Work-life balance, does it even really exist? With everything being hosted on a cloud and work revolving in the digital atmosphere – emails, WhatsApp, Skype, social media, who's to say when work ever ends? It's easy to get sucked in to being always online and on-call.
This is when our other life pillars start to suffer - things like friends, family, fitness and sleep. But as a mentor once told me, "We're not working in the ER, things can wait, while you take a short breather."
It's clear that studies show the majority of employees in Singapore prefer companies that provide a healthy balance between work and personal life, in fact, it has become a deciding factor on whether they decide to stay or leave their jobs.
The sad reality is that fewer and fewer Singaporeans are taking their annual leaves. Having a healthy balance is crucial for your mental and physical health, and can help manage stress and burnouts.
It's more than just a superficial need but a legitimate health concern as well. Studies have shown that the more overworked you are, the higher risk you are for a shorter life expectancy.
Here are a few tips on how you can achieve a work-life balance, so you don't end up burned out and overwhelmed.
- Make time for "me" time.
Self-care is more than just a salad now and then. Taking care of yourself is essential, to make sure you take the time to reset and recharge. Whether that's going to the gym or only having a Netflix and Chill session.
- Learn to say "no" and prioritise.
Saying no can seem impossible, particularly at work where you're trying to impress. However, if you say 'yes' to everything, you might find yourself overwhelmed. And there is no one else at fault but yourself. Remember, it's okay to say no to things that stress you out, as long as it's warranted.
- Create boundaries.
Don't take your laptop or phone to bed with you, or answer work messages after hours (unless it's an emergency). Just because you're accessible at all times does not mean you have to be. Set boundaries, so everyone understands your availability.
In the current world we live in, it can be nearly impossible to unplug, and that much easier to send one more email, take that call from your boss or reply to work messages. But remember, the more your work-life filters into your personal life, the more you're losing that balance.
Give yourself the Gift of Time, because Time is Precious.