We live in a world where more and more people are occupied in justifying their professional goals and are “always-on” their jobs. Then, how do they achieve a work-life balance? I personally believe that companies and the leaders of these companies should take an initiative to promote this way of life. It is, however, a challenge in itself, to say the least, but it has to start from somewhere.
While people wrestle with these questions every day, leaders wrestle to find solutions. It is not something that leaders invariably possess or believe in naturally. I was too, working in a 9-5 job, and there were times when I myself endorsed a bad-balance behaviour. There was a sign in my office which read, “never leave for tomorrow what you can get done today” and I swore by it. I was the queen of 3 am mails and while I worked for about 20 hours a day and even on weekends, I would have my professional hat on to stay ahead of my assigned targets. But one of those days, a funny thing happened. I realized that I could come out as a better employee, leader, manager and a friend if I made an effort to focus on maintaining a work-life balance. And now that I have achieved it, I am living a happier, healthier and more productive life.
To help you learn through my experience, I have listed five ways which will help you maintain a work-life balance. Though, there is no one size fits all approach applicable, but these work-life balance tips are really helpful. Just give them a read and decide for yourself.
Be vocal about your needs
What my experience has taught me is that one needs to identify and scale what truly matters to them and just be open about it. Don’t try to hide or forego them, don’t expect others to guess and make out what might make you feel balanced, fulfilled and happier.
If you have plans to leave the work by 5 pm and catch up with your family for dinner or have to attend a yoga session by 6 pm or just go on a date, whatever your sweet spot is, you need to scale it, set your priorities and communicate it. It’s important to have an open relationship with your manager, where you can communicate your needs and know that they are going to understand. Find a common ground where you find what works and what is possible.
If you let go of your boundaries, it might get impossible for you to achieve work-life balance. In the beginning, it will get quite taxing on you but you need to stick to the boundaries you have put in place. This will help you develop a routine and steer a predictable lifestyle. You will find yourself thinking that there is also something else that you can do, another email that you can reply for or solve a problem at hand, but that’s where you need to practice boundaries. After all, if you don’t respect your own personal boundaries, no one else will.
Understand what really matters
Over the years, I’ve witnessed people investing too much time working on things which don’t exactly matter. As we all know, ‘Time’ is the most valuable commodity a person can possess; it’s the only thing that you can’t buy for yourself. So, make a mental note to never waste time. Focus on what truly matters to you and what is consequential to your business or professional role. Make sure that prioritize on what drives the overall growth of your efforts and multiply it. Don’t just make noise, involve in self-introspection, make the most by planning and structuring your moves.
If you want to enjoy a long, productive, healthy and happy career and life, you need to value and understand the meaning of pace. There may be times when you’ll have to go full throttle and there will be times when you can go low-key. This is to say, self-awareness is an important value to possess, doing so will help you reach your destination with happiness.