Deborah Joseph, Scientific Software Developer
Desperate times call for desperate measures, whether we’re working from home or the office we are glued to our digital screens, day in and day out, and even after office hours we are on alert anticipating an official call, which means our mind never gets the break it needs. We never really flip the office switch off, which not only disrupts our personal lives and relationships but also results in lowered work performance. “Early to bed early to rise, makes one healthy wealthy and wise!” This is one saying that we all grew up learning in school, when it did seem more practical in some ways. But now that we live in a world that never sleeps, we are encouraged to lose sleep for attaining what’s important instead of being advised on finding the right balance between work and life. There is no such thing as perfection, it’s our progression towards perfection that actually counts and makes a real difference. The more we enjoy the process, the more we tend to learn and develop. We work so hard to be complaisant employees but barely put in any effort to take time out for ourselves and our family. We often underestimate the magnitude of selfcare our body and mind require to be at its best. On our chase after deadlines, we tend to leave our lives bereft of real comfort and happiness. Our brain and body are hardwired to adapt to our lifestyles and that is how even an unhealthy lifestyle begins to seem normal.
This article is nothing but a gentle reminder of how we can keep our body and mind healthy despite our hectic work lives. The major pointers are to maintain a time and involvement balance without curtailing your role either as a part of your family or your organization. For starters, maintaining a healthy sleep cycle by setting your biological clock to wake up and sleep right on time is extremely helpful. The main challenges narrow down to eating healthy and being involved in some sort of regular physical activity. It is excruciating hard if not impossible to resist munching on some snacks while you’re at your desk working continuously for hours. We rely on them for immediate energy boost-ups or even stress busts without realising the long-term damage they cause to our physical and mental health. Apart from choosing to eat healthy, it seems almost impossible to take out time for anything remotely close to physical activities. However, we could adopt some smart strategies to fit in active exercises into our tight and busy schedules. Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) is one such strategy that aids in keeping the mind and body active through many small movements that eventually add up to count as a proper exercise. This requires the effort to bring about a change in your daily habits, such as, instead of taking calls while sitting in a comfortable chair, try walking around your office room or your balcony, take the stairs instead of the elevator, volunteer to do chores at home or run errands; but most importantly get into the habit of taking short breaks and follow workout routines that could be done from the comfort of your chair.
We at EinNel always encourage our employees to not only have a flexible working style but also to prioritize one’s health and family. We also have weekly reminders to motivate our employees to maintain a healthy work-life balance and enjoy the process of growing in life.
On the other hand, maintaining a balanced work schedule is equally, if not more important. These unprecedented times have taken a toll on our efficiency to work, thereby making it even more essential to not only plan out a disciplined work agenda but also to execute it without fail. This would require self-determined decision makings; such as predicting and planning ahead for crunch times which are inevitable especially while working on time-constrained projects, creating a prioritization strategy by discretising the tasks and most importantly, stop procrastinating. Creating a private space while working from home is a must, which not only prevents easy distraction but also significantly enhances the concentration and commitment to work. It is very important to adopt a practice of mindfulness which enables one to be more creative, insightful and flexible while under pressure. Employees must develop and follow a routine that fits occurrences of ambivalent circumstances. Paramount significance needs to be given for upholding work ethics regardless of where one works from. Switching responsibility from home to work and vice-versa, while managing time can sometimes be challenging, therefore using post-its, alarms and reminders for sticking to completing the tasks as per the schedule is of utmost importance. It is essential for the employees to allocate strict and unblurred boundaries with regard to time and engagement for both work and home.
In conclusion I would like to quote Jana Kingsford, “Balance is not something you find, it’s something you create”, with the hope that we find our own ways to create the perfect balance between work and life and give our very best to both.