I think it’s better to have your personal and work life separate. That way they don’t corrupt each other ‘as quoted by ‘500 days of Summer’ star Zooey Deschanel, makes a hell lot of sense! One question we keep on asking ourselves: ‘Do I work to live or live to work’ and then we go into a dilemma when we try to search a genuine answer to it.
Here are a few tips I follow to maintain balance between the pina and the colada:
1 ) Design a Schedule and stick to it:
Now, I had been doing the infamous graveyard shifts(3 am to 12 noon) for a couple of years in my 1st job. I was almost like a zombie those days! Go to office, come back home and sleep – that’s all I did those maiden years in IT life! The sole cause was that I had no schedule organized for myself. Time, energy and space management is a must for a balance. Be a Disciplined Doer or at least stop being a dawdler!
2) Prioritize – You should be sorted out in your head first. Lack of time is actually lack of priorities! Make a list of all tasks, household as well as professional. When you go to office work upon your prioritized tasks first and then the smaller tasks and do the same when at home. Build up a Management Matrix inside your head as a helpful tool to define personal priorities and the barriers you face in allocating time and energy.
3) Beat Work Overload. Be More Effective. Achieve More.
Simplify your life by learning the art of declining. Don’t accept too many responsibilities and projects. Entrust other people (especially junior colleagues who have comparatively less work) with some of your simple tasks. Delegate both in your professional and personal life. Allowing other people to help you will only increase your downtime which you can then effectively use to satisfy the other part of your life. It can be tempting to rack up hours at work, especially if you’re trying to earn a promotion or manage an ever-increasing workload — or simply keeping your head above water. If you’re spending most of your time working, though, your home life will take a hit.
4 ) Spend Healthy Alone Time
Indulge yourself in exercises that will help in stress release.
Don’t take email to bed. Studies show that keeping smartphones in the bedroom can cause insomnia, which leads to work problems.
Take an hour; unplug from the hustle and bustle of life; play guitar or learn salsa or just observe nature from your balcony (follow your deeply hidden passion); sort out your mind peacefully and pamper yourself.
5) Sometimes ‘later’ becomes ‘never’
Try not to keep office work pending. If you have time, do it ‘now’. Nothing adds more anxiety to our lives than having deadlines and commitments that we are having trouble meeting. If you have several projects looming in the future, break them down into smaller projects and make a calendar marking off the completion of these little projects.
6) Take Active Control of Your Finances
Balance comes from financial security at the end of your career. Start the saving process early. Even in the face of daunting debt, you need to start a savings plan for your children’s education and for your retirement.
7) Remember ‘being happy’ does not mean everything is perfect
The best advice to achieve balance is to take your profession seriously, but not yourself. Find ways to inject a little humor into your daily activities for the sake of your own sanity. Today, majority of working class is affected with WWS(Worry Wart Syndrome). Flush out the worries and try to be more sportive. Play with your mind, its ok to be dumb and annoying sometimes, Keep the child inside you active and sprawling!
8) Maintain work ethics while at office
If you want to discuss any personal matter with any of your colleagues, do it outside the office. At work, be professionally involved but emotionally detached. Don’t take criticism to your heart at office; don’t be overly sensitive. Be self-motivated and responsible.
9) Married to your work? Consider the cost
Being workaholic is good but not at the cost of your loved ones. Plan outings or vacations once in a while with your family. The lack of balance between the personal and professional life can cause a burnout, a syndrome that includes emotional exhaustion, depersonalization of relationships, reduced sense of accomplishment (negative self-evaluation), and can be associated with impaired job performance and poor health.