Balancing work and home is an issue all working professionals face. Family and work are both important, and with a little effort, it is possible to have a healthy balance.
- Thanks to technology, we can now instantly connect with people worldwide, and our loved ones and friends are just a text away. While this is a good thing for sure, it also means that we are available 24 hours a day when it comes to working. This can negatively affect our personal life if we don’t establish boundaries at work.
- The trend of working from home, popular during the pandemic, has numerous advantages, no doubt, but mixing our professional and personal lives is not one of them. While working from home, quite a few people reported that they ended up working the entire day. The boundary between work and home disappeared when a physical workplace disappeared.
- A balance can be achieved despite these blurring lines between work and home. All it takes is stepping back from our schedule, reassessing our priorities, and coming up with a plan which makes us feel fulfilled with our lives.
- It is important to remember that there is no set plan that works for everyone – each person has different priorities and is up to their individual requirements.
- Tweaking the plan occasionally is also important as we keep evolving in our personal and professional lives. For example, as our children grow up and become less dependent on us, we may want to take up more responsibilities at work. Nothing is written in stone, and whatever gives us happiness and contentment is what matters.
Ill Effects of Overworking
- Many assume a successful career is directly proportional to the number of work hours they put in, which is a myth. Overworking can lead to unproductivity and burnout.
- Working long hours also leads to stress. We are all aware of the ill effects of stress and the physical and mental harm it can inflict.
- Overworking also takes a toll on our personal relationships as missing out on milestone moments with the family affects our happiness and our relationship with all the people who are important to us.
Achieving Balance between Work and Life
There will always be a trade-off between work and home life. But taking into account our priorities and wants, we can arrive at a balance that works for us.
- Set practical time limits for work. Please don’t underestimate your work and allot too little time for it. After all, work gives us a lot of fulfillment and satisfaction, and a job well done adds to our happiness and self-confidence.
- At the same time, do not spend all of your time working either. Allot the correct time for work and see that you finish it within that time.
- Nobody is comfortable saying no, especially regarding superiors at work. But this is something we will all have to learn to do. Explaining the situation and following through with a polite “no” works well in most circumstances.
- Your employers may be unaware of the pressure you are under. Communicate with them when you are feeling overwhelmed – this way, you can reach a solution together, and you will feel unburdened as well.
- Have a time limit for your digital devices. As long as you are connected, it is impossible to detach mentally from work. Here too, talk to your boss and establish time limits on when you will be available.
- When working from home, see to it that you are only working and not doing other household activities. Have a quiet corner to help you focus.
- Delegate work wherever possible.
- Avoid or reduce interactions with people you feel are wasting your time. The same goes for spending too much time on Instagram/Facebook. Be self-aware and time these activities.
- Remember, nobody is perfect, so don’t be too hard on yourself. Do not compare yourself to others and think they are doing a much better job at work – everyone is fighting their battles.
Looking After Yourself
- A crucial part of combating stress is looking after yourself physically and mentally.
- Eating healthy food and setting aside time for a physical activity you enjoy is very important.
- Equally important is to have some “me time” to recharge.
- This could be pursuing a hobby you enjoy, maybe even trying something new, or just relaxing and reading a book – whatever helps recharge and recuperate works.
- Volunteering and helping those in need helps others and has shown that it makes us feel good about ourselves too.
- Talk to your partner when work gets stressful, and don’t keep emotions bottled up. Your partner won’t know how stressed you are unless you communicate, and together you might devise a workable solution to achieve a better work-life balance.
Red Flags of Work-Life Imbalance
Sometimes, people are so caught up with work they don’t even realize they are overworking. Here are a few red flags to watch out for:
- Not Getting Enough Sleep – If you are sacrificing sleep for work, you are overworking. Rest is necessary for good health and to perform well at work.
- Feeling Fatigued All the Time –This is a definite sign that you are overworking. Take steps to cut back on work and relax.
- Missing out on Family Events – You might have been planning to attend an important event but finally cannot make it due to some work commitment. Your family might understand, but it’s not fair to them or you. Not having time for your family is a definite red flag.
- Working on Holiday – We take a vacation to unwind, and the whole point is lost if you are working on vacation.
- Ignoring Health – If you don’t have time for a health check-up or are delaying check-ups because you are working, it is a sure-shot sign that you are working yourself to the bone. Take a break and look after yourself.