Finding the perfect work/life balance

Juggling a job around home life can be extremely difficult for poultry workers. Lucy Knowles offers tips on finding perfect work/life balance.

Working in poultry farming is not a nine-to-five job and can frequently mean long hours. An extended working day can eventually lead to stress often having a knock on effect on family life.

Longer hours

It can be all too easy to let our jobs take over home life. Poultry producers and those in related jobs are often faced with the prospect of anti-social hours with many workers operating on shifts or having to be on-call throughout the night and weekends.

A recent work-life balance report from the Trade Union Congress (TUC), revealed that in the past year alone, having seen a 10-year decline in long working hours, the figure is starting to rise again.

And according to the TUC, there are 175,000 more people working over 48 hours a week compared to figures in 2006.

Pressures from work

Long working hours inevitably means less time at home and can leave us feeling too tired to enjoy time off with the family.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD), says that stress is one of the most important reasons behind sickness from work and stress related absence is on the increase.

Finding a balance

It can be tricky to find the right balance between work and home life but there are some simple techniques that can help.

One effective method to help find a work/life balance is “The Wheel of Life”. As life coach John Berry of Future You explains, it’s a simple tool to help measure your level of satisfaction in different areas of your life.

It gives you an opportunity to see a visual representation of the different areas in your life, he says.

With coaching, the client can change segments to suit their life pattern, says Mr Berry.

Think about what is important

If your body and mind get suitable nourishment and rest, then you are much more likely to achieve balance in your life, says life coach and small business coach David Bonham-Carter.

He advises eating a balanced healthy diet with regular meal times. Try to follow a regular sleep pattern getting up at a similar time each day and going to bed at a similar time each night. Do a reasonable amount of moderate exercise and don’t drink alcohol to excess.

Pay attention to your priorities such as reflecting on what is important to you and try to focus your life around ensuring that you don’t forget about those things, says Mr Bonham-Carter.

“For tasks that are less important evaluate what the consequences would be if you did less of them. If the penalites are not too bad then make a decision as to whether you are going to cut down and if so by how much,” he says.

Mr Bonham-Carter specialises in providing telephone life coaching for stress, self esteem, anxiety or related issues and business coaching for small business owners.

Don’t let work take over your life

To avoid work taking over your life the website suggests writing a list of all the elements that make up your life such as work, family and physical activity.

The site suggests grading how much time you devote to each activity to identify areas of your life that you are compromising in favour of others.

Once you know where the balance needs to be restored, you can start to think of solutions, says total jobs.

Top tips on order to achieve a work life balance

Make a “to do” list

A list of all your daily tasks both at work and at home and go through them according to importance.

Time management

Learn to manage your time more efficiently by setting realistic deadlines, your performance at work will improve as a result.

Ask for help

If you are unable to cope with your work load speak to your employer and ask for help, it doesn’t mean defeat. And if you are in a managerial position learn to delegate some of your responsibility to your workers, they are there to help you.


Set aside time for relaxation, sport or a hobby that you and all the family can do together. Exercise is not only good for your health it’s also a great stress buster.

For more information:

Wheel of Life

To print your own wheel of life go to the Future You website and click on “Wheel of Life” on the left side bar and shade in the amount of your satisfaction from 0-10 in the various areas of your life on the printed wheel.