My Take On Work-Life Balance
So, Susan Nivia, an acquaintance-turned-friend of mine, whom I first met in Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, some 4 years ago, asked me, “How can work-life balance be attained?”
And it got me thinking.
The first thing that came to my mind was another question. ‘Why do people work in the first place?’
Well, some work only to earn money and get rich and forget altogether about a happy, contented and satisfied life, and some work just to make their ends meet. But a few lucky ones actually work because they love their job!
I believe the question of how work-life balance can be achieved, arises only when you are not doing what you love, or not loving what you do.
It arises when we aren’t working for contentment or satisfaction but primarily for financial gains and materialistic rewards, hoping they will make us happy.
Let’s take the example of Elon Musk or someone working in an NGO for more than 12 hours or more, every day. Do you think this ‘work-life balance’ concept ever comes to their mind?
No! Because for them, their work is their life. They are happy by making a difference in the world. And if they are generating wealth in the process then it is an unintended by-product.
The question ‘How can work-life balance be achieved’ arises only when you are not doing what you love or not loving what you do.
But what should the people like me, who are working for money and not getting contentment out of their job or business, do?
Well, I have followed the points shared below, to maintain a work-life balance in my life:
Pursuing a hobby/passion religiously No matter what happens, no matter how busy I have been during a given day, I make sure to give at least 15 mins of my time to reading or writing and listening to some feel-good music.
Read books and listen to podcasts I loved reading books from early on but one good habit that I have developed in recent times is listening to some amazing podcasts — On Being with Krista Tippet, Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday, Tim Ferris show — on my commute or whenever I get time.
Looking after my physical and mental health By taking up walking or jogging (I don’t like running much), playing table tennis, doing yoga or ‘pranayama’ (breathing exercises), and practicing mindfulness meditation, I make sure to recharge my batteries every day.
Watching mind-simulating documentaries I was dismissive or didn’t realize how awesome Netflix is before, but after getting its subscription and watching some stimulating movies and life-altering documentaries on weekends, my perspective towards life and work has completely changed, and it might change yours too.
There is more to life than just work Enroll in volunteering for a social cause, for whatever is close to your heart, whatever gives you ‘soul satisfaction’. Or, join a self-improvement class or course online. It’s never too late to invest in yourself.
If you can work for someone for 8–12 hrs a day then you should definitely work on your own self, for your own self, look after your own self by devoting at least 1 hr. a day. Just like you charge your smartphone every day for 1 to 2 hours to be able to use it again, similarly, we must replenish ourselves daily, by following any of the above pursuits or find your own.
Just like you charge your smartphone every day for 1 to 2 hrs to be able to use it again, similarly, we must replenish ourselves daily by inculcating either of the above habits.
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