When Google gave us a sneak-peek into their awesome work culture with video-game breaks, five-course meals and flexible work hours, they set expectations high for what you’d call the perfect work-life. This led job-seekers to imagine a culture where work and life were in perfect balance. With global businesses adopting tried and tested methods for their employees to have the best of both worlds, today work-life balance is no longer just a buzzword.
But are all employees in these jobs truly enjoying a balanced work-life equation? Because it really comes down to individual habits, and how people manage their priorities, to decide how balanced their lifestyle really is. While employers continue to create the best jobs with employee-focused work environments, it is also important for individuals to optimize their time between careers and personal life and make the most of the opportunity.
Here we bring you five such habits that are a sure-shot way of improving your work-life balance and becoming more productive across various facets of life.
- Have an effective morning routine: Make sure your first few hours are planned effectively to have a seamless day. Spend a few minutes, preferably early mornings, to organize all your commitments and gain control over your time. You can make old-fashioned diary notes, or take advantage of mobile apps that let you make task-lists, assign timelines and achieve them. Begin early, and gain the edge.
- Improve how you communicate: It is never too late to work on your communication skills. Whether at home or at work, you get more done when you interact with others effectively. Ask the right questions and be willing to share information; this will all add to your ability to become a better communicator, and in turn, more productive.
- Foster meaningful relationships: At our very core, we are social animals. Whether in your career or at home, we thrive in the company of good people. Invest time in professional networking and make new friends every week. Engage in meaningful conversations, learning and sharing. This might even help when you begin job hunting next, as connected colleagues will recommend you when there is a job vacancy at their new workplace.
- Learn to switch between roles: While we mostly hear about how one needs to unplug from work, it goes the other way too. Learn to keep separate mind-space for office and personal work, and switch between these roles seamlessly. Called ‘Segmentors’, people who do this were found to comfortably work 40 hours a week and feel like they’ve sufficient work-life balance, as they were capable of shutting off work thoughts, once they get home and vice versa.
- Give your health its due: Whether you want to be a great spouse, child, parent, or professional, the one thing you need working with you is your health. Make it a priority. Adopt a healthier lifestyle, eat right and get ample exercise. Choose to work from home, when you need it. It is important to stay active, but it is just as important to get enough rest. In fact, according to a recent study on the state of work-life balance amongst Indian workers, lack of sleep emerged as the top work-related illnesses. Further, A digital detox once every few weeks might give you the much-needed energy boost.
In the end, there really is no silver bullet to work-life balance; just a set of best practices that can guide you in the right direction.
It is your life, you know what is best for you. The real question is — what are you going to do about it?