Misconceptions around Work-Life balance

Misconceptions start from very description of popular term “Work-Life balance”. Work is actually part of life. The mistake is to treat Work and Life (i.e. personal life) as 2 separate entities and then, talk of balancing.
Most successful people have lot of work, less of free time; but they are mostly healthy and rarely talk of missing on work-life balance. Why? They might be auto-balancing, which very few can see!

Misconceptions galore

  1. Treating Work and Life as 2 separate compartments.
    These are actually 2 aspects of one Whole – Life; or you can say 2 sides of same coin.
  2.  Assumption that how and what you do in your personal life would not impact professional life or vice versa is wholly misplaced.
  3. Exaggerated notions
  • Dedication at work means over-working.
  • Ownership inevitably means stress and worry.
  • Getting fatigued and tired is alright, week-end is there to recharge.
  • At last, I have time for my family.
  • Oh! Now that I am retired from work, I can do what I always wanted to do.

    4. Split behavior

  • Hands-on at work, hands-off at home
  • Bull at work, bear at home or vice versa
  • Involved at work, indulge at home
  • Conscious at work, crazy at home
  • Pressure at work, release at home

These misconceptions also bring you morning or Monday blues.

Drawing a parallel
What you do in personal life, are directly relevant to your professional life. Look at these parallels:

  1. Correct way of treating employees is how you treat your family – respectful and reasonable, considerate and caring.
  2. Best example of ownership on your team or project is how you parent (especially a mother) your children.
  3. Your loyalty to Company should be no less than your loyalty to Spouse.
  4. You can’t do without courage and calm to manage a conflict at work and that’s what you need also at home.
  5. What drives you for decisions on your personal investments should also drive you for business decisions at work.

What can auto-balance your “Work-Life”

  1. Believe that work is never a burden or liability. It is meant to be enjoyed as much as you enjoy while at home or holidays.
    At one stroke, you would develop your dedication, dynamism and diligence.
  2. What you like to do, do not postpone it to another day. Find a way to do little of all what you like or have to; but incrementally and without compromising your duties.
    If you have a desire to find a way, you would surely get it! Our dogma – we do not believe this works. Factually, it does!!
  3. If you want to be a horse of long race, you ought to be healthy and happy.
  4. Forget that “over work or excess stress” can be off-set by “over rest or excess relaxation”. Both are bad!
  5. Eliminate 2 Big blunders, most commit – to ignore “qualitative development of self” and “securing future”.
    On Qualitative Development, you normally think –
  • It is a separate subject.
  • It would happen, as you gain experience.
  • It would come, when you get training.
  • It is not meaningful to your work and meaningless for your vacation.
    Human race is most fortunate to learn what is good and what is not, what is right and wrong, from childhood through academia to now. Hence, you know these already! Experience would only consolidate, training would polish and some medium would help you to change for better.
    Make it integral to your work and life and drive your qualitative development.
    Securing Future is the best “stress relieving dose” –
  • When you earn, you spend and when you spend, think to save.
  • Save and invest to secure your/family’s future. Many think it is not importance today; they regret tomorrow.

Here is “What You Should Do”

  1. Set your definition right on “Work-Life balance”.
  2. See the parallels in Professional and Personal life.
  3. Seek joy in everything you do and blend it with qualitative aspects.
  4. Stop over-doings in name of passion or vacation.
  5. Slice your time, when you are not sleeping, into –
    40 to 45% at Work
    40 to 45% not at Work (for family, socializing, travel…)
    10 to 20% for your health, self-development and securing future.
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21 Comments
  • May 20,2013 at 5:11 pm

    google…

    Google http://www.google.com

  • Sushil Jain
    Sep 8,2012 at 4:43 pm

    Most people are not aware of self because we all go through a highly random process of learning about our self / our life processes. Corporate training is mostly about managing others…. Wisdom is about managing me/operating from Source/ operating from abundance…. It is a major shift….

    Formal systematic education is about physics, chemistry, mathematics, other subjects….. It is amazing to see, how much has been done in these areas in the last 100 years… A similar thing can happen if systematic education happens in the area of knowing our self at the right stage….

    • Sep 9,2012 at 12:15 pm

      I appreciate your views, which also reflect your perception. Thanks!

  • Sushil Jain
    Sep 6,2012 at 9:14 pm

    Great write up Murli. Most of it true. But again my humble suggestion is that the best change comes from inside, knowing our Self, getting aware of our self by closing watching our thoughts, feelings, and actions….

    contemplation on in what situation we are happy and full of energy….. in what situations we are drained out and unhappy…. what we must think or do to change that to be always happy and energetic…. believe me, we all have answers to these questions…. it is just we did not pay attention to these….

    If through some practice, I am able to watch for my happiness and keep it flowing…..that is it….. A happy person works best, is a team person, accept others, believes in sharing his knowledge, believes in excellence not competition, people around him will be happy, whether at home or at work…..Result is joyful life with complete balance… Key is to start with happiness…..

    • Sep 8,2012 at 12:48 pm

      I am pleased to receive your valuable feedback as also additional suggestion.

      It is very true that change has to come from inside. Do not you believe that most people know this? But, then why are they not changing? All what you have stated under suggestion are relevant and desirable. But, then what is missing? Why extensive training, coaching and mentoring in Corporate still do not enable people to strike a work life balance? These are the problems, which this post is trying to address.

      Many guests on this site have communicated to me that now they are able to do a better job and feel much more relaxed!

  • Apr 18,2012 at 8:42 pm

    Some different point of views here from a very Successful person as well
    http://edition.cnn.com/2012/04/16/tech/web/cashmore-facebook-sandberg/index.html

    • Apr 19,2012 at 6:41 pm

      This is an interesting article and its key message compliments what the post “Misconceptions around…” on CYI site brings out. The bottom line for validity of “what you do” is success on sustained basis. Since Sheryl Sandberg has been successful in her career, it is pointless to even debate what she is doing is right or wrong! She is obviously doing it right!!

  • Pankaj Gaonkar
    Mar 5,2012 at 8:04 pm

    Dear Mr. Lohia,

    Thanks for writing this truly relevant article especially in the fast paced lifestyle that we are living currently. Having a Balanced life is an integral part in ensuring the well being of the person. A well balanced life is instrumental in creating that perfect harmony between the various aspects in life that one has.

    Thanks again for giving us such useful & valuable information.

    • Mar 6,2012 at 10:52 am

      You have said it very appropriately! Also many thanks for giving a larger perspective of balanced life. It in indeed crucial to all of us and can only makes us happier!!

  • PRATEEK SINGHVI
    Mar 2,2012 at 1:02 pm

    Thanks a lot Sir for sharing such a wonderful topic in a nice and wonderful aspects which is talk accross the Organistation in bits and pieces but not like as concrete as you have mentioned .

    One more think which can further enchance our Work-Life balance is that if we can identify time-wasters in our day to day life because these time waster consume lot of our time and we loose lot of our valuable time to do some value added things which can bring good to the organisation, family and society as whole.

    Time-wasters vary from individual to individual and I feel I identify those every week when I analysis my every day activity both in what i do at my workplace and at Home.

    • Mar 4,2012 at 12:33 pm

      I am extremely thankful to you for your great feedback!

      You are very right that we must identify and eliminate time-wasting activities. Obviously, these are unproductive and unnecessarily put strain on you. One thing that is going to help most is to focus on qualitative development of self, as mentioned in the post. This can go a long way to not allow or minimize such activities at 1st very instant, rather than allowing them to creep in and then, clean up later.

  • Laxmikant Mishra (LCM)
    Feb 29,2012 at 8:37 pm

    Lohia sahab:

    Excellent write-up.

    Most things done .. however .. one area where am not sure ..how to handle.

    Treating the company with the same loyalty as the spouse.. I believe .. come hell or hail .. my spouse will not desert me .. I do not have the same conviction about my company. Co is non entity .. the entities are supervisors, HR, and various other people and most with diverging needs ..

    Your inputs would help ..

    • Mar 1,2012 at 3:36 pm

      Many thanks for your feedback and comments!

      You have written about your spouse’s loyalty to you. Does it not sound….I wish you could have mentioned your loyalty to your spouse. I think you mean this; but it matters what you say or state. Likewise, what matters is your loyalty to your company, regardless of vice versa. It would give you wonderful results sooner or latter; no doubt your other performance parameters would matter. As long as you choose to be in a company, you should safe guard its interests, have ownership and deliver your best to the organization. And, if you can not, you should consider moving on!

  • Himanee Savadatti
    Feb 29,2012 at 12:04 pm

    Sir, the ‘What You Should Do’ Section is a perfect recipe for Balanced Life (both Professional, Personal). I feel that most of the people who cannot balance their life have negative attitude towards life. Reading more positive articles, books, watching positive movies (Shaw shank Redemption, best movie ever!) really helps to analyze onself and then direct things in life. Thanks for sharing this blog, I like reading your writings.

    • Feb 29,2012 at 4:17 pm

      Superbly said! Thanks a lot. Positive things that you do, can only bring positive results!!

  • Shirish Ratnaparkhi
    Feb 29,2012 at 10:23 am

    Dear Sir,
    Nice to read this article and as always it is very much applicable directly.
    Glad to say that I am on track, not sure sure how much off-track. I believe in continuous correction as long as the direction is right.
    Good day..!

    • Feb 29,2012 at 3:28 pm

      Thanks and very well said. When direction is right, then continuous correction would make you win the race!

  • Arun
    Feb 29,2012 at 3:03 am

    This is a really superb article, Mr. Lohia.

    Its the last part that’s tricky to achieve. How do you do just 40 – 45% of your time at work? The better the employee, the more the work he or she gets, and it all piles up – even if you delegate to others, you still have to check! So How do you arrange your time to get things done in 45 of your time?

    To add – I remember you once telling me to check email only once every two hours or so. In the period in between, just close the email program and dont check it. The continuous interruptions only make you less effective, and so you need more time to do things. Now Email is replaced by Internet, Facebook, Google plus… Maybe you can elaborate on how to handle this “new world” of overcommunication.

    • Feb 29,2012 at 3:23 pm

      I am encouraged by your feedback. Thank you very much. You have sharp memories!

      Let us look at the time to work. If you exclude from “24×7 hrs a week” the time you sleep, you will have 10 to 11 hrs Monday to Friday purely for work through out the year. Actually it is more per working day, when you consider festival/national holidays and vacation days. Don’t you think that this is more than adequate? If you really have to spend more time for work, I would suggest think it over. It may not be good in long run. I am sure you are pretty smart to rework and manage!

      I completely agree that this new world of over-communication is taking a toll on all classes of generations. One silver lining is texts are getting shorter! I think that we need to draw a line and decide how much to get into several forms of social media. Color of grass would not change, if you choose to scale down to what you can sustain comfortably. So, cut it down now that you can be within the suggested ratio of time slices.

  • Rudra
    Feb 29,2012 at 12:42 am

    As usual, couldn’t agree with you more… nice to know that somebody out there thinks exactly the way I do… :), at-least I can say I come somewhere close to you if not at the same wavelength.

    As for your point, correct, there shouldn’t be any difference in a person’s life regarding “work” and “life”. If you can’t enjoy your work or what you do, you’re never gonna create wonders. I take my office (work) as just another thing in my life. I go to work and make sure I enjoy everything that I do – whether its my work, writing emails, communicating with clients/customers or with my colleagues.

    There should absolutely be no pressure or stress in doing something that you do everyday. Remember, we all have got 2 types of lives – Professional and Social. To make sure that our Social life run smoothly out there (from a financial point-of-view), we give our 100% in our Professional lives. And it really doesn’t make sense to, kind-of, destroy your Social life just by taking some unnecessary stress in your Professional life.

    The day you start taking your work as “work”, you’re gone for all money. It should be fun… it should be like a walk in the park, eating your favorite dish, playing your favorite game… I’ve been following this since beginning and I think I’ve done pretty well!!

    I truly believe that if you’re able to turn your hobby into your profession, the Work-Life balance will automatically be sorted out. Having said that, pity for those who don’t have any choice but to work in some alien territory forcibly… but then, they can always take a leaf out of your posts!! 🙂

    • Feb 29,2012 at 1:22 pm

      Your comments are great! Thanks. I liked the whole description, how well you are managing your Work – Life balance!!

      My compliments to you for doing lot of things right. I am sure you would be able to push yourself to great heights in your career.

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