6 tips to improve your work-life balance | BBC Ideas

6 tips to improve your work-life balance | BBC Ideas


Hi, I’m Bruce Daisley. I work at Twitter but
in my spare time I’ve been studying work culture and how
we can be happier at work. Work has become this sort of colossal game of Jenga where we’re trying to add things on top or still keep everything standing
up and stable. I’ve put together some thoughts on ways that we can make our
lives a lot less stressful. Half of all people who have checked their emails outside of work hours show signs of high levels of stress. The very easiest thing
you can do to reduce your stress levels from work is take the number off your
email app that single act is the simplest thing we can do to reduce our
stress levels. The second best change that anyone can make is to take a lunch break. The habit of eating ‘al desco’ has become so common now it’s contributing
to an increase in our stress levels and I understand when you’re sitting at your
desk you’re thinking you’ve got a hundred emails left walking away and
taking a break can feel really counter-intuitive but scientists have
found the best way to ensure that you feel energised is to take that pause. You
might want to try a monk mode morning. More and more of us are finally get hard
to get things done because of all the interruptions. A guy called Cal Newport
who’s a professor at Georgetown University in Washington, he wrote a book
called Deep Work and one of the ideas he gave was that we should think about
having a monk mode morning. Well monk mode is where we go somewhere that is silent, there’s no interruptions, we maybe get a block of ninety minutes work done,
maybe twice a week, then we go to the office as normal, added advantages we’ve
missed the commute, and got our emails and our meetings done. Some interesting research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology shows that one
of the best ways to increase workplace creativity is to increase the amount of
chat, and actually that can be chat about last night’s TV that can be chat about
what’s happening in sports games because normally those conversations then lead
to work discussions. It’s a strange thing that by encouraging people to have more
chats we’re actually going to be achieving more at work. But the research
seems to suggest that the most creative offices are the ones that chat
the most. Ben Waber, one of the researchers, said that one of the best ways to
increase creativity in your office is to move the location of the coffee machine. By having the coffee machine, the kettle, the water cooler, in a different place
you’ll actually lead to more people having discussions, conversations. Scientists have found that one of the biggest barriers to being creative in our jobs is stress, and all of us with our phones feel more stressed than ever before. You need to give yourself permission to have a digital Sabbath, to take time away from your work at the weekend,
for a bit of refreshment, a bit of renewal. Discourage your boss from
emailing at the weekend because it leads to people feeling anxious when they come
back to work on Monday. Anxious people can’t be creative. I think in the current
world we often celebrate overwork and people working long hours. The magazine
profiles we read, the TV profiles we see are about people who work these enormous
long working weeks. And in fact all of the evidence is starting to point to the
fact that maybe that’s not the best idea. Maybe 40 hours of work a week is the
right amount. Use our breaks and our evenings as times to re-energise
ourselves so when we come back to our desks we’re full of life. Doing 40 hours
of work is probably enough.

7 thoughts on “6 tips to improve your work-life balance | BBC Ideas

  1. He is not right! An agenda is being implemented, its two thirty in the morning and I can't be bothered with the prick, You work him out, Thanks.

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