Life-work balance is what we all aspire for. Time is a constant; each one of us gets a standard 24 hours in a day. Time is what majority of us are short of and run after. Unfortunately, whether we accept it or not, time is what most of us waste the most. People working late in the offices is a norm, yet deadlines are not met. In the bargain what is getting most affected are the ‘spouse/family time’ and the ‘me time’.
Where are we going wrong?
The main issue lies in prioritising our time and space. Despite knowing the fact that there is a finite time available to us in a day we fail to prioritise it and utilise it optimally.
Prioritising of time is not just related to which work to do when but also whom to give the time and when. Priority is also related to professional time and ‘our time’. For a vast majority of the white-collar workers the career/ profession has become a priority and the ‘me/ our time’ has got relegated to the background.
People are struggling to maintain the work-life balance when what they should be thinking about is the life-work balance. When an individual places life before work then only life will get the time weightage and attention it deserves.
There are some who give more time to their boss or colleagues then they give to the spouse/ family; relationships suffer. Personal health is generally lost sight of and ends up as the biggest sufferer.
In short, adjustments are made in all spheres of life to suit the profession. People shift locations, travel long distance, cut down the family time, neglect health just to give their best to the profession.
It is ‘me’ who should matter most to any person. All actions should be directed towards making the self-happy. I am not saying that one should become self-obsessed, but one should respect and love oneself. Then only he/ she will learn to care for others and more importantly develop respect for other people’s time.
Scheduling of time is very important especially for the leaders. Programs should not be changed unless beyond control. A leaders should not allow anyone to waste his/ her time. Delays imposed on the leaders has a cascading effect on the time schedule of all other subordinates. A leader should arrive on time but should leave before time so that others can leave on time. This will ensure ‘me’ time for everyone in the organisation.
I have had the experience of working with two bosses who were on the extreme end of this spectrum. One hardly ever came on time and entire adversely affected the entire decision-making process. There was another boss with whose arrival and departure one could time the watch. He was meticulous, gave timely decisions and valued time (his and everyone else’s). It is anyone’s guess who among the two was more respected and motivated better outcomes.
A professional should not forget that he/ she has a family too. While at office the work can be handled by other colleagues, but the family may be just dependent on you. An individual should learn to differentiate between the needs and requirements of life. The family needs you whereas the profession may just require you (till you facilitate the growth). The family will stand by you all your life whereas in the profession you may just be a number. The boss may just leave you out to sustain his profit margins; to maintain the company’s ‘bottom line’.
Well, profession is required to provide for self and sustain the family. Adequate time should be given to the profession, but it should not be at the cost of the personal life. Learn the art of maintaining life-work balance.
At work and even at home one should use the art of delegation to the maximum. Delegation is not just downwards; it can be upwards or lateral too. Every boss should encourage all round delegation for optimal utilisation of time and resources.
Time is available to everyone in same quantity. But still, some appear to have it more than the others. The reason is just that they have learnt to set the prioritize in life and have understood the importance of delegation. Life can only be good if there is balance and especially when this balance is tilted towards life and not work. One should maximize the ‘me’ and the ‘family’ time while ensuring availability of adequate time for profession too.