Human beings desire to create a life of meaning and don a variety of hats in our life. You can not do a good job, if your job is all you do. However, thanks to modern communication devices, the line between time for work and other aspects of life is more blurred than ever. The intensity of work is more, and the sense of autonomy is lesser, impacting the wholeness of life and increasing stress and disharmony. Working from home also brings to the surface, more severely, everything that we are not able to attend to. This lack of balance can manifest as frequent physical illness, emotional exhaustion, defensive attitude, and victimhood.
As the separators between professional and personal life have ceased to exist, we need to get comfortable integrating the work and non-work dimensions of life. You may need to attend a parent-teacher meeting during work hours and devote time to your professional assignment on the weekend. Being able to move between different needs seamlessly, without the guilt and pressure from self, colleagues, bosses, and family, gives a feeling of control in life and the satisfaction of doing justice to the chosen roles. The following steps can help make this integration easier –
– List down all the things you need to do at work and in your life outside of work. This can be a very revealing exercise as it will throw up the intensity you feel around your different roles. It will also highlight your preference versus your reality.
– Use this awareness to align your actions and behaviors to what is important to you. Why is it important? What value does it represent for you?
– Create a list of stop-doing things. You are the CEO of your life. You prioritize what deserves your attention. You do not want to be a martyr while trying to be a superhero!
– Occasionally, remind yourself of the reasons why you make the choices you make? After all, following your heart energizes you, whereas, acting from a place of compulsion, drains you.