MONDAY, 9/6/2014 | 16:05 GMT+7

Work Life Balance

Work Life Balance

In today's busy world, prioritizing between your work and your personal life can be a huge challenge. Studies show that a poor work-life balance can result in unhealthy levels of stress, unhappiness, and even reduced productivity.

Work can and should be an important and fulfilling part of your life BUT it should NOT be the onlyimportant and fulfilling part of your lifer. There is a lot to be said for working hard, getting ahead, and loving what you do, but if that's all you ever do, your life lacks the balance and richness it needs to truly be fulfilling. What's more, getting away from work to spend time with friends, family, or even just pursuing a hobby can help you return to work more creative, rested, and happier.

We're taught from a very young age that achievement should be one of our main motivators in life. As kids, we work hard for good grades, praise from adults, and trophies and later on for raises, promotions, bonuses, and benefits. While doing well and getting ahead in your career is a great thing, it isn't everything. Other factors can be great motivators as well, like getting a chance to spend time with those you love, have new experiences, and enjoy things outside of work.

Life is simply too short

Take steps to stop and enjoy the things and people around you.

Find some ways to distance yourself from the things that are causing you the most stress

  • Set Boundaries Make sure that you work only during working hours and you don’t stay too late at the office. If you work from home, be sure to have a schedule that you’ll follow every day.

  • Get Enough Sleep If you want to be productive at work, stop thinking that staying up late could be the solution to all your problems. Instead, try having enough sleep. It’s really important to get at least 7 hours of sleep every night. You’ll wake up more refreshed and you’ll be more creative, thus more productive.

  • Make Time for Your Family & Friends One of the most important things you can do is to make a little#time for your family everyday and with friends at least each week, if you’re not able to do that every day. Make sure you’re always surrounded by fun, energetic #peopleand this way, your work won’t seem such a burden sometimes, and maybe you’ll be actually happy to get back to work in such a pleasant work atmosphere.

  • Find a Hobby try finding a new hobby that’s not work related and that will help you feel recharged and brand new. You could pick any hobby you want, there’s plenty to choose from! You could even find a hobby that could involve your friendsand family, ‘cause it will surely be more fun.
  • Think about your Health . It is really unhealthy to work too much, but a lot of #people, especially those very motivated and eager to be promoted more quickly, tend not to pay attention to this important aspect. Too much work could really affect your entire #bodyboth physically and mentally. Pay attention to what you’re eating and try to #exerciseas much as possible!

Remember, someone who puts more hours into his or her work isn't necessarily better at his or her job than someone who works less. Time spent at work is about quality, not quantityand there are many cases where being a workaholic can actually lower the quality of your work. Think about it, if you've already put in 10 hours in a day, how great is the report that you're writing when you get home really going to be? You'd probably be able to finish it in less time and do a better job if you had a break from work and a good night's rest, rather than trying to push through a ridiculous 14-hour day. Staying late at work may buy you brownie points with the boss, but at the end of the day, results are what really count.

The below speech by Infosys Chairman - Mr.Narayana Murthy's Speech on Late Sitting  sums up some of the facts about staying late at work

"I know people who work 12 hours a day, six days a week, or more. Some people do so because of a work emergency where the long hours are only
temporary. Other people I know have put in these hours for years. I don't know if they are working all these hours, but I do know they are in the
office this long. Others put in long office hours because they are addicted to the workplace. Whatever the reason for putting in overtime,
working long hours over the long term is harmful to the person and to the organization. There are things managers can do to change this for
everyone's benefit. Being in the office long hours, over long periods of time, makes way for potential errors. My colleagues who are in the office
long hours frequently make mistakes caused by fatigue. Correcting these mistakes requires their time as well as the time and energy of others.
I have seen people work Tuesday through Friday to correct mistakes made after 5 PM on Monday.

Another problem is that people who are in the office for long hours are not pleasant company. They often complain about
other people (who aren't working as hard); they are irritable, or cranky, or even angry. Other people avoid them. Such behavior poses problems,
where work goes much better when people work together instead of avoiding one another. As Managers, there are things we can do to help people
leave the office. First and foremost is to set the example and go home ourselves. I work with a manager who chides people for working long
hours. His words quickly lose their meaning when he sends these chiding group e-mails with a time-stamp of 2 AM, Sunday. Second is to encourage                                                    people to put some balance in their lives. For instance, here is a guideline I find helpful:

1) Wake up, eat a good breakfast, and go to work.
2) Work hard and smart for eight or nine hours.
3) Go home.
4) Read the comics, watch a funny movie, dig the dirt,
play with your Kids etc..
5) Eat well and sleep well.

This is called recreating. Doing steps 1, 3, 4, and 5 enable step 2. Working regular hours and recreating daily are simple concepts. They are
hard for some of us because that requires personal change. They are possible since we all have the power to choose to do them. In considering
the issue of overtime, I am reminded of my eldest son. When he was a toddler, If people were visiting the apartment, he would not fall asleep
no matter how long the visit, and no matter what time of day it was! He would fight off sleep until the visitors left. It was as if he was afraid
that he would miss something. Once our visitors' left, he would go to sleep. By this time, however, he was over tired and would scream through
half the night with nightmares. He, my wife, and I, all paid the price for his fear of missing out. Perhaps some people put in such long hours because
they don't want to miss anything when they leave the office. The trouble with this is that events will never stop happening. That is life! Things
happen 24 hours a day. Allowing for little rest is not ultimately practical. So, take a nap. Things will happen while you're asleep, but you will
have the energy to catch up when you wake.

Everyone needs help from time to time. If your life feels too chaotic to manage and you're spinning your wheels worrying about it, talk with a professional — such as a counselor or other mental health provider. Creating work-life balance is a continuous process as your family, interests and work life change.   Periodically examine your priorities — and make changes, if necessary — to make sure you're keeping on track.

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