The Importance of Work Life Balance – Are you Doing it Right?
How have you been? A week full of events and so much to do; made me feel like weekend wasn’t enough. That’s a regular story. Two days of weekend is just not enough. Its like – Friday ends, Saturday starts, blink three times and its over! Same happens with Sunday as well.
Does this happen with you? I’m sure it does. For working people, two days off doesn’t serve the purpose. There is so much to do and just two days to work on them. How can we make the most of the time we have? Can we create a frame that fits our precious two days along with the mundane five working days perfectly? How can we do things differently to change the monotonous routine?
Not all of us have leisure time to sit and think about these. Most of us are involved in regular chores with little time for ourselves. To rephrase it, I am talking about married people who are working; reason being, single people living in PG’s or at home generally don’t have a lot of issues. I understand there are exceptions, and no offense to them!
How i learned the importance of work life balance:-
Okay coming back to my point – I have struggled a lot for a work-life balance. There were times when I made excuses to not show up at work on Mondays, but honestly that never helped, because apparently even the Monday would end and the next day would be a work day by default (how I wish I could strike off three starting days of a week).
I have been married for six years now, and we never lived with family. Its just the two of us, yet we had so much that we missed on. My work life was affected, my personal life went for a toss. Sometimes I’d be working from home, just to spend more time with my husband (oh! I missed mentioning that I work 2 pm – 11 pm shift and my husband works on a regular one), but as usual, I would end up being excessively busy till late night and he would be watching TV or playing on his PS4. I realized it didn’t help actually and to be honest, I am not ready to put my relationship as well on stake here!
After having spent a lot of time on a possible workaround to this, I made a list of things that could help me make a difference – if at all, a few percent was also a warm welcome! Now here is the toughest part; making a list of things you need to do (not talking about the regular to-do lists) to change your life for better, is never easy.
It’s like you are on a flight to Ireland (because I love that place) and suddenly realize you cannot afford anything more than the tickets – to and fro! What do you do? Obviously come back! I mean, what will you do in such a beautiful place as Ireland when you have no money at all?
What I’m trying to say is, if my goals are not realistic, I cannot go about taking the whole plan forward. I need to revisit the initial stage to make changes and only then I can try again – but with more realistic plan.
Let me show you what my diary had by the end of 2015:
Don’t carry your work home –
Don’t procrastinate less important tasks and carry it home. Everything that needs official attention needs to finish at work. (I used to bring home at least a small part of my work, so that I get frequent breather in the office. That made me work even during the weekends sometimes).
Plan your day ahead –
Don’t act like a zombie at work. Plan your day and list out all that needs attention. (This helped me remember all that needed action without missing on anything at all. This further aided in focusing on my daily activities)
Be at home –
Don’t go for grocery shopping after 10th. Make a list and finish in a go. (This is something most of us do. Missing grocery shopping on the first few days of the month drags us to even the 20th, with tiny shopping lists here and there. It eats up our precious weekends, because those are the only days we get to spend at home).
Book tickets –
Plan a movie or a trip this weekend. Don’t make or listen to excuses. (The most frequent story of all households is being a victim of cancellation of plans. I made sure to book a ticket for a movie every alternate weekend or a trip to a nearby vacation spot for long weekends. This, let me unwind and come back refreshed. Planning a movie is just about booking yourself to doing nothing at all. Enough of being busy!).
Let your phone stay personal –
Don’t configure your phone to office applications. (Unless I grow up to be the most important person I wouldn’t want to lose my peace of mind with those Beep! Beep! in the middle of a night, just to find another regular email or a notification to fill my utility tracker)
Take up a hobby –
Join Zumba classes, practice more guitar and finish your doodle note book for weekends. (One of the best things you can do to yourself is spend more time getting to know yourself and things that you like. Guitar is a long story, let’s not get there, but yes, I practice Zumba at home and do a lot of doodling. This keeps me engaged and most of the weekends I stay indoors doing things I like – which also includes cooking, because I love experimenting).
Do more of meditation at work and home. (Have you heard of ‘one minute meditation’? If not, search ‘one minute meditation’ on google to see how it works. It helps you settle stress and backs you up with quite a lot of patience. I do this frequently at work because it is equally feasible. While at home, I love to stay silent and listen to a calm music for meditation, for at least about 10 minutes.
The best part is, my husband supports me and joined me too, to help motivate me. Meditating has helped me find my lost soulmate back, i.e Happiness. It kept me calm and composed during the day and have an absolute sound sleep for the night).
There are other things that I tried and most of them helped me; not because I am one who follows lists and rules, but because I was badly in need of a change. A change that can help me bring my life on track, a change that can let me live a healthy and balanced life, a change that will boost my aspirations without affecting my personal life.
What are your ways of dealing with work-life imbalance? Do you really understand the importance of work life balance? What are the changes that helped you make the most of your time at home and how is that not affecting your professional life?
Please feel free to share your story with us. Would love to read them.
Till then, have a great time!