Red eyes rimmed with dark circles, a spike in anxiety every time your phone rings, snapping at everyone around you, failing to maintain relationships, irritated and short-tempered, feeling lost about what you want from life or having no idea as to what are you even working for anymore.
Does this sound like you? Ever wondered that maybe these feelings are there because you lack a crucial work-life balance.
It is not an anomaly these days. With cut-throat competition, companies expect so much more from their employees that it is becoming almost impossible to juggle personal and professional life. No matter how hard you try they always muddle.
We live a world where satisfaction is an elusive concept. If you were asked why do you work, what would your answer be? To earn money..to be independent..to earn a name and respect in society…to have a good life…and ultimately happiness.
Why do we put happiness at last? I’ll be happy when I score a good percentage in 12th, I’ll be happy when I get into that top college, I’ll be happy when I have a job that pays well, I’ll be happy when I get that promotion and so on. The wishes keep on piling up but happiness is never achieved.
In an article I read online, Jim Bird describes work-life balance as-“ Achievement and Enjoyment are the front and back of the coin of value in life. You can’t have one without the other, no more than you can have a coin with only one side. Trying to live a one-sided life is why so many “Successful” people are not happy, or not nearly as happy as they should be.”
It’s high time to change your lifestyle before you succumb to the stress, anxiety and adult life problems.
Steps to follow to achieve work-life balance
What is more important versus what’s not, what needs attention right now versus what can be postponed. Prioritise your work as you do for your life. Make a list and stick to it. you don’t need to stay an extra hour for the things that can be done tomorrow. The quality of work suffers when you try to push it with an exhausted mind.
Go home, take a relaxing bath, clear your mind and come back fresh to tackle work the next day.
Leave work at the workplace
As easy as it sounds it is not a piece of cake to leave work at the workplace. Maybe physically yes but not mentally. It does not count as balance when you leave the files back at the office but you’re still trying to solve the case you got today in your head. It is not doing you any good when your family’s talking to you and you’re lost in your head. You’re trying to focus on more than one thing at the same time and as advanced we may have become we are still humans and have a limited attention span. Thus, you’re distracted, irritated at family, work and not concentrating properly on even one thing.
Learn to say NO
Yes, it’s hard when you have bills to pay, gifts to buy and places to go but you still have to learn to say no. When you’re already buried beneath all the files and assignments with deadlines approaching, it is literally not helping anyone when you take even more work upon you. Even when it’s given by pleading eyes and pretty excuses, say NO.
Because in the end, it is you who’s going to end up unhappy and sleep deprived.
Make technology your friend and not a necessary evil. Mobile phones were invented to make our lives easier, not to rule us. It has become much harder to leave work at the office when it is always a call away. To not get trapped in this tech hole, decide a certain time of the day and switch off or at least silent your phone for an hour.
Now, you don’t want to miss important calls so communicate with your superiors about the time you will not be reachable and why. Companies too want their employees to stay motivated and happy and they won’t deny your request if it doesn’t impinge on your work. In fact, they would be happy since achieving work-life balance will increase your quality of work.
Planning and no slacking
Don’t want to work overtime to meet the deadline all because you kept on postponing the work for tomorrow? Well then, plan what needs to happen now what can wait. Even if the work that needs to happen today is something you would rather not deal with now, it still needs to happen because it’s your job and you do not get to slack off. Tough pill to swallow? But hey you will still need to do it tomorrow so why not finish it right now and be relaxed later.
Understand your strengths
Yes, you may have won the award for best employee of the year and gotten praised by your seniors on your work ethic, it still does not make you are good at everything. You may be good at solving cases but not so good at interacting with clients, and that’s fine! You don’t have to be perfect. That is why you have a team, divide the work and let someone else do the interacting part. It will make for faster and efficient completion of the project.
Learn to let go and accept your weaknesses too.
Do not use work as a drug
Work junkies, also known as workaholics are people who would rather drown oneself in work than talk about the issues. But that is not a good way to deal with your personal life problems. This way you yourself are mixing the two lives together.
Talk it out but don’t use work as an excuse to escape life problems.
Take a break
*Sigh* finally solved that case? Congratulations! You worked so hard, now you deserve a break. Take a deep breath and don’t think about the next project. Ask for a day off, go for a walk, exercise or just catch up on sleep. A break can do wonders and rejuvenate you from within. So that when the next case comes you are more than ready to tackle it.
Always remember, there is no right or ideal balance that you have to achieve. We all are different people, we have different lives, different priorities and so the balance is also unique to each of us. Allow yourself some time to dream, appreciate the little moments in life. And instead of striving for success, strive for happiness.