Maintaining a nearly perfect work-life balance is a hot button topic for learning and development professionals, as much as it is a hot button topic for individuals, working across sectors and industries.
So, here’s something I want to share, before I move on with the actionable stuff! I was working as a publishing editor for a while and the working hours were way too erratic! I would leave for work at 8 am and reach home everyday, latest by 10pm (i.e. a regular day). Thankfully, if I had a “light day” I’d have time to be home by 8 🙂 and if it was a “heavy day”, I’d be at work until 2 am. Now, why am I telling you this? Because, I want to emphasize that I had no life beyond work. I didn’t know how to unwind and relax. And to be honest, I didn’t really care as well. I “loved” my job, I had a lot of energy then to sustain long hours. Also, since I really didn’t have my family living with me then, I didn’t care for “life” besides work. Now that I look back, I wish I had someone telling me then, what I’m telling you now – no matter at what stage of life you might be, it is integral to maintain an efficient and effective work-life balance.
I came across this beautiful quote from Michael Hyatt’s book, Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want, “Those who feel satisfied with their personal lives are more satisfied with their careers, and perform better.” It hit me hard. I realized that we cannot do our job, if our job is all that we do! Think about it: All work no play makes jack(ie) a dull boy/girl. So do we really wanna be dull? No, right?
To be your most productive self in your professional and your personal life, ensure you follow these five crucial steps:
- Set your schedules right: Set dedicated time to do official work, personal work and to simply have your “me time”. Initially, it’s going to be hard to stick to it but slowly you will be able to imbibe the prioritization matrix and be your own productivity hero. Things can be done faster when on schedule. Once you know your priorities for workplace and at home, schedule them. Ensure these are non-negotiable timelines. You’re not being harsh but only firm about priorities to use work flow system.
- Learn to say NO to last minute work: Often, in many situations, bosses or colleagues or even folks at home might come up with last minute stuff to be done. If it isn’t scheduled and listed in your ‘to-do list’ and your ‘me time’ has started, it shouldn’t be done! The art of saying NO is tough but isn’t impossible. Make sure you learn, not only to prioritize but also ensure that when things come unscheduled, they are firmly but politely not welcomed.
- Make time for your hobbies: It is absolutely crucial for you to take time out for the things you love. If you think yo do not have any creative pursuits, you should read this post on how you can unleash your inner creativity. Start small each day, to create something you love the most and live a balanced and happier life.
- Learn to switch off: Everyone and everything needs to switch off, which is why even devices have a switch on them. The reason why we biologically sleep, every night, is to take time off from our day’s activities and relax. Today, sleep isn’t the only thing that can make you your most productive self, professionally and personally, you need more than that. Learn to embrace the switch off mode by either meditating, doing your creative work, playing a sport and being disciplined.
- Work smart: I know it has been my mantra since the last few posts but I cannot emphasize hard enough on how important it is to work smarter while you’re working harder in today’s day and age. There is no point juggling a lot and churning in hours and hours of work since it only burns you out. It is a misconception that sitting at work for more hours might mean “hard work,” in fact it is sheer stupidity to lose your valuable time, since you cannot get the actual productive work done.
To sum it up, and really be able to follow it through, check out the Infographic on the Facebook page.
This article contains information, which has been tried and tested. It has taken a lot of research and development time to bring this piece to you, so do share it with people you think might benefit from it, I would appreciate it! Is there something specific you follow to maintain your work and life balance… do comment below! 🙂
I hope this helps… a special and unique strategy is coming up in your inbox this week… if you haven’t already signed up then, make sure you sign up here. Happy work-life balance to you!
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