The millennial prompt me to write about this subject. I might be among the busiest corporate executives. But they saw something that made my lifestyle an epitome of work-life balance.
With the internet making workers accessible 24/7, work-life balance becomes a challenging dilemma among the young working class. It created expectations of constant accessibility.
While it introduced us to seamless connectivity, the digital era penetrated the walls of our homes where work-day never seems to end. In fact, a Harvard study revealed that over 95 percent of professionals reported working over 50 hours per week. Half of them worked more than 65 hours per week.
This is also among the many reasons why millennial are jumping from one job to another. While they boost the supposed new working atmosphere in the digital age sans the walls of the office, they are waging a hard-fought-war on job stability.
But what is this work-life balance all about? How a better understanding to it could help professionals hold the value of each without losing either?
1. Not 50/50 Balance. Work–life balance does not mean an equal number of hours for each of your work and personal activities. It does not mean that you need to travel every weekend or go to SPA clinics every payday.
It is interrupting the monotonous cycle of your work while at the same time fuel your sense of excitement. It might be watching a movie, making your in-house garden, visiting a museum, or playing football. It may be just a walk to the pantry to interrupt the hours of grinding for today’s deliverable. These short personal breathers can propel your proficiency and productivity outputs to levels beyond your imaginations.
2. Start Small. Don’t take too much too quickly. Don’t commit to drastic changes – to lose 30 pounds in a month’s time, to run from zero to 15 kilometers this week, or finishing reading a book every week. It’s a recipe for disaster. Don’t start setting your goals to the biggest adventure of your lifetime. Start small, experience small successes and failures, and build from there.
3. Establish Boundaries. Don’t text your kid’s soccer game at work. Don’t send work emails while you’re hanging out with family. Do your work at the office and attend your family needs at home except for especial circumstances. Both are important. Both are priorities. But you can only be best to both worlds if you know their boundaries.
Do not foil your family activities or dates because of work “emergencies”. By not reacting immediately to the updates from work, you will develop a stronger habit of resilience. Resilient people feel a greater sense of control over their lives, while reactive people have less control and are more prone to stress.
4. Limit Time-Wasting. First, identify what’s the most important in your life. From there, it will be easier to determine what needs to be trimmed from your schedule. If internet surfing sends you into a time-wasting spiral, establish rules to keep you on task. How much time do you spend in Facebook exhausting your energies to the opinion of people you don’t know? How much time did unknown trolls hurt your feelings that they affected your productivity output? How many opportunities you missed because of your rants in the social media?
5. Exercise. Above all else, exercise. It is one of the greatest stress reducers in life. It is better than after-work alcohol drinking session. Work-life balance is not everything has to be done in the name of achievement and personal satisfaction. It must include self-care so that your body, mind and soul are being refreshed. Our professional efficiency depends on how healthy we are personally. Life, after all, is not a matter of how long it is, but how good it is.