Balance between Work and Life

 Balance between Work and Life - You will never feel truly satisfied by work until you are satisfied by life.

Dr Adel Ahmed, Director of Professional Development Unit

Life, work, balance, AAU, Al Ain University

 These days, work-life balance can seem like an impossible achievement. The Technology and its tools makes workers reachable around the clock 24/7. Worries of job loss incentivise longer hours.  At some survey, a huge 94% of working professionals reported working more than 50 hours per week and nearly half said they worked more than 65 hours per week. The compounding stress from the never-ending workday is damaging. It can hurt relationships, health and overall happiness.  When I talk about balance, not everything has to be the completion and achievement of a task, it also has to include self-care so that your body, mind and soul are being refresher. Work-life balance means something different to every individual, but here I would like to share tips to help you find the balance that’s right for you.

Let go of perfectionism:

A lot of overachievers develop perfectionist tendencies at a young age when demands on their time are limited to school, hobbies and maybe an after-school job. It’s easier to maintain that perfectionist habit as a kid, but as you grow up, life gets more complicated. As you climb the ladder at work and as your family grows, your responsibilities mushroom. Perfectionism becomes out of reach, and if that habit is left unchecked, it can become destructive.

The key to avoid burning out is to let go of perfectionism, As life gets more expanded it’s very hard, both neurologically and psychologically, to keep that habit of perfection going to strive not for perfection, but for excellence.

Unplug

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From telecommuting to programs that make work easier, technology has helped our lives in many ways. But it has also created expectations of constant accessibility. The work day never seems to end.  There are times when you should just shut your phone off and enjoy the moment that phone notifications interrupt your off time and inject an undercurrent of stress in your system. So don’t text at your kid’s football game and don’t send work emails while you’re hanging out with family.  

Make quality time true quality time. By not reacting to the updates from work, you will developing a stronger habit of resilience.  Resilient people feel a greater sense of control over their lives, while reactive people have less control and are more prone to stress.

Exercise and meditate

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Even when we’re busy, we make time for the crucial things in life. We eat. We go to the bathroom. We sleep. And yet one of our most crucial needs – exercise – is often the first thing to go when our calendars fill up. Exercise is an effective stress reducer. It pumps feel-good endorphins through your body. It helps lift your mood and can even serve a one-two punch by also putting you in a meditative state.  Some researcher recommends dedicating a few chunks of time each week to self-care, whether it’s exercise, yoga or meditation. And if you’re really pressed for time, start small with deep breathing exercises during your commute, a quick five minute meditation session morning and night.

These exercises require minor effort but offer major payoffs. Short, meditative exercises like deep breathing or grounding your senses in your present surroundings, are great places to start.

Limit time-wasting activities and people

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 First, identify what’s most important in your life. This list will differ for everyone, so make sure it truly reflects your priorities, not someone else’s. Next, draw firm boundaries so you can devote quality time to these high-priority people and activities.

From there, it will be easier to determine what needs to be trimmed from the schedule. If email or internet surfing sends you into a time-wasting spiral, establish rules to keep you on task. That may mean turning off email notifications and replying in batches during limited times each day. If you’re mindlessly surfing Facebook or whatsUp when you should be getting work done, try to think to be more productivity.  And if you find your time being gobbled up by less constructive people, find ways to diplomatically limit these interactions.

To some, this may seem selfish. “But it isn’t selfish,”  When it comes to being a good friend, spouse, parent or worker, “the better you are yourself, the better you are going to be in all those areas as well.”

Change the structure of your life

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Sometimes we fall into a rut and assume our habits are set in stone. Take a birds-eye view of your life and ask yourself: What changes could make life easier?

So instead of trying to do it all, focus on activities you specialize in and value most. Delegate or outsource everything else. Delegating can be a win-win situation.  Find out what you can do to let go in ways that benefit other people by giving them opportunities to grow.  This will give them a chance to learn something new and free you up so you may devote attention to your higher priorities.

Have a nice balance!

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