Top 5 Tips to Achieve Work-Life Balance
A recent social media survey by Monster.com points to a grim truth – contemporary India is witnessing deterioration in the quality of life at home due to a severe imbalance of work-life balance. As per the survey, as many as 57% Indians feel that there is hardly any work-life balance in their lives, while 86% of the respondents feel that Indian companies fare very poorly when it comes to supporting work-life balance.
It’s no wonder then that most Indians in the corporate world today, whether it’s finance or media or start-ups, are constantly feeling burnt out. Most of us feel like we are on a treadmill that refuses to stop and leaves us truly little time for family, friends, hobbies or simply leisure. And yet, we continue working unabated, spending long hours in office.
According to experts, a strongly biased focus on the job can harm your relationships and strain your physical and mental health, and finally affect both efficiency and productivity at work. In such a situation, building that crucial work-life balance is the need of the hour. Here are five time-tested tips to get there.
Convince yourself that work-life balance is Important
This is the first and most neglected step towards living a more balanced life. In fact, most of us never get to live a more fulfilling and balanced life because we don’t have enough conviction that our lifestyle needs to change. While we do complain about how we are constantly weighed down with stress and anxiety, we fail to take corrective action. We don’t recognize that this is neither desirable nor sustainable for our minds and our bodies.
The key is to come to the realization that a life of long work hours supplemented by crutches like bad eating habits, sleep deprivation and smoking is a dangerous train that we need to get off now.
Choose a physical activity that suits you
By now we all know that exercise is important, and when we aren’t getting enough of it, we all feel that nagging guilt in our brain. Yet, we keep putting it off, or making some excuses to justify lack of exercise. But there is simply no excuse that can allow you to ignore physical activity.
A good approach to this is to really figure out what works for you. Some people prefer a spiritual workout like yoga and pranayama, which works wonders for both mind and body. Others prefer a more regimented approach like a personal trainer at the gym to maintain discipline. Yet, others find that simply walking up and down the stairs makes sense. Figure out what works for you by experimenting a little and, stop making excuses today.
Plan for a downtime period
What many of us don’t realize is that demands of family and life-beyond-work can also take a toll on our minds and leave us feeling exhausted. It’s particularly important to schedule some time for self-care and indulgence, even if it’s just 2-3 hours a week. It could be a few hours of your guilty pleasure TV show, curling up in bed with your favorite book, getting a massage or just soaking in a warm bath. Downtime is important to recharge your batteries and should be penciled into your schedule like anything else.
Negotiate for work-life balance
Most of us think negotiation with our manager generally revolves around increments, but many employees also negotiate to get a life that they want to lead. Employees worldwide are talking to their managers to minimize face-to-face meetings and maximize flexibility.
Companies like Facebook, LinkedIn etc., already offer their employees work from home opportunities, which they believe make them more productive. According to Monster’s social media survey, 65.6 % of Indians believe that flexitime options will increase their job satisfaction. If you’re one of them, start proving to your employer that this can be a good thing and get more control over your time without compromising on your productivity.
Stop striving for perfection all the time
We have so many things that pull us in different directions- work, friends, family, health, hobbies and so on. There is no one in this world who is an A+ in all these areas. People may be A+ in one, C in others or there may be someone who is a solid B+ in them all.
Trying to achieve an A+ in all aspects of your life will just leave you weary and burnt out. Figure out who you are, what grades you can comfortably achieve and let go of that obsession for perfectionism. Work-life balance will automatically follow.