Technology has become all-pervasive, and this means employees today remain available round the clock through their gadgets. Taking time off is remote, as the potential for job loss always looms around the horizon. In such a situation, the importance of work-life balance almost becomes a big question mark.
Thus, it has become routine, especially for white-collar employees, to work beyond their stipulated 40hrs/ week criteria. It is compounding the employee’s stress level, which hurts their relationships, health, and overall well-being.
Despite a demanding career path, it is still possible to improve your work-life balance. Here are five tips that will help you deliver on your work commitments yet make it possible to maintain and learn about work-life balance:
Improve Work-Life Balance
Go Easy with Perfectionism
Many high-achieving individuals develop perfectionist tendencies at a young age. While perfectionism may be alright for pursuits at a young age, life and projects become more complicated as you grow up. The individual is expected to play multiple roles in real life, and the pursuit of perfectionism becomes a tall order. Continuing down the perfectionist path has the real chance of burnout when you are stubborn in chasing down unrealistic goals that nobody ever asked for in the first place.
Unplug Whenever Possible
While technology has helped us in many ways, there is a price to pay with constant connectivity. It has increased the expectation of the employer to be available as much as possible. That being said, you should unplug from everything and enjoy the moment whenever possible. So, you don’t need to reply to emails on your phone when you are expected to participate in a social function. By practicing it over and over again, it builds resilience where the individual remains in better control to enjoy the quality time more mindfully without being distracted.
Include Physical Exercise in the Routine
People underestimate the utility of exercise in daily life. More often, exercise is the first thing to be struck off from the calendar when things get busy. But one must understand the actual value of exercise as a stress buster. It can release feel-good endorphins into the body to make you feel good with a bit of effort. You can select among yoga, gym, or cardio workouts – anything that puts your body in active mode. While we are talking about a healthy work-life balance, self-care and better exercise is a significant component.
Research suggests that our autonomic nervous system has two branches – sympathetic (body’s stress response) and parasympathetic nervous system (body’s rest and digest response). Physical exercise allows us to activate our parasympathetic nervous system, which helps us calm down. Over time, you would even observe the body’s rest mode triumphs over the stress mode, giving us much better control in demanding situations.
Avoid Wasteful Activities
As a white-collar executive, you must prioritize both people and activities in your life. Once you have prioritized, it becomes essential to draw boundaries to spend the maximum time with people and activities that really matter. It will make it much easier to trim your to-do list to your advantage, without any room for frivolous activities and people. It will allow you to turn off your email notifications and reply to your emails in batches during the allotted period during the day. This will ultimately enhance productivity and promote better employee health and wellbeing.
Despite your efforts, if you are still indulging in social media, installing productivity tools on your device will help you cut down on wasteful pursuits. And, if you find your time getting gobbled up with people without any constructive purpose, it is best to limit them as far as possible diplomatically. Do it as politely as possible without hurting their sentiments. By no measure it can be termed “selfish” because there is a limit to how much you can stretch your social horizon. When your priority lies with your immediate family, friends, and work colleagues, you really cannot expect to accommodate a lot more people into the social circle.
Rearrange the Life Structure
You might want to take a good hard look at your life and change your habits as far as possible. Instead of trying to do it all yourself, create some room by delegating, even outsourcing. Try talking to the key stakeholders in various “areas” in your life. Ask them where you can get out of the way and create possibilities for them to grow as individuals. Once you can zero-in on areas, ensure the activity gets delegated for a win-win situation. It can free up a lot of time devoted to activities that figure top on your priorities list.
Even with these tips for better work-life balance – just like crash diets and new year resolutions – there are good chances of it fizzling out. However, the focus must be on starting small without including many things on the plate. Stating small also allows people in your life to make those minor adjustments to their own lives. Else, sudden change can be intimidating for people altogether. Overall, it is about starting small and making changes incrementally.