Last week we had an outbound session. It wasn’t on work-Life balance, but it transpired into an interesting conversation on it. In fact it was on team building and we made the participants play our famous Human Video Game activity.
I must say, one of the activities in it really got some of the participants thinking. In fact two of them approached us later in the evening. They confessed that they could not get that activity out of their minds and desperately wanted to know the solution. They had wrecked their brains for the last 3 hours and could not resist asking us now!
To put an end to their agony, or should I say partial end, we gave them some more clues and asked them to think some more! We had to teach them not to give up so fast in life.
I’ve always noticed that life throws many questions to us. We struggle with finding the answers and spend a lot of time asking people for the answer. The funny part is that most of the time the answer that others give does not satisfy us. When it comes from within our very own core, that is when we are actually get convinced with the answer. Sounds familiar? I therefore always encourage people around me to do a lot of soul searching. Their answers are waiting deep inside them, just waiting to be discovered.
Coming back to the conversation
The conversation slowly took a turn with one of the participants telling me how passionate he thought I was about training. I explained to him that the passion came through experience. It came through experiencing a lot of pain in life. I wouldn’t say that I’ve had a very painful life, but I would like to stress on the word ‘experience’.
There are many people out there in the world who have had very difficult and painful lives. I’ve heard of some really difficult and disturbing stories. But the problem is that most of us go through the experience but never stop to ask ourselves some important questions while going through them. We never look back at the experience and see what we’ve learnt from it. Looking at it and asking “Is this what I really want” is something that we just don’t tend to do. It’s like we just go through life in a sleeping state. We never wake up to actually see what’s going on in our lives. “Am I happy with the way my life is” or “Am I enjoying what I am doing” are questions we don’t spend enough time with.
Many of us attend self-development courses and read self-help books. We get inspired during the course of these and ask ourselves these questions. We even take a vow to make a difference in our lives and spend more time with ourselves and our family. But unfortunately the effect stays just a week after we complete the session or the book. We land up getting into our routines and all the awakening is pretty much lost with our Work-Life Balance returning to its former imbalance!
Maintaining Work-Life Balance
The question I want to ask you today is, is it really possible to maintain your work-life balance in this crazy competitive world? Actually I should first ask you what work-life balance is. Is it that you can only get it if you spend half your hours at work and half at home, you know, for balancing the two out? Does it mean giving equal amounts of time to socialising, going out with your family or spending time with yourself in the ‘life’ part?
Let me tell you something interesting. Work-life balance is actually not about time! It’s about happiness. How? Okay let me explain.
Am sure you’re with me on not splitting your time equally. So if we have 24 hours in a day, it doesn’t mean we have to work for 12 and play for 12! That’s clear am sure. As it is, working 12 hours a day doesn’t give most of us happiness, does it! (I’ll still say most, for some people it does) So that couldn’t be the meaning.
What does it really mean then?
So let’s stick to our 8 hours of work in day and the remaining 16 hours can go to life. (Problem already seems to be fixed right! Doesn’t seem that bad does it now when you realise you have 16 hours for yourself and only 8 for work. By the way, sleeping is a form of spending time with yourself!) The problem with many people is that they hate what they do for those 8 working hours in a day. So that means they are unhappy for 8 hours everyday. This makes getting through the 8 hours really difficult and gives them a perception of it being much longer than it actually is. Also, besides the 8 hours where they are meant to be working, they also spend a few hours thinking about how they hate what they do in the 8 hours. This further prolongs their 8 working hours.
When the 8 hours of work get prolonged, then what happens? The 16 hours tend to feel less, although you are actually getting 16 hours off work. Then what happens to work-life balance? It feels imbalanced.
Now just think. If you actually enjoyed what you did during the work hours (Mind you am saying enjoy what you do and not do what you enjoy. There is a way to enjoy what you do no matter what it is although the reverse is definitely easier!). Your work time would be restricted to 8 hours. You would be satisfied and happy with the work time and that will percolate into another happy 16 hours of life. Now that would be real work-life balance wouldn’t it! Interesting?
If you are inquisitive to know how we can help you maintain the work-life balance of your employees and teach them how to enjoy their work, visit us at www.theyellowspot.com Waiting to hear from you!