In many parts of the world, working long hours is considered a “badge of honor” with those leaving work on time considered unambitious or laid back.
However, you may have also heard your loved ones asking you to take it easy, take breaks, have fixed working hours and most importantly have a healthy work life balance. You must have probably reacted to these concerns by giving rational excuses such as “This will help me get a promotion” or “If I put longer work hours my boss will recognize my efforts and so on.
Apart from health, your productivity also suffers due to long working hours. You constantly feel exhausted and there is less enthusiasm to start your work the next day.
As per Journal Environmental International, 745,000 people died due to a stroke or heart diseases that were directly associated with long working hours in 2016, which was a 30% increase from the numbers in 2000. Maria Neira, director of the WHO's Department of Environment, Climate Change and Health says, "Working 55 hours or more per week is a serious health hazard"
The pandemic added to this significantly. In order to follow social distancing norms, work from home was adopted. However, this significantly reduced the gap between the laptop screens and the employees. WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has explained this situation aptly, “With the added pressure of putting in long hours to save your job and appease the boss, the risks of health diseases rise.”
Job security and stability became the prime focus of many employees. To maintain a stable job and to be in the good books of their bosses, many employees started extending their working hours. The 9 to 6 timelines blurred into working around the clock. The only choice left was prioritizing work and working for longer hours rather than maintaining a work-life balance.
You may be thinking that to climb the corporate ladder this is what is needed. You believe that these are my prime earning years and you have to put in the extra hours. But maintaining a work-life balance is equally important. Don’t forget to enjoy living your life. At the same time, balance your work life in such a way that your targets are achieved. You remain focused on your goals.
It is crucial that even employers pay a keen attention to their employees’ work life balance. Organizations that encourage work-life balance are more popular and are able to attract a young talent pool and also boost their retention rate.
Ways to manage work-life balance -
Plan your day
The first thing you have to do is to plan your day and prioritize your tasks. Planning helps you to divide your tasks and in turn, makes you more productive. As your productivity increases, you become less stressful and this, in turn, boosts your health.
Start with Meditation
When you get up early in the morning for work, ensure that before heading out, you practice 10-15 minutes of meditation. Meditation elevates your mood and keeps you stress-free and calm.
Participate in activities
Engage yourself in various activities such as playing sports, or participating in different events. This will keep you active throughout the day and will reduce sluggishness.
Drink enough Fluids
Let your body have enough fluids. Fluids are the key important factor to keep your body running smoothly. Fluids will help your brain to stay active.
Eating healthy helps to improve your immunity, prevents diseases, keeps you active throughout the day. Thus, this will let you manage your work efficiently and will aid you to focus on your task diligently.
Manage your sleep schedule
Sleep plays a crucial role. An accurate sleep will help you stay active for the entire day and will keep you agile and zealous during work. Improper sleep patterns can hamper you and your health badly.
Take a well-deserved break, check in with your friends, stretch a little bit, listen to music to freshen up yourself. With this, your both work & life will be well-balanced.
Remember, if you are working hard but not getting enough time to spend with your family, friends, and close ones then everything is going to be pointless. Make sure you enjoy your life and work together without affecting your physical or mental health.