.
- Schedule Exercise with a Buddy
In our increasingly busy lives, finding personal time as well as catching up with friends is easier said than done. Maximise your time by combining exercise with socialising by arranging to walk or jog with a friend for 30 minutes, at least once a week. It’s an easy way to maintain your friendship while also improving your fitness and burning off excess calories. Singapore’s Health Promotion Board (HPB) endorses brisk walking as a low-impact sport that is suitable for everyone. Walking also release endorphins, a chemical reaction that helps trigger positivity, thereby reducing anxiety and stress.
- Check Your Iron Levels
Do you ever feel fatigued despite maintaining a regular sleep schedule? Are headaches or dizzy spells becoming your worst enemy? These symptoms could be signs of an iron deficiency, which can lead to poor concentration, restlessness and even anxiety or depression. Here’s a shocking statistic: one in two women in Singapore are thought to be iron deficient. So, if you have any of these symptoms, book in for an appointment with your GP.
On the plus side, an iron deficiency can be easily remedied by
- Including more iron-rich foods such as red meat, dark green leafy vegetables and dried fruit
- Eating foods high in vitamin C, which helps with the absorption of iron; for example, guava, oranges, capsicum