With 38 per cent of Londoners claiming that they are ‘workaholics’ and a quarter of the UK working population stating that they are not happy with their work/life balance, it is time we stop labeling ourselves and complaining about our situation and start taking action! When you seek balance you are looking to make an often-arbitrary trade-off between two or more things in the hope of keeping things “in balance”. You cannot balance your work against your life; that doesn’t make sense. Work is part of your life and you decide, in the rhythm of your own life, how big that part is.

It’s tough when you feel pulled in different directions, unable to spend time doing the things you want to. Building a good work life balance is a very personal thing because we are all different – to some people sitting on a beach is relaxing – to some it is the very definition of boredom! Find a work life balance that works for you by following these top tips from Karen Meager and John McLachlan, authors of the highly acclaimed book Real Leaders for the Real World (£12.99, Panoma Press), ‘Time Mastery’ (£12.99, Panoma Press) and founders of Monkey Puzzle Training and Consultancy, a leading UK training company in NLP.

Think Rhythm not Balance
Achieving balance is like walking a tightrope; you are always swaying a little this way, then that. Anyone who tried, cooking dinner, playing with their kids and working on tomorrow’s meeting agenda will know how this feels. Instead of trying to ‘balance off’ different activities in your life, thin instead about creating a daily or weekly rhythm that works for you.

Know your energy thresholds
Key to finding your rhythm is to understand what gives you energy and what drains your energy. We are all different so monitor you energy levels for a week and pay attention. Some people fins the buzz of a party gives them energy for some it’s a real drain. Some people get energy from activity like going for a run, for some they get energy from being still. Once you know yours you can plan your week so that you do more of what gives you energy and less of what drains you. Even a small tweak towards what gives you energy will bring you more rhythm.

Develop healthy routines
Start to plan healthy routines that help you to maintain rhythm and give you energy. This is hard for people who like constant variety but the advantage of a routine is that it gives you a thinking short cut, giving your mind space and energy to focus on more important things. For example creating a work wardrobe that coordinates will save you time planning outfits or packing for business trips. Having weekly meal plans save time very day thinking about what to cook. Where having variety and choice gives your pleasure keep it, otherwise find a healthy routine that works.

Pace Yourself
When changing your routines, take it step by step and avoid drastic changes. Your mind and the other people in your life need time to adjust. So instead of finishing work at 5pm every night instead of your usual 7pm, decide to leave at 6pm three nights a week, then gradually keep tweaking your leave time until it works for you. It’s always better to start with something you know you can achieve, and moving from there than taking a major step you can’t sustain.

Find out your work life balance type and get tips tailored to you with this free online quiz: https://www.monkeypuzzletraining.co.uk/free-quizzes/whats-your-work-life-balance-type