Work-life balance is a phrase some may call a cliché while others might ask ‘What’s the big deal?’ about it. As a concept it is indeed a big-deal, otherwise it wouldn’t have been spoken of for so many years and gained an ever-increasing number of proponents. The beauty of determining a ‘work-life’ balance is that there is no simple formula that applies to all, and therefore every individual can arrive at their own solution. However to do so, one first needs to understand the importance and essentials of this concept.
The circle of need keeps expanding as we earn more – what were formerly necessities become basics and luxuries become necessities. This is a dynamic process. In order to fulfill these, we work harder as we chase an un-ending goal. At the end of the day we all only have 24 hours – even though many of us may wish a day had 48 hours. If we had 48, then there are those who would possibly wish for a day of 72 hours. This explains the expanding circle of need.
Some may still ask, why do we need to talk about work-life balance? At Careertunity we feel that we are unable to balance our professional and personal lives and it results in harmful manifestations such as stress related disorders, discord in relationships – further adding to the stress – and most importantly, a missed opportunity to live a happy and healthy life. A study by Careertunity shows that in today’s world, 4 out of 10 people agree that their work life is stressful. Furthermore, the medical fraternity has been witnessing a rise in stress related ailments.
Take control of the situation: don’t let the situation take control of you. The concept of what is considered a work-life balance cannot be applied identically to everyone. It is fluid and can be adopted in different ways depending on the needs of each individual. Not all aspects of our life can be controlled however, but it is important to identify and work on those which can be. If your answers to the questions below are positive, then you are moving in the right direction:
•Do you feel that your body is healthy?
•Are you happy with the way you manage your time?
•When is the last time you worked on the importance-urgent matrix?
•Are you happy with the quantity and quality of time you give to your family or personal life?
•Are you comfortable with the expectations of your organization?
•Are you happy with the inter-personal relationships at work?
•Are you having regular meals?
A common problem that recurs in many work environments is the communication gap. Communication should be made clearly to avoid confusion. A lack of communication skills could lead to the accumulation of extra work and wasting of time. Sharing of work should happen – and in a fair way too. This is a generation where hard work and smart work go hand in hand. Having said that, communication is also an important aspect in one’s personal life and this door should be kept open.
An alternate way that could help to maintain a work – life balance is planning. The matrix of urgent-important can be a useful tool in this regard. Work for the day should be laid out in a clear order on the basis of importance. The time frame given for each goal or aim to be targeted should be achieved. A day that is carried out without planning is sure to get into a mess. A few benefits of following such a procedure are:
•Extra work need not be taken home
•Work of the day will not get postponed
•Will result in a free mind
•Gives room for a quality personal life
It is also important to make sure that the work completed during the course of the day is perfect. This will help one to go on with the next task and not be stuck with the same one for too long.
In discussing work-life balance, while making clear the path of one’s professional life, it also becomes vital to deal with one’s personal life in a similar manner. A clear view of managing this also becomes necessary. When prioritized, this aspect becomes the need of the hour – and more for women than for men. It is generally regarded that women find it very difficult to manage both professional and family lives. Society demands perfection from women both professionally and personally. With this in mind, it is important to plan the household work also to maintain the work-life balance.
‘Winners do not do different things – they do things differently’. This is a quote that one should bear in mind. Here, ‘winner’ specifies an individual who knows to balance both their professional and personal lives. The ideas and aspects mentioned here are only a part of a vast field. As mentioned, work-life balance is fluid, but nevertheless is a valuable tool by which each individual can shape their own life.
Written by http://www.careertunity.com