Life lessons

Work-Life Balance #FridayReflections

We live in a world where most of us seem to be defined by the work we do. If you are in a full-time job, you probably spend close to 40 hours at work. That’s not counting the hours you spend travelling or the work you bring home. Up until 2012, I had a really bad habit of bringing work home. I’d bring home reports and paperwork which I never seemed to have the time for when at work. Then I’d spend my weekends completing these. It affected my physical health big time and my mental health a wee bit. I got overweight, I ate poorly, I barely exercised, I had low iron levels and low vitamin D.

After breaking up that year, I decided eventually to turn my life around. After a presentation in August 2012 {for which I did a lot of work at home}, I decided I would no longer bring work home. For a while though, that meant staying back really late at work. Once again, pretty bad for me.

Around 2013, I decided I would not stay late at work except maybe once a month if I was really lagging behind in paperwork. I figured people who had kids started later and finished at 5 on the dot. Just because I didn’t have kids didn’t mean I wasn’t entitled to having a life. And so began a change. I found other things to do — camping, hiking, exercising, book clubs, writing, blogging, meeting new people. The balance was great and life was good. Sure, I felt way too busy but all in all, I was content.

Until I started the new job this year.

Most new jobs take time to get used to and so in the beginning, I didn’t think much of it when I couldn’t find the time to exercise as much. I ignored not being able to write as much or meet people as often. I figured hiking and camping would come along later. I brought work home because there was a lot to do. A lot to learn. Additionally, I was spending about three hours travelling. Sure, I got a chance to read unlike before when I’d spend two hours a day driving but it was still a lot of time away from doing things I wanted to do.

I got discontent.

I longed for balance.

My mood worsened.

Finally, I decided to stop bringing work home after three months. I tried to make sure I exercised reasonably regularly. I still tried to write. But it’s not the same. The balance has shifted. And I long for it again. Sometimes I think the only way to do it is to find another job closer to home. Maybe then I’ll have more time for things I love. At other times I wonder about cutting down to four days instead of five. Maybe that would make a difference.

I’m still figuring it all out.

What about you? Do you have work-life balance?

How do you do it?

Do share!

Living my Imperfect Life

If you are new to Friday Reflections, here’s what it’s about. It’s the end of the week, you’re probably exhausted with work, and all you want to do is sit back, put your feet up, sip on some fancy cocktail or wine, and write away.

Write Tribe and yours truly give you writing prompts and all you have to do is choose any one of those prompts to blog about and link up every second Friday. The link will be open till the Monday week. After you link up, be sure to spread the love by visiting other bloggers who have linked up too.

Feel free to add our Friday Reflections badge to your post or sidebar! Follow us on Twitter @FridayReflect and join our Facebook Group. Share your post on social media with the hashtag #FridayReflections.

Prompts for this week:
1. How do you motivate yourself to exercise? Share any tips
2. What does normal mean to you? Is it good or bad to be normal?
3. Do you think you have a decent work/life balance?
4. “There is no innovation and creativity without failure. Period.” – Brene Brown
5. Picture Prompt (credit: Everyday Gyaan)

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Our featured writer for last week was Darshana with her unique letter to magic.


Until next time,

Cheers!!!

SANCH_sig1

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  • Shantala
    1 July 2016 at 6:06 am

    I don’t know what kind of insight I can offer, because I myself am just getting back into the corporate world (starting next tuesday) after a sabbatical. I too have a 3 hour commute (both sides included) and am worried about the same. In my case, I cannot, just cannot, bring any work home because of my 4 year old, whom I need to spend some time with. But that doesn’t mean that only people with kids have to have this balance. Work life balance is important for everyone. The activities you chose sound great. You could possibly re-commit to those.
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  • Anamika Agnihotri
    1 July 2016 at 12:49 pm

    Long travelling time, longer work hours with work spilling to home have become the norm in all the bigger cities of the world. The weekdays end up vanishing in a whirl and everything gets reduced to weekend activities including the relationships. But the corporates have been eating up the weekends as well. Doesn’t it seem like bonded labour, of course with the money which never seemes in sync with the work people put in? I hope you find your balance in life soon.
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  • Mahati ramya
    1 July 2016 at 2:48 pm

    I couldn’t say i never brought work home. Initially there was no pressure to work from home. Later, it was impossible to manage all work in office when i climbed up the ladder. I learnt to delegate a few tasks, starting motivating my sub ordinates and colleagues and learnt to work smart instead of hard. I have cut down my coffee and lunch break time. These helped me a lot to find balance. I used to take calls and track status from home though which i couldnt avoid due to my responsibilities.

  • Dashy
    2 July 2016 at 5:26 am

    Maybe you should take your work lightly for a while, take a small break? Hope you’ll be able to sort things out soon.

  • Geets
    2 July 2016 at 5:09 pm

    Isn’t it always a struggle to come and find that balance and when finally it is there, it’s a struggle again to maintain it. Something or the other creeps in and it disturbs the entire regime we were following tirelessly! Bringing work to home does sound lucrative in the office but equally a pain at home. I teach, and the classes are pretty flexible but I do have work that I need to bring home sometimes. All in all it’s fine.
    The activities sound interesting and you should sure make time to indulge in them…

    Hope you find the balance real soon Sanch..

    Cheers

  • Parul
    4 July 2016 at 11:09 pm

    It’s hard for me to answer that. I love my work and I want to finish things without being told to do. Also, with US team I have calls late evenings so I reach home early but I take 2-3 calls a week. All this works for me, cos as a person, I need more flexibility than balance. In India, there are companies that ask employees to clock in 9.5 hours at work each day. So I am lucky that I spend time in office as much as I want and get home and log back in. Days I do not have calls, I log off early to read and write. So with flexibility, I balance my managing home tasks and blogging.
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