January 16, 2019

Work-life balance, myth busted

Should I start by saying ‘Work-life’ balance is a myth or even B******t?
I’m not being offensive, just trying to get close to you, the reader.

I have heard a lot of people talking to me or advising me about how to have a work-life balance. If I just talk to them casually about this, they immediately judge that I’m having a rough time with my work life poise, but that is not actually true.

I’m able to maintain it very well and I’m having a great time doing that, because, in the path of learning of how to balance my work and life simultaneously, I discovered the ways that wouldn’t work and as an alternative what should I do to make it work.

Alright, I would like to start off by saying what is actually a barrier to a perfect work-life balance which most of us believed it either way or at least I did.

“Take care of yourself: When you don’t sleep, eat crap, don’t exercise, and are living off adrenaline for too long, your performance suffers. Your decisions suffer. Your company suffers. Love those close to you:
Failure of your company is not a failure in life. Failure in your relationship is.”
― Ev Williams, co-founder of Medium and Twitter

All of us have “stuff” to deal with in our daily lives.

A few of us work from home, a few others commute every day to the office. Many of us have children, elders, parents, and pets to attend to; a few are employees attending to a boss, while the others are the boss themselves dealing with their colleagues.

There are parties, meetings, interviews, family emergencies, sporting events,  school concerts, health issues and more, all bestowing havoc.

Regardless of our situation in life or any particulars of our situation at any time, there are only twenty-four hours in the day. Striking a steadiness between our work life and personal life could be a daunting task – which it is, quite often – but it doesn’t have to be like that all the time for everybody. Eschewing these seven catastrophic things will keep us from pulling off that elusive work-life balance.

1. Being a perfectionist

We are way too hard on ourselves. We are own worst commentator. It is indeed significant to supervise about the work we deliver, at the same time it is equally significant to attend to our family unit, home, and friends.

The idea of perfection is an illusion. We have to get okay with believing the fact it is completely perfect to be imperfect. If we find ourselves often criticizing and rehashing mistakes that we have made and how it makes us feel, then it’s high time to re-gauge our expectations.

2. Supplying people with 24/7 access to you.

Whether it’s the boss or the clients or anyone at work, contacting us in the late hours, we certainly have to take downtime. And, this goes at the home, too — taking breaks from the family as and when required to do our own thing and also do things that we like. We shouldn’t feel guilty about it.

People will treat us based on how we allow them to treat us — this is definitely true in ALL walks of life.

I’d like to highlight one of my favorite quotes,Poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.”

Creating boundaries and most importantly, sticking to them is very vital. We should allocate a certain time every day, I repeat, every day that we can cease doing for everyone else and concentrate on fueling us for the next day.

Reading a book, taking a hot water bath, journaling, or watch our favorite television show. Just Be.

3. Reacting to everything immediately.

The next in the line is – We don’t have to answer each and every email or return each phone call and messages as it falls on to our phone.

Prioritize. Every night, we need to have a to-do list for the most important tasks that need to be completed the next day. Whilst it is very easy to react to everything and when it comes to doing so – believe me – less actually gets accomplished. Everyday schedule a time to read the emails and reply to emails and messages, of course, emergency situations are acceptable. We should also schedule our time for our social media accounts – which is indeed a huge diversion and barren at work and at home.

We need to create a system that works solely for us and got to stick to it. It is no harm in trying our different ways until we settle on one.

4. Misinterpreting busyness for productivity.

Skipping short breaks, missing on important functions, ceremonies, and staying up the whole night working will surely make us feel very busy, but they actually don’t result in getting things done. Productivity is all about getting things done smartly and effectively, and not about being a super man or a super woman who skips meals, breaks, and misses sleep in the name of being busy. It just means we simply “couldn’t help it.” – as plain and straight forward as that sounds.

If we are that busy, then we need to concentrate on automating what we do, getting help on what we can, and thus making better use of our time. Asking for help is a growth ladder.

5. Physically present but mentally absent.

If we are thinking about work and office while we are at home and about home while we are at work, then pause to give serious thought about are we really giving either our full attention and doing justice to ourselves and the people we are with and for that moment’s work that we are doing?

Are we at our most productive in either of the roles?

Taking a brutal and an honest look at our habits might be devastating, but it is crucial. We need to be physically and mentally present at home with home and family issues just as much as we need to pull ourselves out from those issues at home when we are at work.

Ensure our family understands that it is important when we have a deadline that must be met.

However, we also need to strike a chord where we gradually reach that point during the day that all of our work and office issues stay at work only, thus allowing us to be present at home — physically and mentally.

6. Clean is perfectly clean without a bit of paper on the floor.

Unmade beds, undone dishes, dusty moldings are definitely not signs of failure. We must comprehend that and should get accustomed to a little messiness and focus on spending more time enjoying our life and the moment. If we can afford to outsource assistance, we can definitely choose to pay to someone else to clean our house.

But if we learn to manage and allocate the time for the cleaning, un-complainingly, then we are the best.

7. We say a ‘No’ and we are screwed.

Remember that we can definitely and respectfully turn down the offers to run our PTA or be of service to an extra committee at work. When we refrain ourselves from doing things out of guilt, we will find extra time to home in on the activities that truly bring us satisfaction and joy. It all starts with a polite ‘No’.

Now that I have listed seven of my learnings which proved me correct for a erfect work-life balance, I counteracted and discovered how simple life is actually. Counteracting on the above, helped me understand more of myself, dedicate time to everyone that means important to me, work on my dream, and at the same time, have a perfect balance personally and professionally.

This sums up to a quick brownie points on tips to be followed for a work-life balance.

(i) Learn your employer’s and company’s policies completely and thoroughly, after all, that is going to be of help to you when you want to skip work. Scrutinize about the complete advantages like flex times, working from home availabilities, holiday structure, leave balances, etc.

(ii) Communicate to get answers to all the questions that you may have – regardless of the place that you are in.

(iii) Employ Technology to your Advantage and do not succumb to it, because, the gadgets and the technology have the super power to make us their slaves, which most of us are, knowingly and unknowingly.

(iv) Telecommute, it definitely wouldn’t hurt for you to work from home a few days, provided you really do the work or already have it done as a backup.

(v) Say a “No” when you really cannot. Put yourself first and then serve others as you do not want to mess up with your deadlines.

(vi) Combat the Guilt. If you are feeling bad about missing on anything, it is alright to do so and make it up the next time. After all, your loved ones will certainly understand you.

(vii) Safeguard your personal time. You definitely need that daily to work towards a better you.

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