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Successfully balancing work, personal life


Managing a full-time job and at the same time, trying to balance your personal life to the best of your ability, is not always an easy task. Maintaining your professional and personal life can be hectic sometimes.

Guest column: Emmanuel Zvada

Today, working has become an even more essential activity to sustain your new-found consumption habits, but at the same time, you have to take care of home life. Being able to strike a balance between your professional and personal lives can help you to become more productive. The concept of work-life balance is based on the notion that paid work and personal life should be seen less as competing priorities, but complementary elements of a full life.

Work-life balance is aimed at encouraging employers to adopt flexible working arrangements such as job sharing, flexi-time, compressed hours and others, to enable employees to achieve a better balance between the demands of paid employment and those arising from their private life.

In actual essence, those who can increase their salaries based on output or those who are entrepreneurs and own businesses take advantage of overtimes, take-home assignments and sleep-deprived nights to double or even triple income.

Hard work pays off, but working smarter to get the same results is far much better as you will be able to separate family time and working time. Some may argue that working hard is justifiable, but at what cost? Some of us have become too absorbed in work that we seem to have forgotten that there are other things to experience outside work that we have to do.

It should be noted that the reason why you are working and earning is for you to be able to provide for yourself and your family a decent and preferred standard of living and on the same note preparing yourself for your retirement.

So what then it means is that there should be a balance between working and other life issues such that you will have the time to enjoy your hard work. We should learn to strike a balance between business matters and personal matters because too much or too little of either would bring about disastrous results.

You achieve life balance when you have enough time to pursue both work and personal interests that you love. The following are strategies you can utilise in making sure you handle work-life balance properly:

Improve efficiency at work by limiting distractions

The more efficient and productive you are at work, the easier it is for you to go home at a reasonable time. First and foremost, try to limit distractions during the day. When you focus on a task, you will be more productive over a shorter period of time than if you are frequently interrupted.

You will be surprised how much distractions are impeding on your time and productivity each day. Research estimates claim most people spend about 20 minutes of every hour handling unplanned distractions.

Although it’s important to maximise your productivity, keep in mind that continuous, long hours can even affect you. If you can minimise distractions in your professional life, you can prevent it from constantly interfering with your personal life.

Set priorities and manage your time

Setting priorities is a skill that helps you advance in any career. When you master it, you can easily help yourself reach personal goals and you will able to finally tackle all those unfinished tasks that haunt you day after day.

In order to succeed at setting priorities, and “getting things done”, your priorities should be a reflection of your values and what is important to you. And just like how a rubber band eventually snaps when stretched too much, you also have your own limit. You should also be in a position to manage your time. Learning proper time management not only helps you counter stress, but also prevents it from happening in the first place. Organise your time so that your workload will not overwhelm you.

Create a schedule, try to stick to it and manage procrastination

If your week goes by and you are unable to recount which tasks you did and on which days, it means you were doing nothing or you were just randomly working and not being directed by any vision.

It can be most helpful to develop a weekly schedule involving all the activities you will partake and time. You are to map out a daily to-do list such that you spend your day in a productive manner.

Procrastination is a major obstacle that could be standing in the way of striking a good balance of your to do list, so you have to avoid it as it is a thief of time.

Find time for yourself

We all have many responsibilities and roles in our lives both at work and at home. At work, you might be a boss, a colleague and a mentor, yet at home, you will be a parent; a caregiver for an older family member a spouse or partner.

When we neglect one or more of these roles, we can quickly feel out of balance. Remember, life balance means having time for yourself as well.

If you spend all day attending to other people’s wants and needs, you won’t have the energy and strength to achieve your own dreams. You should be in a position to set aside time every day for pursuing your own personal life.

Just like how you must not bring personal matters to work, you should minimise talking about business matters during family and personal time. Make it a point that work will only be until a given time, and after that, it is all about you, your family and everything else outside the workplace.

There is just too much that you will be missing out on from your family if you keep yourself from them and spend every bit of your energy in the office. Your children will never describe you in front of their class based on how much you earn, but on how you spend time with the family.

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