The term Work Life Balance is fascinating, in that so many consider it to be an oxymoron. “How can work and life ever balance?” is the usual refrain.
And really, how do you do this when work is but a part of your larger life story? Yes, we need work to continue to challenge ourselves, grow professionally or to earn our livelihood, yet for many of us women looking to get back into a career, our biggest fear is the ability to handle it all.
Standing at that crossroads, ask yourself – does your professional well-being drive personal happiness? Or could it be the other way round.
Think about it – the happier you are in life, the better you get in all aspects of it, including work.
Achieving Work Life Balance:
So if you want to aim for that dream job or for more fulfillment at work, here are 9 ways to enrich your personal (and therefore professional) life.
- Define success – What does a life well lived mean to you? Is it money, what it can buy or is it the time you are able to devote to your passion, your family? Do you define it by measuring the difference you have made in someone’s life and how blessed they feel by your presence. Understanding your reason may help you make the correct choices.
- Goal setting – Write down your professional and personal goals, if you are caught in a ‘how to fit it all in’ crunch. Pen down your ideal work/life day. Come up with a fluid trade-off. So maybe each day will not follow a plan of “x” hours at work and “y” on the other aspects of your life. Be realistic, but don’t postpone the time frame of balance, to when you retire. Identify what you want from your life and enjoy the journey.
- Technology – Plan to plug off. Don’t become a slave to your screens; instead tame it. Especially, keep the phone away during those meal times or fun times with family and friends.
- Learn to say “no” – Deliberate carefully on the work at hand. Perhaps, it’s better to not add another project and instead do justice to what you have in hand.
- Balance in a balanced way – Make sure you focus on all facets of life. Enrich yourself physically/ socially/ emotionally/ intellectually. When you struggle in a particular area of life, it creates anxiety in a ripple effect in all the other areas of your life.
- Schedule your down time – Whether it’s a GNO or a yoga class or a movie night with your family, make sure you pencil it on your calendar.
- Spirituality – Taking care of the physical body and ignoring the needs of the soul is like watering the entire tree but forgetting the roots. Spirituality brings clarity and calmness 24×7. Visualization can help you achieve your goals. Research shows that any amount of meditation is better than none. Try daily doses of Meditation to increase immunity and improve the focus and functioning of your brain.
- Let go and let be – Prioritize what’s important to you. It might help to pen down your top three or five priorities and put them up on the refrigerator door or tape it up to your desk. This serves as a constant reminder of what is important. But it’s equally important to cut yourself slack. Life gets in the way so don’t beat yourself up on what doesn’t get done.
- Build a support system – Delegate, and if you can afford it, outsource the tactical jobs – grocery, cleaning, cooking but be there for what’s important to you – perhaps a concert where your child is playing or watching your child shoot a basket at his championship game.
Finally, keep in mind that some jobs and career choices might be incompatible with a meaningful work life balance. This is especially true in the context of a young family. So choose the nature of your work carefully. Do what you love and love what you do. If you don’t enjoy it, then it’s time to revisit your plans.
Guest Contributor: Nidhi Idnani
Nidhi is a Certified Reiki Master, Teacher of Usui/Tibetan Reiki, and a Meditation coach. With a degree in commerce, an MBA from a top business school, and many years of international banking and IT services/ products experience, Nidhi is a proud Comeback Mom. She now has a flourishing Reiki & Meditation practice iReikiNow, where she helps people achieve personal growth, self-awareness, spiritual development and overall well-being.