“Our life is not out of balance, the truth is we are living in distractions.”
I get a lot of emails from my readers to write a book on the subject of stress management and happiness. And looking at the volume of the incoming emails, I must admit that I and my publisher are convinced about the need to write one. It is appalling to see how successful educated people are at making their lives miserable by sweating over the small stuff.
What is work-life balance?
It is very important to feel centred and balanced in your life, otherwise every single day will turn into a battle for survival. Everybody wants to achieve work-life balance but not many people are willing to develop the discipline to sustain the balance. It is impossible to sort out your professional life without working on your personal life. If you experience stress on a regular basis then practise the 7-step formula I am sharing for 30 days and see the difference in your life. After 30 days, your transformed life will feel so good that you will hate going back to your past life.
I also want to warn you to avoid the ‘I already know these steps’ attitude. You never truly know something unless you are living it every day. Proactive people design the days of their lives while the reactive people let their life run them. Which category do you belong to?
The seven secrets to achieve work-life balance:
1. Watch your words: Never use the phrase ‘easier said than done’ for things that must be done. The words you use to describe yourself create or destroy your self-esteem. You can change your self-sabotaging habits provided you give up your sloppy vocabulary. Use words that express a strong intent to take charge of your life. Give up the victim talk and develop the vocabulary of a warrior.
2. Start with the hour of power: Form the habit of waking up early. Get out of bed because of your own will rather than the fear of getting late. Nothing destroys your self-esteem more than laziness. If you over-sleep, you slowly begin to accept an identity of being a lazy human being. Get into the habit of meditating for 30 minutes, followed by 30 minutes of intensive workout. People often complain that they do not have the energy to exercise; the truth is that they do not have the energy because they do not exercise.
3. Practise gratitude: Behind every happy person there is a grateful heart. Every day when you get up to go to work. Never say, ‘I have to go to office’, rather say, ‘I love to go to office’. Treat your work-life as a gift and you will not mind putting in extra hours if the work demands.
4. Organise your work-plan and avoid multitasking: Human brain is not designed for multitasking. Organise your daily tasks in the order of priority and then go after them one by one. By following this one simple habit, you will accomplish more in a day than you accomplish in two days of multitasking. Do not begin doing the next thing without completing the most important thing.
5. Give up complaining and blaming: Stress does not come from 12 hours of work, but it surely comes from 12 minutes of complaining. Every time you complain about your work and blame your boss for your situation, you are literally throwing away your happiness. There are certain things you can change and there are certain things you must accept. Be wise enough to know the difference. If you think you are smarter than your boss then prove it through your work not through your words.
6. Be friends with happy and productive people: Your happiness is the average of the happiness of five people you surround yourself with. If you spend time with people who are always dodging work and complaining about it, then very soon you will pick up their traits as well. Spend time with those who talk about ideas rather than those who gossip. Find out the five happiest and most intelligent people at your workplace and try meeting them on a regular basis. You will notice a huge difference in your productivity and workplace happiness. Learn to say ‘no’ to people who do not add value to your life. There are just two kinds of people-one who inspire you and the others who drain you emotionally.
7. Give up the distractions: Learn to conserve your emotional energy. Never get emotional about politicians, sportsmen or celebrities. I have seen people fighting and arguing with each other on the issues of politics. They spend couple of hours every day talking about people who do not even know them. Once you have voted, avoid getting into any discussion related to politics. Likewise, sports is meant to be played, not watched. It is difficult to get it the first time but it is much better to play cricket for 1 hour than to watch it for 6.
The time you will save by following these seven steps can be used in developing skills that will make you more productive and valuable for your organisation. As a thumb rule in life, I never do anything that does not add value to my life. By value I mean — money in my bank, love in my heart and intelligence in my head.
Take charge of your life and feel the difference.