It is necessary to consciously work towards work life balance if you are to make your life richer. Here is my story of how I did it!
‘Lights off, projector on, laser point flash’– looks like an ideal class session of the B-school days. Though such sessions have not been many in my corporate life, one great session during the 18th month of my career helped me build and shape up the next 6 months of it.
Among the many technical sessions, was one session that dealt with the much spoken about ‘Work-Life Balance’. Though there was not much expected out of this session as this concept gets discussed many times theoretically, this was one session that hit home the point that we DO NOT talk about a 50-50 balance here, and it can never be!
The speaker dealt with four dimensions of wellness that help strike the balance in our lives. Sitting through the session, I realized that somehow I have been balancing those dimensions at least to some extent. A thought struck me: why I shouldn’t start tracking my progress on these dimensions for the next 6 months? The outcome was a certified HR professional with a better health, something that I had lost sight of a while ago.
So without much delay, let me clear the air on these four dimensions.
As they say, ‘health is wealth’. The first dimension to take care of was my physical well-being. I resumed Yoga, a long lost art of my life. The usual question that pops up when someone starts off with a workout is about the number of pounds you lose. However, we need to understand that it is not always the way you ‘look’ but how you ‘feel’.
Yoga helped me cleanse my complete system that had gone for a toss with hostel and hotel food and tone my body. Above all I could fight away a decade long spinal and sinus problems. You are almost ready for a good start when your body is ready. The feel good factor improves when the body and mind are in sync.
Spiritual path helps us in gaining a peaceful mental state. Spirituality is often associated with religion. However we need to understand that it need not be so. Even the love for nature, the peace one can find with a nature walk can be considered under spirituality. A visit to various places which helped me attain this aided in balancing 2 of the 4 dimensions well.
‘Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere’– This is an important point which most of us miss once we step out of our college and land up in a job.
A future is built not just by the hours spent in one’s cubicle but how the person utilizes the time ‘after work’. People may come up with a lot of arguments, stating that the main office work in itself is stressful and doesn’t finish in time, so what is this about ‘after work’?
Honestly speaking, I was also a person who used to spend at least 11 hours a day in office work alone. However, when I looked deep into it, I realized that there were lot of ways by which I could improve my efficiency and eliminate the factors responsible for a slowdown. This helped me reduce the time spent in office by 1 to 1.5 hours and devote it towards a professional certification. Of course, it was not an easy thing to do but even small things like changing your work timings can help you save time – after all escaping the traffic itself is a boon.
A proper utilization of the ‘after work’ time helped me become a certified HR professional. Even if not a serious study, it is important that a little time is spent on knowledge building – be it books/projects/ any source. Thanks to the technological aids available today, even travel time can be put to proper use, if one wishes to.
With all the personal development in place, it is important for one to build good memories. This wouldn’t be possible without quality time spent with one’s friends, kith and kin. It is important to have a good social life that would complete the circle. It is not necessary to have a gang of friends or parties in order to maintain a good social life. Even if you have a few friends, just ensure that you stay in touch with them, meet them whenever possible. My idea of maintaining this balance was through weddings, where I could meet many of my friends across the nation, some of them after years as well. The trips down the memory lane, the new memories made, and friends made added life to all these efforts.
The balance may not be a fun filled dance if our attempt is to work out a eight hour office, eight hour personal life schedule. We had already discussed that a 50-50 balance is not possible. Rather it might create more imbalance. It is true that everyone’s situation cannot be the same. Some may have a lot of time consumed in travel to the workplace, a few others would have elders and kids to take care of back home – the list goes on. We are ready with our reasons before an attempt. All that we need to do is to just give a thought about the details of it.
It is not necessary that all the dimensions need to be balanced on a daily basis too – it may not be possible. Just think of it as dedicating even as little as 30 minutes in a day for yourself – can be a book/work out/any hobby. These 30 minutes over a weeks, months and years can build into something bigger and better. Life will become a beautiful collage, if you are ready to dance over the balance!
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