Work and Life Balance
In the tough times that you are still trying to prove yourself to everyone, the pressures of work and the constant need for you to cope with your personal life can be harder than you could imagine. They say that you should find balance between private life and career for you to be able to succeed in both. But the tough question here is, is there really a balance?
Mathematically speaking, you cannot balance your private life and career. In a week, there are only 7 days and in a day there are only 24 hours. Take a look at your weekly routine: You report at least 5 days in the office – leaving you with two days for your personal agenda. In a day let us say you spend 8 hours sleeping, 8 hours in the office and the rest of the 8 hours for other activities like eating, taking a bath and traveling from your house to work and vice versa – now, how can you find balance in there?
Setting the numbers aside and considering optimism as we speak, the existence of life-work balance depends on one person – you. Really, life and work balance is a personal thing. You will be the one to determine where the balance is and what works for you, not what works for somebody else. And definitely not something somebody else said. Our age and ‘life-phase’ play big roles in defining what balance is, as does our behavior, which stems from our up-bringing, habits and past experiences. The definition of life-work balance differs and changes from one person to another. Apparently, there is no model that can define exactly what is right for everyone and it is not possible to use just one model as we hop on to different stages in our life.
Here are some advice that may help you set a fine line between your private life and work.
Set Your Priorities Straight
Consider adapting the “Top 5” method. What you need to do is to list down 5 things that you need to accomplish the soonest. Accomplish the ones on top of your list first – one after the other. Set your mind that you cannot move to the next one or do anything else until you accomplish the first ones. Actually it does not need to be 5, you can customize. By adapting this, you are able to prioritize what needs to be done ASAP. Forget about multi-tasking, just focus on one task.
‘Top 5’ example:
1. Prepare interview questions for applicant.
2. Draft proposals for clients.
3. Make a powerpoint for Friday’s presentation.
4. Continue writing e-book.
5. Write blog articles.
Set Your Own Rules
Set rules that will work for you and your lifestyle. For example, rule one: at least once in two weeks you go to the barber shop/salon to have your nails done or to get a nice massage. Or something like: by 6PM, whether the work is done or not yet, you have to rest, stop working, and go home.
Grab a Helping Hand
The groggiest business people in the world are those who claim that they can do everything on their own. It will not hurt to ask for help from your colleagues, family and friends.
Working Smarter, Not Harder
Make use of a planner or Google Calendar to keep track of your daily meetings and other activities at work. Block off dates for your personal agendas. If it is not on your calendar or on your to-do list, it will not be accomplished. You know how your memory works. You can also make use of productivity tools like Trello, Asana and Evernote to manage tasks and deadlines smoothly.
A little relaxation can go a long way. Accept that you can only do so much in a day. You do not need to work 24 hours a day. A few hours of sleep will not hurt.
At the end of the day, life-work balance can be achieved if you set your priorities straight, manage your time efficiently and communicate clearly with the people around you. Just like any other goal in life, life-work balance then can be planned and achieved. Yes, it is easier said than done, but it is possible.