Introduction to Good Work-life Balance
I would be cent percent lying if I say there are easier ways to be always efficient at work and mentally peaceful in personal life. One is certainly not a superhero to be similarly best at everything that he or she can undertake. It’s easier said than done. There’s no magical formula which can transform our stressful life instantly and would help us maintain a better good work-life balance.
But we all look for a solution once we think we have had enough! for good work-life balance, but there has to be a way out of this boomerang. You can’t be sulking all the time, cribbing about your job, missing on all the fun, having no personal life & leading an unhealthy lifestyle.
Trust me; it still disturbs me when I think of the busiest days of my life when I used to work with one of the most renowned hotel chains and was not freelancing like right now. Honestly, everything seemed so perfect at the beginning, like my new job title, hiked-up salary, international brand, a vibrant team etc. Gradually all the excitement and fun faded; all these perks, which appeared to be my assets, began losing their value. As days passed, the challenge turned into pressure, tasks seemed monotonous, colleagues became my foes, and I extremely loathed my routine. And the worst part was being unable to control my own time.
It would be difficult to point when exactly it happened. Nevertheless, I failed miserably, maybe due to few personal and professional reasons. As a matter of fact, how much ever I don’t believe in regrets, I am sure of one thing that if I reflect on my past while working, I hear this, “You were disorganized, clumsy, lost, tamed, pessimistic & perhaps blind because you couldn’t see all of these at that point in time.”
How ironic is this? When we look at something from a little different perspective, we are able to see where exactly the problem lies. For instance, in my case, I figured my issues after years & at least came up with some logical good work-life balance theories that could have worked or, let’s say, my work if I ever face such circumstances in future.
Good Work-life Balance and Benefits
So here’s what you can consider too if you seek to maintain work-life.
Balance examples better good work-life balance:
- Fulfill all your wishes
- Laugh out loud (not virtually)
- Time management
- Take a break
- Mingle around
- Live in the moment
- Manage your stress
1. Fulfill all your Wishes
Yes, you just read work-life balance examples, that one right! My first suggestion for achieving a good work-life balance is to let loose. For a moment, imagine yourself doing what you always wished to do, the dream which you have carried with you for a very long time and something that keeps you on your toes. While pondering, the first thing that comes to your mind at this point has to be given the top-most priority. It might sound ridiculous and undo-able at first; however, this one job means a lot to you.
Perhaps it must be not paying so well, or won’t make you popular, but if it gives a sense of accomplishment when you have to consider sparing some time for it. Give yourself total freedom, don’t think of what people would think or how your family would react to it, do not worry about whether you will be able to pursue it for a long time or not. It’s perfectly fine to be a little impulsive sometimes. Hence start following this long-awaited dream. This could be your wish to learn salsa dance, gardening, driving a four-wheeler, singing, acting, traveling, reading, philanthropy, sports, teaching, or any uncanny interests like adventurous trekking bird-watching, shares trading, experimenting with food, clothes, fashion, beauty etc. If you give it, a thought the abundant opportunities would amaze you.
Sadly the problem is mostly we are aware of this kind of stuff, but we simply name them our hobbies and keep them aside. Just use them while mentioning in our resume or social networking profile or in case we need to impress someone new we have just met. Brilliant are those who integrate this unique quality into their daily life. It isn’t limited to show or prove it to anyone; instead, they believe in themselves and have the guts to live on their dream. Don’t trade your innermost desires to copy the crowd. You and the person next to you cannot be wanting the same all the time.
I somehow feel so inspired when I come across people who have discovered this knack. One of my ex-bosses is a classic example of this ideology. Since the beginning, he believed in unconventional ways of handling the operations as well as managing himself. He never really cared about the traditional rules of a 9 to 6 work schedule or strict formal attire or if you follow the standard procedures or not. On the contrary, he focused his energy on higher productivity, encouraged new ideas, involved employees in decision making & problem-solving, invested in the training of efficient resources. And the rest of his time he devoted to his passion for riding, traveling, reading, family gatherings, partying etc. What a smart style to live with, full of zeal!
2. Laugh out Loud (not virtually)
According to research, laughter relaxes your whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension & stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes. Laughter also boosts the immune system.
When I go out for my morning walk in the park & look at this gang of oldies laughing out loud with their hands hanging in the air, it’s quite a pleasant sight to watch. How strange is this, their fake laughter also seems lovely compared to the usual LOL texts on our chats! At least their efforts of real laughter would not go in vain, unlike ours while used to express made-up giggle.
Let’s ask this very simple question to ourselves, ‘when was the last time you laughed your lungs out?’ I had to think for almost 3 minutes before answering that. However, this was hard when I had any online conversations. What’s happening to the human race? Are we incapable of creating humor or just don’t get time to laugh?
Find any sources easily available, and like me, if you also don’t get the instant answer for your last hearty laugh, then you definitely got to make conscious efforts to track your laughter schedule. So do follow that favorite laughter show of yours, join a group of laughter therapy, observe the funny events around you & test your sense of humor in your friend circle.
Releasing all your worries for a while is so necessary to enjoy these light moments. You must be not going through the happiest days, but is it important to show that on your face all the time? Instead, if you manage to make someone laugh in such a situation, then that certainly makes you a true legend. This doesn’t mean that you have to hide your pain, but you just got to decide how much importance you should be given to it and whether being in the same state can work-life balance examples bring any solution.
Do cry your heart out once in a while if you think it’s unbearable. But after that, give some chance to that humor to spread through your system and cleanse all the negativity entirely.
3. Time Management
My primary suggestion for this is to read Brain Tracy’s book, “Eat that Frog”.
If you are not into reading, then get the audiobook or watch his videos on this concept online on YouTube or his website.
I am no expert to teach someone when they should do what or how to prioritize their tasks. But I strongly recommend the brilliant technique given in the book, and that is eating the ugliest frog first, which means get done with the most important work at first, which you tend to procrastinate.
My experience so far tells me to ditch the unnecessary time-wasters like complaining, gossiping, repeating your point, over-thinking, worrying, sitting idle with negative thoughts and pleasing someone in a fake manner. Because all such activities merely drain your positive energy, it makes you restless and anxious. So just sit quietly & introspect. Maybe you will identify such moments of your own day, and if you feel they provide you temporary pleasure or some sort of escape, then you are just pushing yourself into this meaningless trap.
There is going to be an overburden if you are already scared of it, inevitably you will get frustrated if you have procrastinated essential duties for a long time, and you will have a hard time meeting that deadline if you have no strategy or passion for completing it.
And for all this, I would ask you to recheck my first tip; if you are actually doing what you really love to do wholeheartedly, then there would be very few incidences like above. In this case, you don’t work for the sake of working, or just to survive or pay loans or to take care of your monthly expenses. Before following the mass, ask yourself if you can make the change, be satisfied with your basic needs and pursue what you really want.
You can only enjoy the “Me time” if you finish your business within the time frame. Once you start making small changes, it will surely work, and you will experience the difference.
Achieving this immediately won’t be that easy, but if you consistently maintain a plan of your own like setting up your day a previous night, strictly sticking to it, avoiding the time-wasters, focusing on one task at a time, keeping yourself motivated, indulging into your leisure time etc. would gradually elevate you to a much controllable lifestyle.
4. Take a Break
As much as I appreciate the dedication and hard work, I feel it’s of no use if it isn’t blended with few time-outs. This “All work and no play” method can’t be applied in today’s work-life.
I make sure that my most awaited yearly Goa trip isn’t missed every year. If that doesn’t happen for some reason, then my backup plan for some short trip to some closest destination with best friends & family members is ready or else some unusual outing alone is also preferable. Nevertheless, I eagerly look forward to this break. In fact, it is my hope which keeps me going through my hard times. Thinking of what fun I would be having soon makes me forget any tension in the present moment.
If at all savings are important, then they totally are to invest in experiences like this rather than spending on some purchase. Well, that’s what my perspective is about the voyage. And the best ones are the spontaneous last-minute trips. Those who do this often can quickly relate to what I am talking about. Remember the Bollywood movie, “Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara?”
Yes, the sincerity and responsible behavior are required in professional life. However, ditching your duty once in a blue moon is not going to kill you. And nobody else but you can be the best judge of it if you ever plan to take this mischievous step. Just ensure you don’t let someone innocent suffer in this bargain. But the guaranteed benefit of the sense of freedom and the adrenaline rush will take you back to your college days. The momentary taunts, your manager’s blasting, so-called missed opportunities etc., are all worth suffering for in return for your carefree days.
Apart from this, yearly holidays give equal attention to your tea breaks, lunch- breaks, annual functions etc.; they are meant to give you some breathing space. The HR especially designed it for their employee’s relaxation. Try not to compromise or miss them. Nobody would care if you don’t eat on time and develop numerous health issues; people who would be affected the most is your family, so give a thought to that.
5. Mingle Around
When I look back and think of my 3 different jobs, the one which I enjoyed the most had the best of teammates in it. All of us had fantastic coordination with each other. We were upfront about our feelings & thoughts. Our respect for each other’s private life, responsibilities, considerate approach had brought us closer. We didn’t feel too awkward to assertively tell about each other’s faults. Communication was our strength. Also, everyone’s creative contribution while solving a problem, preparing a presentation, making a decision, and enthusiasm for the cultural activities had helped us a great deal to come up as a proficient team.
As much as you need your own breaks, being comfortable with the team you work with is also important. Just think of this fact, we spend our maximum time of the day with our colleagues so don’t you think connecting with them in a healthy way can be a lot helpful?
Hence socialize at work as and when possible. If you have some distinct idea, gather your associates and share it with them. If you find someone depressed, try inquiring in a subtle way to check whether they need any support. Be there in someone’s bad time, and they will return the favor. Participate in that annual dance or singing competition if you want to, don’t be just an audience every year, suggest some ideas, help in some preparations, get yourself involved. By taking such initiatives, you will do yourself a favor of breaking the paradigm of your boring approach.
6. Manage your Stress
I loathe myself when I recall shouting at my mom or having a dispute with my sister or friends for no sensible reason. Simply because I had targeted them as victims of my agony. Unfortunately, I found it easy to take my closest people for granted when I could not handle my frustration. They are there for support, but they don’t deserve to tolerate this ill behavior. Our family back at home look forward to spending some quality time with us so ensure at least you don’t disappoint them like this.
Perhaps that’s the reason executive professionals opt for several options like meditation, yoga, chanting, self-help forums etc., these days. For each their own, some may find sports, writing a journal, work-out, shopping or pampering themselves as a stress-buster. Choose anything that comforts you. After all, there has to be a breakthrough to deal with this everyday stress. If you have the willingness to make things happen, then any of these paths can be fruitful.
I personally find spiritualism very fascinating. Evolving as a soul altogether is imperative if you are finding an ultimate solution for your prolonged issues. This is attainable if you take it seriously and commit to adhering to your progress as an individual persistently.
7. Live in the Moment
Alright, this one is quite challenging for me. Being dreamy doesn’t let you achieve this soon. Once you practice being 100% there mentally and physically in the present moment, you will be astonished to notice how organized and hassle-free your routine becomes. Don’t think of work once you are back home; if there’s something critical, make notes and use them the next day. If you still feel restless getup and go for a walk, or switch your mood anyhow once you recognize you are falling into that pit hole of anxiety and nothingness. Only you can avoid that terrible condition.
Similarly, don’t get over-excited with the thoughts of the forthcoming long vacation and let that affect your work. Your job demands your undivided attention. Well, maybe providing it 24*7 won’t be practical. However, you should try doing as much justice to it as you can. Embrace the now. The people around, your work, your thoughts, the environment, your reactions, the communication, the non-verbal signals, the new learning, the current occurrences and their repercussion. Absorb wholly at this moment.
Hope the above good work-life balance tips would be some of your help. Peace within is important to embark on any new task. Maintaining an ideal balance in your work-life is up to you. The channels are available in front of you. We all learn from our mistakes. And correcting them is our responsibility.
I request all of you not to miss on life when you don’t call your loved ones for months in the excuse of being busy or don’t reward yourself with some time-off or even when you receive at work or work for the sake of working. Life is much more beautiful when you appreciate what you already possess, respect the time and make efforts to balance in life your personal & professional duties; therefore, you spread the cheerfulness around you.
This is a guide to Good Work-life Balance. Here we discuss the introduction to good work-life balance and benefits respectively. You may also look at the following articles to learn more –
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