Have you ever caught yourself wishing you had more time to pursue your hobbies or to spend it with your family? As women, we are constantly trying to juggle work and home which leads to fatigue and burnout. Learning how to maintain work-life balance can be tricky, but isn’t impossible. So, while we understand you can’t completely ignore work calls and emails after 6pm, there are some realistic ways to make time for both your professional and personal life.
Did You Know?
60% of Indian working professionals rated their current work-life-balance ‘average to terrible’ at a survey last year. In India, 95% of millennials say that they are stressed, primarily due to work-related factors.
10 Signs Of Poor Work-Life Balance
- Excessive fatigue
- A compromised immune system
- Heart disease and high blood pressure
- Worsening of an existing health condition
- Neglect of personal affairs, leading to additional stress
3 Important Factors That Affect Work-Life Balance
Balancing work and family is becoming increasingly difficult and these three factors play a key role:
- With the advancement of technology, it has become easier to stay connected to work even after office hours. More and more companies expect employees to answer calls and emails beyond office hours, which intrudes in their family time.
- Managers can have a huge impact on your schedule and time spent at work. It’s very important to have a supportive boss who understands your need for flexibility. And also, provides opportunities that can help achieve your goals while maintaining balance.
- A factor that many ignore that affects work-life balance is lengthy commutes. Long commutes eat into your time and have long-term effects like losing sleep and an increase in stress and anxiety.
10 Ways For Women To Maintain A Healthy Work Life Balance
1. Learn To Say No
Work-life balance for women must begin with learning how to set priorities and say no to unimportant tasks. Plan your weekly calendar by clearing the clutter and freeing up time in your life. This will help you achieve peace of mind and improve your mental stamina.
2. Take Care Of Your Health
The first thing to be ignored is your health when your schedule gets too busy. You may cancel your exercise session, skip breakfast, keep long gaps between meals, forget to hydrate, overload on coffee, or even stay up night after night, working on the computer in the dark. This can affect your physical and mental health greatly and cause long-term problems. Be sure to make time for your health, even if it means moderating your daily workload, putting reminders on your phone to eat, drink, sleep at specific 3 times, and taking 10 minute-walks every 3 hours (you could simply catch up on work calls while you walk).
3. Unplug From Tech
Have a strict deadline and unplug from work devices after a certain time. Learn how to differentiate between urgent and important. While you can respond to an office call or mail that’s urgent, discuss with your employer that this should be the exception and not the norm. Choose not to answer emails and calls during family time and weekends. You can also use meditation apps like Calm to destress and relax at the end of the day.
4. Enjoy Weekends & Vacations
Most people postpone using their vacation days and think they will travel and relax after retirement. With proper planning, the worry of having a huge workload when you return can be avoided. Plan something special for weekends like visiting the beach or going for dinner. Short weekend getaways are a great alternative to long vacations that need a lot of planning and may never happen.
5. Make Time For Family
Maintaining a healthy balance between personal and professional life requires creating ample time with family and closed ones. Add structure in your life by making sure you’re present for important events of your children. Start small by making sure to at least eat one meal together every day.
6. Outsource Chores
Knowing how to maintain work-life balance requires a bit of creativity. With the rise of online shopping, you can order groceries and other household essentials online. This will save precious time spent driving to and fro from the supermarket. If possible, hire someone to outsource certain household chores like dusting and cleaning.
7. Find A Better Job
It is difficult to be happy if you do not like the job you do. Finding a job that you’re passionate about makes it feel less like work and doesn’t lead to fatigue. Also, finding a job that is closer to home reduces time spent commuting and frees you to take up other activities.
8. Get Flexible Working Hours
Flexible hours enabled by technology can allow parents to perform well at their jobs and take care of young children at the same time. If you’re an employee, talk with your boss about how working from home could boost your productivity. Remember to share some specific examples of how your work will improve.
9. Figure Out Office Policies
Most companies have begun to include policies that promote work-life balance. Discuss with a human resources representative or your boss to figure out how you can manage your schedule better. If no policy has been currently implemented, use the lockdown and your experiences as a great foundation to initiate this conversation.
10. Be More Productive At Work
Often, people don’t realise how a five-minute break to check Facebook can turn into hour-long surfing on the internet. Increase your productivity by blocking social media apps at work and use them only during breaks. Also, if you have co-workers who enjoy chatting a lot, politely excuse yourself from the conversations.
Work-life balance means different things for different people. Choose based on your lifestyle and figure out solutions together with the support of your family and colleagues to improve your situation. As you climb up the work ladder, this can either get harder or easier. It all boils down to taking charge of the situation and creating the right environment from the get-go.