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Saturday, August 6, 2016

20 Effective Work Life Balance Tips For Professionals


Have you ever asked yourself this question: Do I have a work life balance? and what answer did you get?

If your answer is a strong Yes then Congratulations! You don't need to read this further. 

But if your answer is..."Umm, I am not sure if I have the work life balance yet" OR
"No, I don't have it yet but I am planning certain things for future" then you definitely need to read further.


Here are 20 effective tips that will help you attain work life balance or atleast get you closer to achieving it in your day to day routine.

Planning

  • First things first. Don't run away from reality. If you do not have work life balance be honest to accept it. Once you accept it as an area of improvement next step is to plan for making it better.
  • Planning starts with creating a priority chart. Priority chart is nothing but a list of priorities. Create priority chart for both work as well as life. I will suggest that you create two different charts, one for work priorities and other for life priorities.
  • Once you have these priority charts created, next step is to identify the top 5 priorities from both charts.
  • So in total we have 5 work priorities and 5 life priorities with us now. This makes total 10 priorities.
  • Now, take the remaining list of priorities, that is, other priorities from work and life which are not in the top 10 priorities list. Examine this list carefully and strike out those priorities which are of low importance.

Execution

  • Planning has no value without proper executionIn our day to day life, creating work life balance is all about execution.
  • Exeuction will be successful only if our day to day tasks are aligned to the top 10 priorities and we continue to hash out the low priority tasks that we striked out in the planning phase.
  • Next important action is to perform effective delegation. There will be few important tasks that you cannot ignore but at the same time you cannot invest your own time into these tasks. These are the tasks that you should delegate. They can be from either work or life. You need to carefully select these tasks and then delegate to someone whom you trust.
  • Next step is to get out of the unplanned rut and eliminate the non value add activities. There are lot of ways in which we waste our valuable time these days. Some of these are: surfing through television channels without any purpose, chatting or forwarding messages on whatsapp without any need, watching youtube for hours, addiction to mobile app based games or just plain internet browsing without any intent etc. If you are able to stop yourself from getting indulged into these non value add activities then you may be able to utilize that time in a better way for either work or family.
  • Expectations Management is one more key aspect of work life balance. Ask yourself how often do you set unrealistic expectations? When you mean 'No', do you really say 'No' or do you get pressurized saying 'Yes' even when you mean 'No'. At work and home, learn to be real while setting expectations. Don't add undue pressure on yourself by promising certain things which you don't intend to deliver.

The whole idea of planning and execution mentioned above is to get discplined and be organized. When the question of work life balance is popped up most people think it is always about reducing your work hours and increasing your life/ personal hours. Well, it may not always be the case. Based on your situation you may need to balance it the other way, if required.

Practical Tips

  • Balance 8 hours of work with 1 hour of exercise/ work out. If one hour sounds too much, start with 30 minutes, if 30 minutes sounds too much start with 20 minutes but never ignore it. Get this in your list of top priorities mentioned above. Key to success in any task is being consistent/ regular at it. Consistency will only come with discipline.
  • Make sure you plan yearly or half yearly family breaks or family vacations. This has to be timed with the vacation break of your spouse and school break of your kids. Plan it in advance, book the tickets and get your vacation approved at work in advance. Don't postpone it till the last minute.
  • If you have late evening meetings push them to a time when your personal schedule in not disturbed. For example, if your office gets over at 6 PM then make sure you quit the office at 6 PM. Reserve the next 4 hours for your family by going in a do not disturb mode. All evening meets should be pushed to a specific time slot, say for example, 10 PM to 11 PM or whatever time suits you.
  • For folks who travel a lot for their work, discipline and planning is all the more important. Travel may drain your energy levels and eating junk food while on the run may hamper your health too. Be careful. Develop habit of getting enough sleep while in train or flight. Find healthy eating options if you travel to the same cities or places quite often. Drink a lot of water. Use that smart phone as a tool to keep you organized.
  • If you think being organized is difficult then take some lessons from your school going kid. Look at their school calendar/ time-table, they have been taught to be organized from day 1 of their school. They know which note book or work book is to be carried to school on which day. They know the school holiday calendar, parent teacher meeting schedules and timings of other important activities. Remember once you were a kid too, if you have done it once you can do it again.

There is a very tough competition these days for promotions, salary increments, performance bonus and other incentives so lets not fool ourselves that all of that is easy; getting something more or better in life will always come with extra effort and a lot more hard work. Don't hide under the mask of work life balance and confuse yourself with the work and life priorities. Work life balance games are not easy to play. The act of balancing is difficult but not impossible, what you really need is to understand the difference between wishful thinking and self belief. Not everything you wish for may come true but things in which you honestly believe will definitely come true. Creating work life balance is not a priority for your employer/ company, it is your own priority. Take ownership of your work and your life. Go...do it NOW!


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