One of the reasons you are reading this article, perhaps, could either be, you are seeking a work-life balance, or you value it as important. Either way, the importance of work-life balance is inevitable.
Let’s begin by understanding what exactly work-life balance is and what are the myths associated with it.
Myth 1: Work-life balance means 50% work & 50% family time
Truth: Work-life balance means giving as much as time to our work and home, as we expect ourselves to. Here, our expectations are more important and the fact that whether meeting these expectations would make us happy and satisfied. There is no pre-defined percentage of time that we can devote either to our work or to our home. It varies from individual to individual very much aligned with their priorities.
Myth 2: Work-life balance is actually work-family balance
Truth: When we speak of work-life balance, the word ‘life’, does not necessarily imply family or home. It can also mean personal priorities like a hobby, self-care or simply me-time, depending upon the individual. It’s important to understand that family priorities are just a part of our life and not our entire life. The overall quality of our life also depends on how much time we give ourselves for self-care and self-improvement.
Myth 3: Having a work-life balance means getting to do everything we want to do in a day of 24 hours
Truth: Sometimes our day may go unplanned exactly opposite the way we wanted to. Hence, it’s important to understand and more important to accept the fact that, not always will we be able to do all the things in a day as we planned and it is okay to live an unplanned day. Remember, the person with the most flexibility in thinking and behaviour has the greatest power over life and circumstances.
Therefore, work-life balance is the extent to which we meet our expectations in terms of allocating our physical, mental and emotional resources between work and non-work domains.
Tips to adopt a better work-life balance
Let’s take a quick look at the different techniques that we can adopt towards a better work-life balance:
- Don’t overbook yourself. Attend only to those tasks which you can complete and yet have some time to relax
- Strictly prioritize chores. Only things that are a priority should be chosen first. Later if you have time you can choose the non-priority ones
- Organize to-dos. It helps save time and energy
- Learn how to say ‘no’, especially when your priorities are not met. Later you can always find time to explain
- Let go of perfectionism and know that it always won’t be perfect
- Reduce the use of technology and if possible, unplug occasionally. You will come back rejuvenated and afresh
- Exercise and meditation are essential. It activates your parasympathetic nervous system inducing a state of relaxation
- Limit time-wasting activities and people. Remember the idea is to conserve personal energy
- Keep changing the structure of your life by being flexible. What didn’t work out the usual way may need a new approach. Be open to changes
The best way is to set boundaries by learning when to say ‘enough’.