Create a work-life balance that truly works for you!

“Balance is not better time management, but better boundary management. Balance means making choices and enjoying those choices’—Betsy Jacobson, business consultant

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Finding a work-life balance is good for both physical and mental health. But many times, heavy job responsibilities steal that balance away. When that happens, both work and home life can suffer unwanted consequences.

Finding a balance between work and home life can be difficult, but it’s well worth the effort!

Ask yourself and answer honestly, to know if you’re out of balance when you…

1. Have multiple e-mail sitting unopened for days if not weeks
2. Think you have more on your plate than you can chew
3. Constantly keep declining invitations from friends/family/peer
4. Cannot recall the last time you talked/spoke/interacted with your siblings
5. Forget appointments/commitments
6. Stop writing/reviewing your task lists for the week and are free flying
7. Haven’t synched your calendars/appointments in weeks
8. Don’t care or feel upset/overwhelmed if you’re not on track with your plan of action
9. Can’t remember what’s in/on your plan of action
10. Don’t answer your phone/text/message/DMs **or** you’re always on the phone for a long time

But how is it possible to achieve that balance and still excel at one’s job?

Now, let us focus on how you can get yourself back on track. But first, it would be mindful to ask some thought-provoking, creative and inspiring questions.
Grab a pen and paper and start answering the following 10 questions, which will help you to reflect upon your choice to channelise your actions:

1. What according to you does it mean to be completely fulfilled in your life and work?
2. What are your values that you must become aware of to have a fulfilled life?
3. How would you honour the values you have written down, and how would these values impact your experience of work-life balance?
4. What are you committed towards in changing your current work-life style?
5. What are the different actions that you feel are currently giving you the least joy?
6. What two or three actions can you take right now to create the most impact on your wellbeing?
7. What four/five things would you start doing in your daily life so that you have absolute work or life fulfilment?
8. What things/activities are you willing to stop, going forward,to achieve fulfilment?
9. Most importantly, when are you ready to commit to honestly answering all the aforementioned questions?
10. Now, seriously answer: When will you commit to taking responsibility for the choice that you make in your life?

If you are still pondering where to start, do try to use these strategies to create the work-life balance you seek:

1. Avoid checking work e-mails outside the office

While in the office, you’ll probably check your work -emails often to ensure that all meetings and deadlines are met. However, checking them when you’re off work allows your work life to encroach on your home life

Set boundaries for yourself and your work colleagues regarding e-mails, so that you can take care of work communications only while at work.

2. Learn to say ‘No’

You may love your job, but it’s usually unnecessary to be available to your boss 24/7. We all need a break occasionally, and there is nothing wrong with saying ‘no’ once in a while, especially outside of your allotted work hours.

3. Work smarter, not harder

Instead of working all hours of the day, with very little rest, work smarter. You’ll actually get more done in a shorter period of time.

Prioritise important tasks and do these tasks first each day.This way, the most important things always get done.

Avoid unproductive activities, such as unstructured meetings or constantly checking your social media accounts

4. Leave work at work

This may be hard and may not always be possible, but when you clock off for the day, make a mental note that work has finished.

Perhaps, take a moment to acknowledge that work has finished by stopping and taking a deep breath before your commute home. The reason for this is to ensure that you are not bringing the work and any stress associated with it home.

5. You don’t need to be perfect

Have you ever been on your way out of the office, only to turn back around because you thought of a way to make a report or task perfect? Sometimes, it pays to remind yourself that you and your work are good enough.

6. Focus on things outside work

For some of us, our work is our life, but what happens if one day we lose our job? Where does that leave us? It may be a scary thought, but it’s important to have a life outside work.

Develop some hobbies that interest you. Spending time doing something that you love reduces stress and energisesyou while relaxing you and uplifting your mood. Add some “happy time” to your life!

7. Make your own rules

There has been a shift in work attitudes, especially among younger workers. More people – even bosses – are recognising the value of work-life balance. Come up with your own ideas that will help you separate your work from your home life and run them by your boss. They might just agree!

As you read through this article, take a moment to reflect on your learnings.

Turning to an ICF-credentialed coach also can help you find clarity and take the next step forward on your own journey to find a good work-life balance

The International Coaching Federation (ICF) is the world’s largest organisation leading the global advancement of the coaching profession and fostering coaching’s role as an integral part of a thriving society. Founded in 1995, its 35,000-plus members located in more than 140 countries and territories work toward common goals of enhancing awareness of coaching and upholding the integrity of the profession through lifelong learning and upholding the highest ethical standards. Through the work of its six unique family organizations, ICF empowers professional coaches, coaching clients, organisations, communities and the world through coaching. Visit coachingfederation.org for more information.

In India, ICF is represented by six vibrant chapters, all led by volunteers — ICF Bengaluru, ICF Chennai, ICF Delhi NCR, ICF Mumbai, ICF Pune and ICF Hyderabad.

The author, Aditya Sisodia is an ICF ACC certified coach, author, serial entrepreneur, mentor, corporate trainer, keynote speaker, talk show host and psychologist (Associate with American Psychological Association). Sisodia is passionate about Leadership Career Transition and Business Strategy. He loves supporting executives and professionals from Fortune top 50 to overcome obstacles to achieve self-regulation, goal-directed persistence, task initiation, planning/prioritisation, role transition, organisationand time management. He has a strong determination to offer something different, with the intention of helping others succeed in their life/business. He is a member of the ICF Delhi NCR Charter Chapter.

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