1. Work-life Balance- Introduction

Work-life Balance is a concept that consists of proper prioritizing between career and domestic/ personal pleasure, leisure, family and spiritual development. It helps us in decreasing all those areas of our life that should co-exist peacefully, in spite of belonging to different spheres.

▪ Audience

This tutorial is for designing primarily for the students and professionals who lack confidence in expressing their opinions and feel a lack of motivation towards achieving their goals.

▪ Prerequisites

Before proceeding with this tutorial, you are expected to have a calm mindset and be open to exploring the suggestions mentioned.
Work-life Balance teaches ways to manage both the different spheres of life by reducing the gap between professionals and personal life so much that the dividing line almost disappears. One of the principle observations of work-life balance is that when work becomes a hobby and coworkers become family, there would be sufficient time to give to both career and family.

2. Work life Balance-Benefits

Benefits of a healthy balance between work and life leads to stronger  relationships, as it makes possible
spending sufficient amount of time with your family and friends. As result, people find your company interesting and go out of their way to hear about your issues, and offer suggestions- be it business or personal life. It increases productivity by allowing people enough time to rest and take their minds off work by pursuing their interest and participating in their hobbies. This in return, boosts productivity and creativity.
In addition to increased productivity, a work-life balance also helps in attaining fulfillment in life. When a person begins to give equal importance to all the aspects of life, his happiness level will go up and he will able to engage with their work with a renewed valor.

▪ How to get a balanced life?

The following list helps you to realize which area of your life you worry about the most and neglect the most, so that you can understand what needs to be done to address those issues.
The below points have five essential areas that need to addressed in order to have read the questions, you can write a short response to them. This will help you identify the next step you must take in your life so that you can give equal importance to all spheres of life and not miss out on any one of them.

• For how many hours do I work per week?
• Do I take my work to complete it back home?
• Do I accept work-related calls while at home?

Relationships Responses
• Am I willing to listen in case of a disagreement?
• Am I available enough to be a good role model to my children?
• Is my work getting affected due to disturbances in personal life?

• Am I facing debt worries?
• Am I ready with my future budget yet?
• Do I feel comfortable thinking about my finance?

Body & Health 
• Do I exercise regularly?
• Do I regulate how much caffeine I consume?
• What should be the ideal time to sleep and wake up for me?

Personal & Spiritual Growth 
• Am I able to schedule time for meditation?
• Do I get enough time for self-reflection?
• What can I do strengthen my spiritual consciousness?

▪ Symptoms of an Unbalanced Life

-Meaning of unbalanced life
Unhealthy lifestyle can cause a lot of problems in health, family life, relationships and work. Knowing
how to maintain a healthy balance not only improves your lifestyle but also increase productivity.
There are hundreds of cases wherein it has been observed that improper ways of working has led to poor health, ugly conflicts in domestic life, neglecting household responsibilities, not maintaining family relationship and no time to pursue hobbies.

-Symptoms of unbalanced life
What is the right time to notice an improper trend in the way you are leading your life? What are the things to look out for in a person’s attitude towards hid job and family? It has been widely observed that the first symptom of improper work-life balance is change in weight drastically due to high fluctuations in their eating habits. These weights and eating disorders are caused
due to the absence of any orderly manner of eating healthy food. When don’t give sufficient through to what you eat, especially when you are surrounded by junk food, there is every chance that your weight goes out of control?
The second thing to look out for is exhaustion. A person who is not leading a healthy and happy life will always be a victim of exhaustion. If a person spends more time than is necessary at his work when his body needs rest, then he tends to develop partial insomnia, which could lead to dizziness, indigestion, clumsiness, irritation to accidents while driving.

3. Ill-Effects of an Unhealthy Lifestyle

The worst ill-effect of an unhealthy lifestyle is the stress it puts an emotional attachment. Relationship are worst affected due to insufficient attention as a sacrifice made for work completion. These lead to frequent conflicts, and in many cases, the end of any ties.
It is seen that when employees are asked to provide more output, the results often turn to be counterproductive. A huge decline in quality can be immediately observed. In addition to that, overworked and exhausted employees rush in to apply for sick leaves, which being paid leaves, are a direct cost to the company.

All these factors combine to form a tremendous personal and professional stress-load, eventually resulting in burn-out. People tend to become absent-minded and lethargic, with almost no will to communicate and generally unresponsive.
There is a general lack of interest and people easily slip into depression in these cases. Others become victims of restlessness and get anxiety attacks in the middle of the night. Such people have to rely on heavy medication to relax and get sleep, when they should be able to get relaxation and sleep naturally.

4. How Workplace Influences Balance

Innovative steps like flexible timings, job-sharing, tele commuting, working from home and half-day work, have all immensely improved the relation between a company’s management and employee. Employees satisfaction goes up when he realizes that this a company that thinks about him, and will in turn, try and reciprocate by providing his best output. This results in a higher engagement with their work and better focus on productivity. If the performance is purely due to employment reasons, or fear of being treated like a bottom-performer, now the employees will perform well because they will believe themselves as a part of the company and not a mere employee.

It is also advisable to ask employees their suggestions in key matters. Many of them are expected people in their respective sectors, and must have good ideas that they have seen being implemented in other companies. Most managers don’t have the time to spare with each employee of the company. Hence, creative ways of taking suggestions and inputs are being implemented in many offices nowadays. The most common of which would be the “Suggestion Box”.

Employees might be answerable for only their professional’s life inside the office, but they all are people with a social life, and might be family persons with various responsibilities and commitments waiting for them back home. There is a big chance that some employee could be lacking in performance owing to certain changes put into his working style by the management, or maybe his productivity has gone down due to certain personal reasons in his life, that may or may not have been because of the works he is in.
In situations like these, the best thing to do is to sit down and have a frank, one-to-one discussion with him. Many managers encourage this way of working. There was a time when a strict hierarchical string of command used to be followed.

5. Work-life Balance-Setting Goals

The most important objective of setting goals is that it gives you a clear focus and aim, as compared
to leading an aimless life. Goals are the fuel that drive your ambition and teaches you to pursue your dreams. This is not only helping you to manage your time efficiency but also helps to prioritize your work in such a way that you meet your targets. To save time sufficiently to spend it on important tasks, we need to know how to say ‘no’. It might sound harsh, but if spoken earnestly and politely, stating all the reasons for it, the other person will be convinced that you are, right now completely focused on meeting your targets, and would appreciate if others appreciate it too. Knowing how to tactfully, say ‘no’ to somebody is an art and needs constant practice. An assertive approach is needed to manage cases like this in a proper way. However, the truth is-if you have to find time to address all your concerns, then you have to say ‘no’ to people.
There are 3ps that will help you in getting more goal-oriented. They are-

  • Positivity- Your goals need to produce a positive, encouraging energy when you think about them. That will give you the drive to achieve them. Goals that are imposed upon you seldom

    succeed in creating the motivation needed to pursue a goal until its complete execution.

  • Personal- You need to be personally attached to your goals. The minute you feel the goal you realizing somebody else’s dream, and not yours, you would stop having any ambition towards its implementation.

  • Possibility- Your goals shouldn’t be too far-fetched. In others words, it should be a gettable or achievable goal. Sketching tall plans for yourself and not meeting the unrealistic expectations

    and depression in the long run.

For your goals to be achievable, there are five qualities that it should have-

  • Specific- Goals must describable in figures and number, e.g.-3 chapters a day.

  • Mentionable- Goals should invoke a sense of pride on mentioning it to friends.

  • Achievable- Goals must be achievable. Ten Chapters a day isn’t achievable.

  • Reflective- Goals should be fulfilling a personal need or ambition.

  • Timely- Goals should be achieved within a set time-frame.

Together, these qualities make a goal SMART!

6. Work-Life Balance-life at Work

Life at work can be stressful, especially for those people who are into the managerial sphere of life. They have a pool of co-workers and they have to delegate work to them. If they don’t trust people with the quality of the output, then they could face a lot of stiff decision-making in their line of work.
Its easy to get into stress when working. If the work id getting too burdensome, delegate it to people who can take care of it, till you get some breathing space for yourself from the already crammed schedule. Breaking up task into smaller independent modules is also very smart thing to so when facing a huge task. Normally, when faced with a task that demands a lot of effort, people tend to procrastinate, i.e. postpone the work off to some later date. This causes further delay and leaves you with even lesser time to complete an already mammoth task.
In addition to all these, getting a realistic target is also extremely important to get the work done in the office. If the target is unachievable, or is very tough to meet then there could be a lot of undue stress and pressure on your head even before you have started with the implementation of any plan for its success. When asked, working professionals admitted that all the reasons due to which stress manages to enter into a person’s personal life, the most common one is huge stress caused due to target and
performance at work. Many people state that they always carry work back home, despite their not wanting to do so, and that comes in direct conflict with their responsibilities as a family person. Their priorities in their domestic life constantly clashes with that in the professional life and caused long episodes of unhappiness and disturbances.

In such situation, it is imperative to remember that to live a truly balanced life, issues occurring at work place should not spill over to domestic life and vice versa. Life at work is not easy for all. Some blessed to be working in their dream jobs but majority of us are not that fortunate.
When the work load is plenty and you realize that you just have to lose some steam by venting somewhere, just meet one of your good friends and tell him what you have been feeling recently. He
should help you in coming up with the situation and might even offer a timely and effective suggestions. Try not to take calls and check emails while at home. With constant intrusion of
communication technology in our lives, we are connected to people almost all the time. That does not mean that we keep interacting with all of them at all given times. When you are at home, that time belongs to your family. You should respect those commitments too.

In addition to these steps, you must also respect other people boundaries and expect them to respect yours. If someone doesn’t like taking calls late in night, make sure he doesn’t call you up on Sundays when you are busy with your family too, unless of course its something comparable to national importance.

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