This is a question that every working individual on the planet has thought of at least once in their lifetime. It’s a valid thought too. After all, most people want to experience the best of both worlds. According to an article on Entrepreneur, millennials are seeking working hours outside of the traditional 9 to 5 and looking for smarter opportunities that allow them to make time for their own personal interests. People are actively making an effort to attain work-life balance, either by themselves or through the help of their employers.
Even companies these days have recognised the importance of work-life balance and are helping their employees attain it. Be it through flexible work hours, work from home options, day-care and pet care facilities, a lot of companies are going above and beyond to help employees have a better work-life balance.
But, not everyone believes in work-life as a component of balance. Phil Brabbs, co-founder of Torrent Consulting says that, “Work and life can't function as a balance, but they can coexist as an integration. The reality is that work is not only part of life, but an integral piece of it, where we derive a ton of meaning and value.” This integration allows work to be seen as a subset of life instead of being a separate component, removing the need to seek “balance” and instead “prioritize”.
Irrespective of whether you see it as a quest for balance or integration, attaining work-life balance is an achievable challenge. Here are a few tips on how to achieve work-life balance.
To find balance, you need to prioritize the workflow across verticals. Prioritize tasks, activities, time and any other factor that could help you plan and perform better. When you have a realistic plan in place, it is easier to perform tasks systematically without feeling burned out. This will make work easy and give you the clarity on how to maximize productivity without compromising on time.
Perfectionism isn’t the Key
For perfectionists, finding work-life balance is difficult. As the responsibility increases, they tend to burn out on both, personal and professional level. Achieving perfection is difficult while trying to find work-life balance. Executive Coach Marilyn Puder-York says that the habit of perfectionism, if left unchecked, can become destructive. She adds, “As life gets more expanded it’s hard, both neurologically and psychologically, to keep that habit of perfection going.” Instead of attaining perfection, an individual should strive for excellence.
One should not attempt to find work-life balance at the cost of either work or life. For example, let’s say that you have tasks left at work that are important and you decide to leave for home and do the tasks tomorrow. At home, there is a tiny voice in your head that keeps reminding you of the job that you didn’t complete. In such an instance, neither work nor life are at balance.
Find a way to integrate tasks of work and life. In the above example, you can try carrying your work home sometimes and finishing it in the free time. Take suggestions from your parents or spouse at home, if possible, to make them feel involved in your career growth.
Technology has made life easier for most people. Workplaces have gotten smarter due to technology and people have become wiser because of it. However, we as a population have become way too entwined in technology. Emails and social media take up a lot of our time. If you seriously wish to have better work-life balance, then it’s time to log off. If you’re outside with your family, resist the urge to check your phone for messages and promptly respond to an email. Value your personal time by connecting with people you care about and your environment instead.
Work Smarter, Not Harder
Instead of working long hours and burning the midnight oil, work smarter to feel less burned out. If you work long hours, your productivity goes down. Longer hours equal to fatigue, anxiousness and depression. Additionally, introspect and wean off activities and people that are wasting your time. Time is a precious commodity, especially if you’re trying to find work-life balance. Any trivial activity that is wasting your time should be weaned off, and the time gained should be used at other important responsibilities. When you spruce up your work to make it smarter, it pays off in more ways than one
Finding work-life balance is a challenge. Not every professional can claim to find it, for a wide range of reasons. Even Batman can’t have work-life balance (although that is because of his bad personal life). To find balance, one has to put in the effort to improve and change old habits.
So, do you think you have what it takes to find work-life balance?
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