“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”
As I was relishing the much-needed vacation and congratulating myself for some good work done in the last few months, I suddenly realized how hard we make it for ourselves to take a break sometimes.
Work-life balance is not just a topic of discussion but also a non-negotiable need for us all to secure our sanity and enjoy the blessings of life.
Typically people respond to this topic in two ways; some take pride in declaring that this wishful concept doesn’t exist in their workaholic schedule. And few others genuinely miss the balance, not knowing how to make this wish come true!
Well, I must confess that I have been in both categories for a while. Shift from the ‘high’ of being a workaholic to genuinely getting the balance right, was tough, to say the least.
Honestly, what really came in my way was my own sense of identity so deeply connected with my work. As if, I have to justify my presence only through my professional existence and there is nothing beyond that in life. Do you relate to that?
That’s when I got re-introduced to the word ‘life’ after a rather long time! I made a few not-so-easy changes to get the ‘right’ work-life balance…
Step One – Put ‘Life’ before ‘Work’
For me, the first step was to acknowledge that if there is work then there is ‘life’ as well. We must remember that we work to live a better life and not make work our only living purpose.
Step Two – Life is Short
Next, was to stop living in the illusion that we are immortal. Any moment of our life can be the last one; not to say that we live under the fear of this fact but, by being conscious of it, we are able to live better in the present moment. Knowing that we are not immortal also helps us to choose what we really enjoy doing and exploring how we can help others through what we do.
Step Three – Time Management
And the final step was ‘time management’. I can’t think of a day without my planner, now. Not only does it have things to be done professionally, but I also write down things that I must do for my personal life, such as picking things from the pharmacy, buying groceries, paying bills, etc. Adding my personal list to my to-do list of the day gives me more mind space to stay focused.
Another important thing to remember is to add at least 30 minutes of entertainment/unwinding time to your schedule. This is when you allow yourself to indulge in something that you love doing; it could be reading or swimming or just watching TV or something.
Whatever helps you to unwind adds to the much-needed balance in Work & Life.
I hope my thoughts evoked something for you that help you strike the balance much better. Would of course, love to know if there is anything else that you do to achieve a healthy work-life balance?