Life-work balance: What is the right strategy?
Does the topic surprise you? Should 'Work' precede 'Life'? Are you ready to question yourself – what matters more to you 'work' or 'life'? Do you live-to-work or work-to-live? What exactly do you think this balance is all about? The answer to these questions cannot be that easy. It needs a lot of contemplation and then again the answer might not be same for everyone or every situation.
'Work' till some time back used to refer to the means of earning a livelihood. 'Life' on the other hand is all about health, family, love, passion, leisure, spiritualism and a host of other things. While work becomes the biggest priority during the initial years of professional life for some people, for others it remains the biggest priority all throughout their life. Again, there are people who believe that no-matter-what, 'life' should have highest priority at all stages of life. While there are no one-size-fits-all formula to achieve this.There are some ways to do a self-analysis and find a suitable answer for yourself.
Often there are too many symptoms of a life-work balance gone topsy-turvy. Feeling stressed out, excess fatigue, continuous health issues, mood swings and sudden bursts of anger are all a part of this exhaustive list. In this competitive world, everyone is juggling multiple activities at the same time. Stretched timings at work to beat competition have taken a toll on personal life and relationships. Doctors and medical researchers believe that the rise in different kind of mental and physical illness has a direct connection with continuous pressure from work and home. Some companies run periodic checks on whether their employees have been angry or have misbehaved with people in a certain period of time. This kind of check gives them a visibility of employee stress level. Some companies have come with very new and innovative ideas to help their employees cope up with this imbalance.
While it is good that there is so much research being carried out on this topic but there are some very basic steps that can be inculcated by you to maintain the balance:
Take out some 'me time'
This is the time which works as a stress buster. Anything that makes you relaxed can be put under this category. It might be spending time with family or friends, take leaves and break the monotony of work, take vacations with people you enjoy with, read a book, watch a movie or favorite channel on television.
Switch off the mobile for a few hours
Though businesses now work almost for 24 X 7 and you might be holding a very crucial position at office but it can’t harm to keep your phone switched off for a few hours. Set expectations and go offline for a few hours every day. You can do this preferably when you sleep. You may also dedicate this time to family.
Cultivate a hobby
There is nothing better than doing what you love to do. Your mind gets rejuvenated and re-energized when you involve yourself in a hobby that is self-fulfilling. This also gives you the stability that you may otherwise lack in an ever changing work scenario.
Physical exercise / Meditation
Physical exertion and meditation lets your mind and body relax. This gives you the much needed scope for the three fold ‘focus-in, focus-out, focus-in’ approach. This approach gives your brain a chance to log out of the concern and after a break, log in with a fresh approach to handle it.
Communicate effectively and learn to say ‘no’
People often get piled on with work that neither does add value and nor is their responsibility. If you are one of them who has been shouldering somebody else’s monkey, then you learn to say an assertive ‘no’, without being angry or rude. Once this burden is off, you will find more time to do things that you should be spending more time on.
Manage Time and prioritize responsibilities
If you find that you are in a maze of high priority jobs, then you would need to prioritize your priorities. A simple to-do list is no help. Make a list of the items and check on their necessity and value before you make a final list. You might need to reshuffle it once or twice in a day but do make sure that you don’t lose your focus.
Finally, your work-life balance is achieved when you feel motivated, energized and happy. Take your pick from the options suggested and maintain your Life-Work balance.