Written by Mrunal Kale
Like it or not, admit it or not, technology has not just made our lives easier but also has us tied up to the modern-day busy trap. With so many advances in technology & an ever-dynamic professional world, we have to present in our jobs so much more than our parents had to, in their day. It is in fact reported by a survey by Harvard Business School, that a lot of 94% of working professionals are working an unhealthy 65 hours a week. This fact is both concerning & alarming! Work-life balance seems like an impossible achievement given the current rush of getting somewhere. While the concept can mean a different thing for different individuals, we have narrowed down a few pointers that can help you get out of the rut.
#1. Set boundaries:
As discussed above, technology sure has eased a lot of stuff but at the same time, it has made us way too available for anyone to reach us at any point of the day or night. Quite literally no boundaries, am I right?! Some boundaries for yourself can look like avoiding checking emails on your off days, not taking work home, Wrapping up work in time even if working from home. Respect these boundaries for yourself & others will do too. If not, you can always politely excuse yourself from something that is not falling during your work hours & is becoming a regular thing. Setting boundaries does not mean that one must start avoiding work situations but if at all there is an imbalance between your work & your life, you must absolutely, straighten it out.
#2. Don’t get stuck on being perfect:
There is a difference between adequate and perfect and most of us are fading the difference in everyday lives and burning out ourselves. There are some routine tasks that just have to be done, which can be done at a “good enough” level but growing up a lot of us develop the habit of doing things perfectly. This works up until school /college but comes real world and we start crashing under the enormous workload that never seems to decrease. Focus on getting done to the best of your level but don’t go crazy to get it done perfectly. Constantly remind yourself that not all jobs require perfection. Take a deep breath & let go. This way you preserve your best for the hero tasks without exhausting.
#3. Learn to delegate:
Being self-sufficient is something but being paranoid about doing everything on your own just because you don’t think anyone else can do the job very well is well; just another reason people are constantly tied up and eventually complaining about workload & resenting everyone around. No one of us wants to be that person right!? Instead of trying to do it all (needless to say comprising the quality), focus to do the tasks where you’re an expert. If you look at it from another viewpoint, then delegating can really be a win-win situation for all. The one who delegates unloads a lot of unnecessary burdens while giving the other one an opportunity to grow. Remember, no one likes to be micro-managed and not everyone has the same capacity or approach & most importantly learn to be okay with it unless it is extremely, adversely affecting the task at hand.
#4. Plan your day ahead:
Another tip to strike a work-life balance is to plan! It may sound like a very tip but hear me out! Even if there are a lot of routine jobs involved in your day along with some extras, always make a to-do, prioritize the top three tasks of the day. This will give you a clear picture of your day even before it starts. Focus your attention on one task at a time and give your best, reducing the chances of errors & hence no repetition of efforts. Also, multitask where you can while ensuring the tasks really do not require your undivided attention. While estimating your work, ask for clear timelines and then plan it ahead in order to adhere to it. Make notes, write in your journal, set reminders and you would be able to see a substantial decrease in your stress levels. It even becomes much easier to monitor your progress when you have everything documented.
#5. Learn to say no:
This little word feels like going to war to a lot of us. But I am going to tell you this if want to have peace of mind, you must learn to say it & not follow it up with a justification. A lot of people suffer because they just couldn’t say NO. What you need to understand is that is need not be rude or disrespectful. If you can’t deny something one the spot, tell’em you would get back to them. Really take time to think about what you want to do about it. Any which way revert what you have decided in a timely manner. Do not feel guilty about saying no, your time is precious and your mental health matters the most. Even that task is going to wear you out, make you uncomfortable, eat up your pre-planned time off, say NO & save yourself from the trouble.
#6. Unplug & be grateful:
In the world of constant selfies and check-ins, we have almost forgotten to just be! Technology has no doubt brought us all closer but it also reduced the limits. There is always one platform or the other where we are present, willingly or unwillingly. Due to it, we never feel like we never got a break. Take time to really unplug. And I am not just talking about the full day off, but also little breaks through the day just to keep you rejuvenated. Give your eyes some rest from the constant use of screens, unclench your jaws, release your shoulders, breathe. On days when you decide to take a break, schedule a window of 20 minutes morning & evening where you can check on the major task. Remind yourself to just check-in and getting indulged. Make a habit to practise gratefulness for all that you have been blessed with. You will find there is always something to be thankful for and this will instill a sense of peace & stillness within you.
#7. Take off some me-time:
One can only hope to strike a balance in life if there is balance within. For us humans to keep going, it is of utmost importance that we get some physical exercise or meditation to remind us of the ultimate goal which is why we here. Bosses/colleagues will keep on changing, work will always be there but we might lose the sense of self and compromise the love of the family. Take out time to do your favorite activities, read new books, attend stand-ups/music concerts. Do what nourishes your soul every once in a while.
Hope these tips help you achieve that much-needed work-life balance. May you be blessed with a lot of peace & success.