Work life balance - From what I thought it was to what it actually is
Updated: May 21
From employers constantly struggling to provide it to their employees to the employees constantly striving to achieve it, ‘Work-life balance’ has been a critical concept ever since it’s conception in 1986 and even before. Companies have been working rigorously to reform and re-formulate employee friendly policies while employees religiously promise themselves to leave work on time and spend more time with their families, but in vain.
Ever since I heard the term ‘Work-life balance’, even before I began working, I had decided to have one for myself and here is what I did to achieve it.
1. Carry a straight face to work.
2. Avoid unnecessary interactions (I’m here to work and not to make friends).
3. Focus on assigned tasks and deadlines.
4. Leave work on time without carrying work home.
5. When away from work, passively worry about the challenges that might show up at work the next day or the coming days and make mental strategies to escape them.
By now, you would have already figured out that this epic strategy of mine massively succeeded at failing me! Neither did I have any kind of job satisfaction nor a peaceful life. Work for me was a means to earn money to do things that I loved and the things that I loved stopped bringing me joy as my mind was always pre-occupied with the fears related to work. This lead me to switch multiple jobs unsure of what I was really looking for until I landed at my current job as a Pre-school facilitator.
So what is this “Work-life balance” and how do we achieve it?
A few months into my job as a Pre-school facilitator, I learn’t that there is nothing called “managing work and life”, it’s all about “Managing yourself”. A few perspective changes was all I needed to do to achieve it.
1. There is always time for everything we love or we can always make time if we want to, all we need to do is completely be present while we do it. It’s better to spend half and hour with your family with no distractions than an entire day where you are constantly on calls or fiddling with your phone.
2. Be your authentic self, the energy and will power that you use to carry a facade can be used to be more productive. Your creative self is at it’s best when you don’t fear judgments.
3. Find a larger purpose in everything you do, a lack of strong purpose deprives you of satisfaction.
4. Look at challenges as an opportunity to learn instead of getting overwhelmed by them. Say “Hmmm interesting! How do I figure this out?” instead of “Sh*t!!”.
5. Resolve conflicts and emotions as and when they emerge. The people who love you or work with you, don’t deserve to handle emotions that you dump on them because you chose to not resolve them.
Although this seems very simple, when put into practice needs a lot of effort and it’s a constant process. But it’s also true that, nothing worth having comes easy. If you really want to live a great life, you will put in that effort to make it happen.
In conclusion, I would like to express my immense gratitude to my mentor for his time and patience while I figured things out and my colleagues for their humble support. I feel extremely privileged to have arrived at where I am today and I still have a long way to go.
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Wishing you all a fulfilling life ahead!!