Weigh it up: The fine line between work and life

When working in hospitality, it is very easy to bring work life back into your everyday routine. Hospitality jobs certainly require a level of dedication, but it is crucial that you find the right balance between your work and the rest of your life. Naturally, this is easier said than done when you have your manager breathing down your neck, and then you have children, elderly relatives or friends to deal with when you get home. However, getting it wrong can lead to stress and anxiety.

So how does one restore the balance? Well, the most important skill to work on is prioritising. There are only a certain number of hours in a single day so you need to learn how to manage yourself. Focus mostly on issues that are important but not urgent, such as building relationships, planning, recreation and social life. Similarly, try and completely avoid things that are urgent but not important, such as phone calls, meetings, and various other interruptions.

Try and not slack off too much. This could be anything from time wasting to trivial matters, but do remember to spend at least an hour of your day outdoors in some way. Whether this is taking a walk in the park or doing some gardening, getting some sunlight and fresh air has great effects on both your physical and mental health.

The next key term to remember is 'organisation'. Get yourself a physical diary and note things down, even if your phone or laptop has a calendar function. It may sound odd but writing things allows you to cope with tasks better and get an improved sense of well being.

The final aspect to consider is your sleep. On average, you should be getting between six and eight hours to ensure that you are fully active and that your organs are working properly. The healthy skin is also a plus side too.

If getting to sleep is an obstacle, there are a few things to consider. Having a bedtime snack helps blood to move away from the brain and to your digestive system, creating feelings of drowsiness. Past studies have revealed that a tryptophan-rich snack, such as dairy, bananas, eggs and nuts, have helped individuals to not only sleep better but also be more alert when they wake up. Other tips include exercising for at least 30 minutes every day, but not too close to when you want to sleep, and avoiding alcohol. The latter will disable you from falling into deep sleep, and you will simply wake up with a horrific hangover.

By always thinking of 'priority', 'organisation' and 'sleep', you can make sure that you are not running yourself into the ground. By happy at work and be even happier at home. That's the key to restoring a work-life balance.

Berkeley Scott provides specialist advice and support to help you with hospitality careers.