Work-Life Balance


Put yourself and your needs first. This is especially relevant for women, for society trains and expects us to put a lot of things ahead of our own needs. Don’t worry about being selfish. The stark truth is that, if you are not in top condition(physically, mentally and emotionally), you are not going to be able to work well and/or look after anyone else’s needs very well, for any length of time.

My way is to start with point 4 first. Don’t allow anyone to determine what your rightful needs are. You have a right to determine your own. Then go to step one and prioritize your needs. That way you can always be sure that what is important to you is not pushed aside by what someone else determines is important or urgent or that you yourself don’t get so caught up in something that is not so important, that you fail to give your time and attention to doing something that you find adds meaning and happiness to your life.

Then turn to point 3.Learn to politely and firmly excuse yourself, decline and say the words ‘no’, ‘enough’, ‘this much and no more’, ‘later’, ‘please wait’ etc. Teach yourself to be assertive and learn to deal with the negative reactions that come with your establishing your boundaries. Understand at an organic level, that making everyone happy all the time is not essential or even possible. The only way to happiness is striking a balance between what makes you and the people round you happy.

Then comes point 4.Make certain that the most important things to you get most of your time.I know many people who know how many seconds each thing they do takes. They have calendars, time-tables and one eye on the time always. By slicing their work day into small slivers of time they manage to work their way through a lot of things. As many as 200 meetings a day literally. So this way of tracking time works very for some people. However, I hate to work by the clock. Nothing makes me so wretched as to have to keep switching what to I do to accommodate a schedule. My way is to determine no more than 3 personally important and meaningful things to do in a day, preferably the previous day before going to bed. That way my brain has sorted out how to get things done while I sleep and I waste no time in the morning deciding the order of work for the day. For other things, I automate or delegate or schedule them for the evening when I have finished my quota of work for the day. For when I must interact with the clock-watchers, I determine if working with them is essential for us to accomplish something important. If so, I try to connect with them as the last person of the day. That way, the other person’s need for structure and not derailing plans and mine to take my time and do a thorough job at one go, are mutually accommodated as best as possible. Of course this works only when both of us find the work equally important and worth making the required adjustments for. This attitude, does cost me in terms of lost opportunities and perhaps even money, but I believe that I make up by getting together with the right sort of people for me and we all end up happier and more productive.

About Keerthika Singaravel

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