Last week on campus it was Digital Discovery Week, and being the inquisitive students we are, we decided to see what it was all about. I decided to book myself into the digital wellbeing session, and here’s what I learned.
Work life balance
Having a good work-life balance is something I support and try to maintain constantly. You may have read from first year I was somehow able to find the right balance between studying, working and enjoying myself. Now what even is a good work life balance? It is an equally weighted distribution between your commitments and your leisure time. Now everybody has different levels of balance between their work and life, and as circumstances change it can become more difficult to keep that balance consistent, but it is essential to know what that balance is. Knowing your own optimum work life balance means that you can always strive towards achieving it, a good work life balance helps with stability of the body and mind. A good work life balance is not solely based on the typical working week; we may come across times where we need to put in really hard work for a sustained period of time, such as exam season, but whilst we do this, recognize that we will have the summer to enjoy being free. That extra bit of hard work can also make the goal you’re striving towards that much better when you reach it. However within those time periods on a day to day basis we still need to find balance so we don’t drive ourselves off a cliff.
Why we need balance
There is such thing as over working. It’s all well and good spending 10 hours on the library, but how many of those hours are productive? Is the time you spend “working” being used effectively or did you spend half of that time on your phone or down the YouTube rabbit hole? Better to prioritise your time to get some quality work done and substituting that procrastination time in for doing something active like going to the gym, or for a bike ride or yoga. When your work requires a lot of screen time, you should try to incorporate less screen time into your down time as keeping your body healthy helps keep the mind healthy. The more hours you spend working, the more likely you are to continue thinking about work when you get home, which blurs the boundaries there should be between work life and home life. 58% of people who work long hours are said to be irritable, with 34% and 25% of people said to be anxious or depressed, respectively.
Digital life connects you to your work easier than ever before, which is great because it makes work portable and more flexible to different lifestyles, however it once again means there are no clear boundaries between work and leisure. Taking days off from work are essential for growth, just like rest days at the gym.
Creating the balance
The best ways to work towards having a good work life balance is to created strategy that works for you, focusing on your priorities and goals and how you intend to reach them. Creating boundaries like not using devices in bed, to ensure you get enough sleep and eating healthy are also great ways to create balance. There are also several apps to help you along with this.
Headspace and Calm are two excellent apps that can help you make the most of your down time and channel your energy through meditation and relaxation.
Time Tune and Forest are great if you’re trying to minimalist the time you use on your phone, by helping you to stay of certain apps and manage your time. In the new iOS update you can also see how your time is utilised when on your phone.
Finally keeping fit, an app called Fooducate can help to track your the nutrition of the food you eat by scanning the barcodes, allowing you to ensure you get all the necessary nourishment.
Doing sports can also be great to help you stay active, it will also allow you to meet new people and perhaps get out of your comfort zone.
With this in mind, think about how you go about this week and how you can make sure you’re living a balanced life, and if not, what are you going to do to help yourself?
Thanks to Aaron from SussexSport for conducting the Digital Wellbeing session.