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Sometimes, even small changes can improve your work life balance, and ultimately, your quality of life. Start making these changes today.
Are you making the best of your life? Personal as well as professional? Or, are you not sure if you are? How about taking this simple test to find out?
If your answers to the first two questions were a negligible number and you take more than two minutes to recall the response for the next three questions, your life is probably on a seesaw, still trying to find the right balance.
What does it mean when someone says that you do not have a work-life balance? Does it mean that you are a workaholic? Or does it mean you are taking your job lightly?
More often than not, you will lean towards the former and keep wondering if indeed you have been taking work too seriously, but that may not be true in most cases.
Having a work life balance means devoting the right amount of time to both your professional and personal lives. While workaholics tend to have this equilibrium completely skewed towards their work, most of us hover over the scale, bending it towards work all the time.
Even if we do not sit in office late, without realizing it, we carry our work and work pressures with us home every day. As we do that, we also tend to prioritize our work matters over personal appointments. We spend the bulk of our day at work, sometimes even stretching it when it isn’t necessary.
Some of us work late and on weekends very often to complete our tasks, not because we are workaholics but because it is not in us to say no or our boss is not one who takes no for an answer. Similarly, those of us who work from home find it tough to draw the line at the end of the day and find it difficult to define what ‘close of business’ should mean for us.
…those of us who work from home find it tough to draw the line at the end of the day and find it difficult to define what ‘close of business’ should mean for us.
Many of us are entrepreneurs or freelancers; in cases such as these it becomes all the more tough to bring in that balance because we are entirely responsible for the work that needs to get done – the shop closes the moment we stop.
What do we do then? Do we forego that balance we all yearn for?
I did that not so long ago; I pushed it down my list of priorities and while there was much learning, there was a lot of regret as well for burning out too soon. Yes, I was a workaholic so the balance was never under consideration but when I did start realizing its importance and tried to bring it into my life, it was too late.
I was no longer adept at living my life in a balanced way. The ability to rejuvenate and recharge was long lost. It made me realize that had I done a few things along the way, I would not only have been able to bring in a work life balance into my life but I also would have been able to create stores of energy within me which would help me health-wise in the long run.
Here they are, a few tips on how to make that balance come true for you.
1. Don’t stay back late, unless necessary. Many times we stay back at work for a colleague or a good friend or just to finish work even though we do not have a deadline to meet. While it feels good at that moment, it takes away some quality time you could have spent with your family. You miss out on the experience of sipping that tea or coffee and that family time which is the reason for which we work.
2. Make it a point to read, whether a book or maybe a magazine. It is one of the most traditional and soothing methods to relieve your mind of stress and help you recharge. Not only does it give you some much needed ‘alone time’ but it refreshes you. Take the time out for it, do not let work come in the way. If your schedules are hectic, read when you are on the bus to work or enjoying that quick cup of coffee when you get home.
3. Phone a friend – Take the time out to call that friend you have been thinking of but haven’t had the chance to buzz. Nothing can give you that feel of a balance in your life as much as your bestie can. All of us have busy schedules and in the midst of that, we tend to forget these companions of ours and eventually bring a time onto ourselves when they would have faded away. Do not let that happen; all it will do is make you lonely and disrupt that balance in your life. I know because I let it happen to me.
4. Take up some activity – It could be Yoga, Zumba or a game of badminton or a dance class. Not only will it help you unwind but it will also give you the exercise you need in an otherwise sedentary life.
5. Take a vacation – Often, we get so caught up with our work that we forget to take time off. An annual vacation is what has now become the norm especially with school terms that govern holiday schedules. While that is understandable, there is nothing that stops us from taking that occasional weekend off to a nearby vacation spot. You will return feeling refreshed and recharged.
6. Put some distance from technology, every once in a while. Have you ever wondered what it must be like to have some alone time with yourself and your near and dear ones without the constant ringing of the phone or Facebook notifications? We have gotten so used to technology around us, that we no longer know a life without it. Try keeping it away once in a while and feel the peace their absence can bring you.
7. Do nothing – When was the last time you did nothing? Nothing at all? Just sat alone with only your thoughts for company? Doing nothing helps revive a lot of the balance that we yearn for so much. Keeping your mind empty of distractions and work can introduce it to the peace it has been looking for.
Life happens to all of us, but how well we are able to experience and enjoy the ride can only be decided by us. Like everything in this world, it works the best only when it is in balance.
Pic credit: orangebrompton (Used under a CC license)
Seeta Bodke is a Business Consultant and Senior Manager from the IT sector. After spending
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