What is Work-life balance?
In simple terms, a work-life balance can be defined as a quest to achieve a dignified balance between your work life and personal life. In today’s mad rushing world, prioritizing your personal and professional lives is one of the keys to achieving a little peace of mind.
When you know you have to complete a dozen number of files today but you also understand the importance of your health and give ample time to it, which is when the clock strikes right.
Professional life is the one where your work pays your bills. Personal life is where you have time for family and other leisure activities. They both are co-related yet different. There is a thin line between both the lives, the person remains the same but surroundings change. And this is where a mishap is waiting to happen.
How are people losing their work-life balance?
Are you stressed for not able to complete your office work?
Is it now forcing you to postpone your meeting with friends unhappily?
Is this repetitive? If yes, probably you are losing your Work/Life balance without even knowing it.
Consider these two scenarios
- You wake up every morning hurriedly, run to the office without having breakfast and work to earn your bread until late in the evening. Return home while abusing yourself murmuring on how bad the day was, end up cooking an unhealthy dinner and are now buried with so many tasks you badly feel overwhelmed.
- You are a freelancer and expected to be ‘available on-call’ anytime. You really don’t know when you can switch off. You are failing to understand when can you do your personal task and be not available for a client. You want to switch off by 8 pm but are replying to emails at 1 am too.
You wanted to take time off for yoga classes but failed to do so. You wanted to speak to that old school friend of yours but forgot to do so.
The circle of work sometimes become vicious enough to start interfering in your personal life. You are doing what you are doing only for the sake of it. The enjoyment is less and stress starts to roll up its sleeves. The expectation to be an entrepreneur, to make yourself big enough, to stay connected all the time and to never rest as YOLO aka ‘you only live once’ are few of the maddening elements behind the scene.
How it affects the daily life?
We may not notice this but work-life balance plays a huge role in having a fully optimised productive day.
- Remember when you were trying to enjoy some time alone or with a friend but your mind kept pushing you back to an incomplete official task?
- When you are speaking with or listening to someone and the stress of undue work takes away your focus?
- When the work for a freelance client makes you skip meals almost daily?
- When you feel unhealthy at the core?
Now, you know you are caught by the red bug, badly! You certainly need to do something about it immediately.
No work-life balance means your days are spent on mundane tasks. Your mental health is degrading with prolonged stress. You are always on the run and can never find time to detach. You are daydreaming about that wonderful movie night with your partner but can never make it happen.
You are working, only to feel unproductive or unaccomplished with yourself at the end of the day.
You are feeling messed up. Aren’t you? You’re not alone. Even I was.
How would life be different with Work-Life balance?
The alarm rings at 6 in the morning. You wake up with a sound sleep and a happy face. You are not in a rush to check your emails. There is no deadline terror awaiting you. You know you can easily manage the work and still go to the gym and have your healthy breakfast is when you have achieved some or other form of work-life balance. This is how always you wanted it.
It is not about perfecting your day. It is about managing all events effortlessly.
The skill to detach you from work, understand the limitations of professional and personal lives, and have an overall fruitful and fully optimized day are the signs of succeeding at work-life balance.
How to achieve work-life balance?
Start with the basics:
- What is the problem and why am I facing it?
- What does an ideal balance look to me?
What steps can I take today?
- Finding the problem and its reason
Problem: I always sleep late and wake up hastily with no proper rest.
Why: I’m failing to complete my work on time and mixing up things. Going to bed late, waking up late, and submitting the work late. I’m spinning at the same speed.
- Imagining the ideal balance
Now: All messed up.
Wish to: I want to complete my work by 6 pm. At any cost, I don’t want to give up on my bedtime reading. I wish to achieve a state where a little delay in any activity doesn’t take away my breath. I don’t want to suffer breakdowns alone. I also wish to eat healthily and on time.
- Learn to say NO
Sometimes it is important to speak up. You have your priorities. Do not dedicate your complete self to work. Saying NO is a skill you develop by practicing over time. Every human understands the need for work-life balance as they have been at the same place on some odd day. Thus, you need to start saying no when you feel that a particular responsibility is affecting your personal life.
- Baby steps to take forward
- Let’s ditch the work a little earlier and sleep. Nevertheless, I’m going to be late.
- Let’s talk to the client and tell him I’m stuck.
- Try to eat a healthy dinner and prepare initially for a breakfast.
- Stop scrolling on Facebook unnecessarily. I’ll put up a time block for all things.
These are some of the ways you can try achieving your work-life balance. Stay true to your needs. Try not to be influenced by what and how others do it. Your work and life are private and completely owned by you. It is not only you who suffers from this.
You can take control of your life, detach yourself and do things that really matter to you.
Learning to say ‘no’ to self-created misery is the start.
It is a little difficult to achieve but not impossible! Now get away and complete your task in hand, banishing the social media, work pressure and avoidable stress.
More to read