Work-life balance is one of the most precious and enduring gifts one can give oneself, one’s family and one’s organization. When an employee or employer is at peace with herself, her family and her organization, it means that there is less tension and friction in each of these three spheres. The lone factor that makes this possible is in maintaining a better work-life balance.
Work-life balance should easily rank as one of the most talked about topics in organizations and work environments. This is natural and understandable since work and life are perhaps the two most important aspects for any person. When work and life balance gets distorted, the result is disastrous, as it can affect both a person’s personal and professional lives. On the other hand, harmony between the two is one of the means to achieving balance and equanimity in life and work.
So, what is it to have an active work-life balance? Why should anyone strive towards achieving it? These are among the prime reasons for which work-life balance should be achieved:
A core fact about maintaining a better work-life balance is to realize that this is an ongoing and continuous process. It is not the same as just turning a light on or starting a device. Striving to achieve a better work-life balance is an exercise that is built into our daily lives and is done over a lifetime. It is not something that one gets by attending a course or class, whose participation and result one can exhibit from a certificate.
Further, achieving work-life balance is not a set of tick boxes. It is a continuous and fluid target. This is because maintaining a work-life balance is a journey, not a destination. The core point to be borne in mind is the fact that no external agency can do this for us. How to maintain better work-life balance is left ultimately to the individual. External actors can at best influence or suggest or advice. Getting down to work on it is something the individual has to do herself.
Once one understands the need for maintaining a better work-life balance, the next important thing to do is to determine which steps to take to ensure this balance. These are some of the ways in which people can achieve and maintain better work-life balance:
This is not something we need a management guru or psychologist or counselor to tell us. The essence of how to maintain a better work-life balance is time management. This is why: when we are in control of time, we are able to focus on the work-life aspect better. We will have time for both family and work in the measures required. One of the most efficient means to managing time is to learn how to prioritize.
Suppose we have allotted one hour for a task and we finish it in more or less that duration of time, we will have time for other priorities. On the other hand, if we were to extend that time to more than one hour, the extra time eats into the other priorities, thus generating a long pipeline of pending items.
One of the most efficient ways of doing this is by learning to slot tasks according to their importance. When we finish the important tasks first, we are left with a lot of time for the less important ones. This helps us to be efficient at all the tasks and to also optimize time management.
Passion is the absolute foundation for one’s efficiency and creativity at work. Unless one is passionate about what one is doing, every work one does is a burdensome duty that is done only because there is no alternative to it. Learn to enjoy what you do and see what difference it can make to your attitude towards life and work.
We are never social isolates. Man being a social animal, relationships are the cornerstone of life. Cultivating positive personal and professional relationships helps us develop friendships. Friendship is one of the means to being in a healthy state of mind. The key to this is to cultivate the right relationships. This is something we gain over time as we interact more and more with people. Relationships are surely one of the means to maintain better work-life balance.
Our body engine is in fine shape only when we are healthy. Health is indeed the most precious gift a person can enjoy. It is only when we are healthy that we can set about doing what we want to do and to also enjoy the fruits of these actions. Allocating time for health-related activities is a prime aspect of how to maintain better work-life balance.
Exercise and yogic techniques are wonderful means to making you feel good from within. While the feel-good effects of habits such as alcohol and the like are very short-lived, try yoga and see the extent to which it can prolong this factor.
Carrying out activities that make us feel good is a must among the steps for how to maintain better work-life balance. Have you tried helping out victims of a natural disaster? Have you visited orphanages? Have you paid someone’s school fees? Well, the argument that we have to help ourselves is valid up to a point because it is not always possible to do so. When we have helped people in need, we have not only given a kick to our spirit; we have made our brain release hormones and chemicals that have a very positive effect on the body.