If there is one thing common among all my personal coaching clients, it’s the desire to achieve work-life balance. We often feel compelled to choose one over the other and, sometimes, the thought behind it is to get related to the phase of life we are in.
However, my concept of work-life balance is a little different. While I might agree with Mahatma Gandhi when he said that every person should work as long as they possibly can, I do feel that who we are might help us to do what we do. But what we do is not all of who we are.
We all have our reasons to justify why we are not striking a balance between the two. Nothing has been able to convince me to underestimate the importance of work-life balance. Being able to achieve that in my life has helped me achieve much more – both personally and professionally.
So, how do you create a balance? Perhaps the following five points will help you do so:
Balance doesn’t mean working for eight hours, sleeping for eight hours, and giving yourself and your loved ones the remaining eight hours. Instead, balance is a relative term and should have a personal definition … just like success.
For some, work-life balance means working for 60 hours a week, building an amazing business, and spending less time with family and friends. For others, it means working 30 hours a week and spending the rest of their time outdoors or hanging with friends and family.
So, it is important to understand what YOUR idea of work-life balance is for yourself.
The vampires in our routine are the things which give us short-term gratification or seem important to us, but could possibly stymie our growth or make us stagnant.
Binging YouTube videos or doing errands that can be done by anyone else are some of the common vampires in our routine. That hinders work-life balance.
So how do you eliminate them?
Think of it this way. If your car breaks down, would you start fixing it yourself knowing that it would take away a lot of your time? You won’t, right? You would, instead, seek the services of a mechanic to fix it and pay the mechanic a price for doing the work. While that would cost you some money, it will save you some precious time. And in that span of time, you can make more money than what you’d spend by utilising your time. So, why would you not do the same with other mundane chores?
If we take proper care of our mind and body, we will be more productive, happier, and be better able to navigate the challenges of life in the 21st century.
Start eating healthy food. Pamper your stomach instead of your taste buds. You can follow the Pareto Principle here, too – 80 per cent for the stomach and 20 per cent for the tongue.
Health and fitness go hand-in-hand. So, join a club … any club where your fitness can improve. It doesn’t have to be a gym. It could be a cycling club, a Zumba club, or even a swimming club.
Remember the adage – ‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’? Well, it is incomplete. Sleep is equally important. Get enough (7-8 hours) sleep every night. If you take care of your body, it will take care of you
Staying in the office for 10 hours doesn’t mean that you have worked for 10 hours. Ask yourself, what are you busy doing? Recognize the things that you should be doing and eliminate the rest. There is a research to prove that we must take 15 minutes break after every hour of work. During that break, we strongly recommend no screen-time.
The moment we get some free time during a day, we start scrolling through Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to check what other people are doing with their day. We see how they are enjoying their lives and that makes us feel bad about our own. So, it’s no surprise that we end up feeling stressed and with even less time.
For many people, this time of day usually gets overlooked. We tend to hit the snooze button on the alarm until the only thing left for us is to jump out of the bed. Then we rush to get ready and leave for work, which adds up to a hectic commute.
Ironically, that is exactly what highly successful people don’t do. After getting adequate sleep, they wake up early (much before most people do). That gives them an early start to the day. History and Science have proved that people who start their day early are more likely to do better than those who wake up late.
So, having said all this, I’d like to conclude by saying that no matter how much we love to do what we do, there is more to life which we can only discover when we strike work-life balance. Hope you find what works for you in the aforementioned hacks. I’d love to know if there is something else that helps you bring better balance in your work-life.