Hectic day at work! Extended working hours! Stressed all the time! No time for family! No time to pursue your passion!
Isn’t that the story of every working person? As the competition is getting more robust and workplace evolving faster than ever, it is difficult to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Every employee is putting constant effort to prove themselves as an indispensable part of the team.
Mobile devices have only added pressure and annihilated the line between home and work. We no more have the luxury of leaving the work behind while leaving from the workplace. Most of the jobs require us to be available around the clock.
So, why you must have a healthy work-life balance?
- To maintain mental health
- To ensure physical health and wellbeing
- To increase productivity
- To become a more rounded individual
- You only get one life
Maintaining a healthy work-life balance needs constant effort and planning.
Following are a few ways to have an effective plan:
Determine your priorities
It is essential to take a pause for a while and get a clearer thought on your preferences. Make a list in order of most important aspect of your life holding the 1st position on the list. Then ask a few questions to yourself: What do I start doing? What do I stop doing? What do I continue doing? What do I do more of? What do I do less of? And, what do I do differently?
These questions will help you in deciding your way forward and dedicated the required time for the things on the list in the order of its priority.
Track your time
Keep a time log of your work-related and personal activities for a week. Data you will get from this will be an eye-opener for you. It will tell you how much time you are giving to yourself, your family, your work and more. Since you already have a list of priorities, you can understand and analyse your time spend and time lost.
Prioritise your time
Prioritising your time is important. You may have 100s of things on your to-do list, but it is not possible to do everything together. So, divide them into four categories:
- Important and urgent
- Important but not urgent
- Not important but urgent
- Neither important nor urgent
And keep putting a tick on all according to its importance and urgency.
Set specific goals
Turn your list of priorities to tangible and measurable goals. Just like you block your time for important meetings and doctor’s appointment, schedule your activities pertaining to your priority list. Allocate time to every aspect as per their position on the list.
Plan your work and then work your plan. Paper or electronic, maintain one date planner to make your priorities and goals turn into reality. Start your day by giving 10 – 20 minutes to planning your day ahead. This will actually help you save a lot of time, which means you will have more time to yourself.
Be very clear with your limits and scope at both, work and home. And especially at work, keep conveying it to your subordinates and seniors. Many companies have the culture of having extended hours of work, but if you do not want to belong to that chunk, communicate it clearly from day one. However, make sure that the time you are giving to your work, you are giving your best in that.
Take care of health
What’s on no. 1 position on your priority list is your choice, but it is advisable to give your health the highest priority. Be it a workaholic, a foodie or a family person, and if you are unhealthy, you can enjoy none of these. Isn’t it? Health has a direct impact on both your professional and personal life. So, make sure you get enough sleep, exercise at least 3-4 days in a week and do not live on junks because it is convenient.
Nurture your relationships
No matter what goes on in your professional life, it is your personal space and your loved ones that give you peace of mind. If you are not happy in your personal space, your professional life will suffer. So, make sure you spend quality time to your family, friends and loved ones.
Leave work at work
Working hard is good, but over of anything is not. Bringing work to your home means you are not able to focus entirely on both aspects of life. Remember, we just discussed having boundaries. So, try to build a mental on-off switch for your work mode because it usually happens even when we are holidaying family, we tend to drift away to work tensions. Do not do that, as that will not let your mind relax at all.
Know when to ask for help
Many people like to work independently and find ways on their own. However, it is essential to know when you are completely stuck and there is no way out by yourself. Being stubborn on the thought that you can do anything and everything on your own will sometimes do nothing but waste your time and effort. So, be it asking help from your boss, subordinates, juniors or a professional counsellor, do not hesitate.
There is no set formula for creating a perfect work-life balance. There are a few things that should be non-negotiable, but it is also important to know which aspect of life needs more time at that particular time. So, work your time around it accordingly. You do not need to make a significant change all of sudden, take one goal at a time and work on it.