Are you always struggling with work-life balance? Aren’t we all just dumbfounded when it comes to striking a healthy balance between the two?
In this article, we are going to learn what exactly do we mean by work life balance and how to achieve it by following easy steps.
What is work life balance?
In simple terms, it is striking a balance between how much time you spend on and off your work.
With work from home being embraced by many industries due to the sudden shift in mentality caused by covid and technology making it more possible, it has become increasingly difficult to strike the perfect balance.
So let us see the top 7 ways you can achieve a better balance:
Prepare a proper work schedule and stick to it:
If you are traveling to the office daily, you most probably already have a work schedule. If you are working from home, you may not have even thought about having one. But the fact is this, regardless of working from home or office, you need to have a fixed starting and ending time.
When I say fixed schedule, I mean following it for most days. Of course, there may be days when you start a bit early or end a bit late, and that is totally fine. The idea is not to make extending work hours a regular thing.
Learn to say no:
Now that you have a fixed schedule, you need to learn to say NO. Many times, the boss will call you after working hours and ask for some documents on an urgent basis. Unless it is really urgent and a one-off scenario, you need to be able to say No. If you always say yes and get the work done at any time you are asked to, your boss will get used to it, and rest assured, you can say goodbye to having a fixed work schedule.
Okay, so you have decided on your day start and end times, but how will others know not to disturb you after a specific time? You need to communicate it to all your teammates. The worst part of advancement of technology is that we now even have access to work emails on our smartphone. So even after you have closed your laptop for the day, you may still check emails. When you check emails, you think about work after closing hours and you may very well have the urge of responding or acting on certain emails.
So, after you have decided and communicated your work hours, give yourself some buffer to check work related emails. For example, if you end at 7 PM, check and respond to any urgent emails till 8. After 8, no matter what, do NOT check your email. If there is something urgent or burning, you will get a call 🙂
We can be on a team call, working on a document, checking WhatsApp and social media all at the same time. This may make you feel superhuman, but it will destroy your focus and productivity. No matter how many tasks you think you can work on at a time, your brain only has the capacity to focus on one thing at a time. So, while you are shifting your attention, you keep shifting focus. And it takes a while for the brain to refocus on a particular task that you jumped away from.
Learn to work on a single task at a time. You may feel like you are missing out on much, but this will actually enhance your productivity and you will do all your tasks better, even if fewer. If you are doing something really important, try to put your phone away and don’t even check emails. When you are working on something, that should be your only focus. Once you are done with it, you can move on to the next.
Be flexible but not too much: Your project may be nearing a launch or an important deadline, or your team/client may be at the opposite end of the world, 12 hours adrift from you. These are situations where you need to show that you can be flexible. For example, extending your work hours once a week for an important meeting. But don’t be too flexible. People who are very flexible are often taken for granted most and end up having low self-esteem. It is good to be flexible at times but not always.
Pursue your hobbies: Okay, so you have fixed your work schedule. That means, you may have a little more time on your hands. What to do with this additional time? It is easy to slip into endlessly browsing social media or binge-watching web series. Be careful not to do these things. You are making more time to give more time to life. So, use this time to pursue some hobbies, learn something new for yourself, connect with friends and family, go explore new places, and any other thing that adds value to your life.
Help others: This may seem strange on a blog post about work-life balance but do read on. It could be possible that you do not have any hobbies or that you have spare time on your hands after everything you planned for your day. If that is the case, if you still have spare time, reach out to others and see who you can help and how.
Helping others adds meaning to our lives and we are always trying to make life more meaningful, are we not? This will give your confidence a great boost as you will be helping others and along the way you will make some deep and meaningful relationships which is the icing on the cake.
I hope this helps you segregate your on and off work time and energy.
Thank you for reading. Please comment your biggest learnings or any Aha moments and share this video with others in your circle. Remember, sharing is caring.
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