The Ultimate Zen: achieve the best work-life balance
If you find it challenging to juggle your job and your personal life together, then you’ve come to the right place.
“A lot of people are having a more difficult time finding balance in their lives because there have been cutbacks or layoffs where they work,” says psychologist Robert Brooks, co-author of The Power of Resilience: Achieving Balance, Confidence, and Personal Strength in Your Life.
People grow afraid that the same may happen to them, so they think putting in more hours of work will solve the problem before it escalates. In reality, this kind of thinking is seriously flawed – mostly because it just slowly turns you into a lifeless machine.
Whether you run your own retail store, or restaurant, achieving the ideal “work and life balance” often feels too good to be true, especially if you have the “do more with less” mentality. Is there a way you can manage careers and family – and feel satisfied with both?
Here are some ways you can:
Set downtime with friends
When you plan for the week, make sure to schedule a fixed time with your family and friends, so that you can commit to mind-and-soul-recharging activities. These kinds of events add an extra bit of incentive to manage your time well – because nobody is willing to cancel some relaxing time. With something to look forward to, you’ll automatically feel refreshed through even the busiest of weeks.
Now, when we say downtime, we really mean downtime. Make sure you dedicate more time to your family and friends – that means banning your cellphone as well. After all, technology should make your life easier, not control it entirely.
Drop time-consuming or energy-sapping activities
“Many people waste their time on activities or people that add no value,” says Marilyn Puder-York, PhD, a psychologist and executive coach in New York and Connecticut.
The best solution to this problem is to simply drop those heavyweights. Ask yourself the important questions: how did I spend my working time? Are there any activities or people who hindered my workflow? If yes, then cut them off – that includes nasty habits like spending time on social media, making personal calls and the like.
If you happen to be the owner of a business yourself, you can cut down a lot of the extra work by investing in a good point of sale (POS) system that does most of the hard work of reporting for you. Oscar POS speeds processes like inventory and multi-store management and lets you analyse things like sales reports on-the-go, thanks to its cloud-based software. This way you can spend as much time as you want with your friends and family.
Protect your “me” time
No matter how hectic a routine gets, self-care is extremely important. Even if you get slammed in a week filled with work, don’t give up time you may dedicate to yourself.
This may be as compulsive as watching your favourite movie once in a while, or as mindless as daydreaming on the way to work. Appreciate the weather, have your favourite meal before work, exercise, meditate – do anything that adds value to your “me” time. If you don’t, then you’ll be too burned out to have fun in your life.
Establish your own work boundaries
It’s easy to get caught up in your work so much that you overlook your own restrictions. Therefore, it is imperative that you set your own walls before you lose yourself.
Sit down with your boss and discuss your own boundaries on things like your availability outside of work, how often can you accept emails or calls, and whether you’ll be able to work overtime. Once you and your boss are on the same page, you’ll know what to expect of each other – and you don’t have to work on overdrive.
You’d be surprised to find your boss sympathetic to your needs; in economically strict times, businesses find it hard to offer pay raises too often. Therefore they compensate by treating their employees exceptionally well – and that includes accepting their workflow recommendations.
We all have had our work and personal life conflict with each other once in a while. It’s hard to detect where the chaos is taking its toll on your life. It may be subtle at first but can escalate very quickly.
Jody Greenstone Miller, an author and chief executive of Business Talent Group, says, “Focus on the things that are important to you, and don’t do the extraneous stuff.”
Fortunately, it’s no longer hard to reset the chaos and find your balance again.