We live in days when just a handful of people now have to do the job of almost a hundred people. And since managements are now firing almost at will, everyone is doing everything they can to keep their jobs. Work-life balance is fast becoming a luxury that many white collar executives do not even consider anymore.
Budgets are getting smaller. Teams are getting sliced. Targets are soaring. Fear looms in the horizon. Work-life balance is becoming a myth. Just a few days ago, it was all over the news that one of Nigeria’s commercial banks relieved about 800 (of their already few) workers of their jobs. An annonymous tip said that some branches are so affected that you won’t find up to 5 bankers in them.
This is not the first time a bank is sacking many of its employees. Others in the industry have been carrying out their own “over-weeding” exercises. Organizations in other industries have been doing the same thing as well. The only good thing that has arisen from these mass sacking is the growth of the outsourcing industry in Nigeria. That’s a discourse for another day. So, how will those remaining in the system be able to come up with a work-life balance for themselves?
Work-life balance is an ideology that seeks to ensure that no area suffers in the life of a career person as a result of their commitment to work. This concept seeks to balance the person’s physical, social, family and spiritual life/wellbeing with their commitment at work.
For someone who now has to do the job of many people, maintaining a work-life balance is now almost unthinkable. The predominant thought in this person’s mind is “if I can just work hard enough and keep this job long enough, I will be fine.” After all, there will be no work-life balance if there is no work.
What is your story?
If that is your story, I want to inform you that you will be doing yourself great injustice to think that way. You might even lose the job sooner than necessary if you think that way. Because the balance is needed for optimum performance. It is needed for you to keep the right attitude. Granted, your family and other areas of your life need your attention. However, you need to grant them that attention for your total self to actually emerge and shine. Self is the mean of the totality of your perceived worth in your own eyes and (your perceived worth) in the eyes of your colleagues, acquintances and family. It is incomplete without input from your family and other acquintances. And your boss will notice that gap if they have good people skills.
Maintaining Work-Life Balance in Trying Times
The following steps will help you to create and maintain a work-life balance that will help you to be in charge of your life and bring out the best in you at work.
Take out time to meditate. Find a perfect spot. It should be quiet, serene, clean and free of distraction. Contemplate on your life. What are those things that gives you joy the most. Think about them one after the other. Smile as you think about them. Then think about your job. Don’t obey the urge to stop smiling at this point. What is the role of your job in all of this? Your job provides the finances to fuel those things, right? Your job brings the kind of balance you need to actually enjoy your relationship with your spouse, children, friends, pet and so on. Right? Why is the job important? Make a mental note. Why is your spiritual life important? Make a mental note. Why is your relationship with family and friends important?
Take stock. How is your relationship with work right now. Are you on top of it or are you struggling? Are you hitting your targets or are you behind. Are you in charge or are you overwhelmed? Also, how is your relationship with your your colleagues at work right now? Is your boss happy with you? Are your colleagues happy with you?
How is your relationship with friends? When last did you call or text your high school friend? What about your former neighbour who became your friend?
What about family? When last did you sit down to watch TV with your immediate family?
Take a pen and write down the names of those who mean something to you. How has your relationship been with them?
Make up your mind to begin to invest in these relationships again, despite your busy schedule. One thing you can do right away is to schedule text messages to all of them. The messages could be made to go out at the beginning of every month, wishing them a happy new month. You can schedule personal messages to each of them. You can decide to call at least 3 of your contacts everyday. Don’t just make a mental decision. Put it in your planner and set an alarm for it.
Then allocate time to your spiritual development. Set time aside for daily meditation. The key here is consistency. You can choose to use a part of your break or toilet time to meditate. Man is a spiritual being and must consistently at various points, reach out to his spiritual essence.
Also allocate time for personal development. Reading time. Exercising time. Eating time. Self loving time (one massage a month, 10 minutes daily work-out, going for once a week movie and so on). You can find it all in your busy schedule. Remember, it’s not how long. It’s the consistency that matters.
When you allocate time to your loved ones and those who work with you, what do you do when that time pops up? The best thing to do is to appreciate them. Your text messages should be that of gratitude. Thank them for being your friends and even for just been who they are. Appreciate them for any act of kindness you can remember them for. It has been said that whatever you appreciate grows.
As you daily appreciate these people, your life will begin to radiate the wholesomeness of a truly blessed person. More beautiful things and people will naturally flow into your life. Work will become exhilarating. Life takes on a different meaning!
Imagine the kind of enthusiasm you will begin to exude as you relate with colleagues. Many of them are going to ask you the secret to the new you. When they do, teach them! That’s how to proliferate it. You start a movement! Get everyone in your organization that likes what they see to begin to live this lifestyle. Any organization that is able to develop this kind of culture will definitely become invincible. Everyone will want to work there. So there goes! Go ahead and proliferate this.
I hope you have enjoyed this article. Kindly leave a comment below.