“What do you want from me? I have a demanding job and I need to check this email from office, its urgent.”
How many times have you looked at your emails already today? Do you feel under constant pressure to do so?
“I am busy the whole week! I work 60 hours a week!”
Are you one of them who sit long hours in office?
People these days’ lead crazy lives, am I right?
But being busy all the time is not a lifestyle, it’s an existence.
Exhaustion can sometimes numb your mind and you may feel a sense of pride over being able to state that you worked extra hours at office this week, last week or last month.
I know because I’ve done it in the past, and probably still do it. It may give you a sense of how important you are to your employer. But trust me it never is the case!
If you dig deep in, it’s a road block and not just because of famous theory of ‘work-life balance’ but also that there seems to be an organizational glitch and you have been working two people’s job or may be more! You need to stop being proud of overworking ourselves. You can’t do anything when you’re half dead. You can’t do things efficiently when you’re tired.
When’s the last time you said “No” at work? Or are you one of those who feel part of having a job is putting up with whatever’s asked of them?
There was a time during one of my previous jobs where I was working almost 10-12 hours per day. I was so busy that I missed my meals. I was almost always working on weekends. I was perpetually exhausted and anxious. This is not who I wanted to be. That’s when I realized sometimes you might want to say ‘NO’ to overwhelming workload or chronically unreasonable deadlines.
You don’t have to be aggressive about it but just have to learn art of negotiations. Contrary to people’s belief, there is room to push back or renegotiate when something’s unreasonable and doing so tends to make people much happier at work.
So does it all again narrow down to age-old concept of ‘work-life balance’? Well No! I am not a promoter of this concept at all. Trying to schedule an equal number of hours for each of your various work and personal activities is usually unrewarding and unrealistic!
With various modes of communication and technological advancements it is not possible to completely shut off work when at home and vice-versa. You may have to check an urgent email at home or stay a few hours after office on a certain day to meet a deadline and you may even have to respond to your spouse or parent’s phone while at office and take leave for home renovations or holidays. We need to accept the fact that life is and should be more flexible than following a fixed schedule or routine 365 days a year.
What you need is a ‘balanced lifestyle’. Instead of just letting life happen, you need to make deliberate choices about what you want from work and how you may want to spend your leisure time. You need to have a strong sense of who you are, your values, and what is important to you and at what time and have a strong support network who you can rely on in times of difficulties!
After all Its only “When your life works, your work works!”