“Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.” —Dolly Parton, singer
You come home from the office after a long day. You barely speak to your friends or partner. You again open your laptop and immerse yourself in office work.
Sound familiar? This is most of us today!
Never have been an instance in human history, that our personal and work lives are so intertwined than today.
There is no boundary between our personal and work lives anymore.
We cannot separate ourselves from the office stress even when we are with our loved ones.
If you are interviewing for a job, then one of the main things you would consider, “How is the work-life balance?”, “Are there flexible work hours?”.
There has been a lot of emphasis on work-life balance in the past few years and quite rightly so.
Why work-life balance is important?
Although it seems quite important to be online 24*7, the truth is – it isn’t.
Your clients will not leave you if you do not reply to their email the moment it arrives in your inbox.
We need to destress ourselves on a daily basis from the workday events. Only then we can remain fresh and look forward to the next day’s challenges.
Also, you have to give equal importance to the relationships in your life. Remember, it’s quite easy for your company to replace you. And during times like this, it’s imperative you have a solid support system to get through.
Unless you invest time to develop these relationships, how would you expect people to support you?
There comes a point when you keep your life occupied with work, you will feel burned out. It’s pretty common with this day and age.
People who feel burned out, do not give their 100% in work. They are less productive.
1. No email policy after work
It is a very bad habit to check your emails once you come home after work.
Checking your emails constantly even after you have logged off from work will only create anxiety. You get sucked into replying to an email and that continues to a long thread of email exchange.
Maintain a strict ‘No emails after work’ policy and try to stick with it the best you can.
There will always be time to reply to emails once you go back to work the next day.
If you reply to emails even after work, then you are setting a trend and people expect your response immediately.
2. Take that vacation
Many people do not take the vacation offered as per the HR policies in the company.
No matter how busy or important your work seems to you, it is a good habit to take the vacation and enjoy it to the fullest.
Doing the routine can often become monotonous and you will get into a rut. In order to recharge your body and mind, take time off regularly.
Plan your vacations in advance and inform your colleagues and boss that you will not be available during the vacation period. Finish all the tasks you are responsible for so that you are not disturbed.
Turn off email notifications from work and enjoy your vacation with family and loved ones. This will ensure that once you come back after a vacation, you will be more energetic and focused to take on the challenges at the workplace.
3. BE in the Present
This may seem like a very simple thing to do, but it is one of the hardest ideas to practice.
Try to be in the present.
When you are at the office, do not think about, “What movie should I watch tonight?”, “Where should I go this weekend?” or some other thing. Stay focused on the job at hand and limit yourself to work-related things.
The same way, once you are at home, do not think about work-related stuff.
Spend time with your kids, play an instrument, cook a nice meal, exercise or meditate. Keep yourself engaged in some meaningful activity.
“We think, mistakenly, that success is the result of the amount of time we put in at work, instead of the quality of time we put in.” – Arianna Huffington, author and businesswoman
In this digital age, the work-life balance seems an impossible feat to achieve. But if we adopt some simple steps in our daily life, then we can get as close as humanly possible.
There are many organizations which do encourage their employees to have a good work-life balance. Check your company policies and familiarise yourself with the benefits they offer in this regard.
But at the end of the day, you should draw the line for yourself. You might be willing to sacrifice your personal life when you are single. But it might not be the same case once you have a family.
If you do not follow a good work-life balance, then you would jeopardize the relationships in your life. Many a time, people immerse themselves in work so much they forget other important things in life.
I am not suggesting you neglect your work completely. But understand that work is also a part of life. And there are other equally important (if not more) things in life.
Nobody went to their death bed wishing they would have spent more time at the office.