Does this look like you: a stressed up individual that has too much to do but too little time to complete everything? Have concerned friends and family asked you to slow down your pace and chill but you cannot seem to do so? It has become increasingly difficult for people to find the perfect work-life balance in this day and age.
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Is it possible to define what is work-life balance? Are individuals searching for ways to maintain their work-life balance?
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Work- life balance can defined according to the Businessdictionary.com as “A comfortable state of equilibrium achieved between an employee’s primary priorities of their employment position and their private lifestyle.” But is it possible to find and maintain that “state of equilibrium” in fast paced Singapore? Typing the words “work-life balance” onto the Google search bar, the internet provides you with opinions, statistics and tips on how to maintain a work-life balance and there is no right or wrong answer. Deborah Jian Lee contributed an article in Forbes’ series on work-life balance where she lists 6 tips for better work-life balance. Her 6 tips include : 1) Let go of perfectionism , 2) Unplug, 3) Exercise and meditate, 4) Limit time-wasting activities and people, 5) Change the structure of your life and 6) Start small and build from there. I do admit that her 6 tips are useful and would help the general public try to achieve a work-life balance but there are others who have also touched on this topic and have come up with some different tips. A contributed article on Jobs Central by Farhan Shah titled “ Are You a Corporate Zombie? 5 tips to maintain work-life balance” highlighted some tips that struck a chord: 1) In order to maintain a work-life balance , a person would need to learn how to manage stress positively and 2) To have a good support system to be there to share your happiness and stresses together with you. To be honest, if I am to come up with tips to maintain a work-life balance in my own situation, it would be to mesh both Deborah and Farhan’s tips and it will look something like this: I placed the idea of “managing stress positively” in the centre of the diagram as stress is always one of the factors in which will throw a person’s perception of work-life balance off. There are situations in which people are unable to cope with the stress (either at home or in the workplace) and it will have caused emotional and mental breakdowns. Managing stress positively will lessen the chances of emotional breakdowns from occurring and it would certainly help people be more efficient in their work. Next, I put the “having a good support system to be there” as I feel that having your family, closest friends and people that you trust close to you can help in supporting you through life’s challenges. The people in your life that mean the most to you can also be there to share in your joys and your woes, either at work or at home. They would provide the support that you need to push through a difficult day and celebrate your successes. Extending from having a good support system, the next tip that I have put in is limit time-wasting activities. I have come to realise that in the working world, there are certain activities in the scope of the job that you are assigned to that are time-consuming and will lead to an individual being unproductive. Checking up social media accounts or having little “gossip sessions” around the office water cooler might take up someone’s time to be servicing their client or doing research for a presentation. By not wasting time on these, it might save a few precious minutes of your time and you are able to use that time to be more productive. I personally like the fourth tip and will always wish I have enough time to exercise, meditate and reflect. By doing some exercise after a long hard day at work will releases endorphins, which trigger a positive feeling in the body. Exercise will also help you sleep better, which improves the quality of your life. Reflecting on what you have gone through during the day or the week also allows you to find out what you have done right or wrong and improve on what has to be done the following week.
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These 4 tips have helped me maintain a work-life balance in this industry that I am working in and I am sure that there are many more tips that I have yet to explore. I am curious to find out if anyone else has any tips to share on how to maintain a work-life balance in this fast-paced country we call Singapore.