Five work-life resolutions to swear by for a Zen-like 2022

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Five work-life resolutions to swear by for a Zen-like 2022

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 Five work-life resolutions to swear by for a Zen-like 2022
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Living through the pandemic has felt a lot like going to a war – and, for better or worse, the world will never be the same again. The last two years have reeled in almost a decade’s worth of change, courtesy COVID-19.

Almost like a ruthless supervillain (think Thanos), the pandemic ran amok through the globe, setting in motion a juggernaut of massive change. One aspect of our lives that was hit hardest and witnessed a drastic shift was how we work. ‘Work from home’ turned out to be the loudest three words that echoed throughout the collective global workforce in the wake of the pandemic, which browbeat employers into shutting down offices.

The new normal of remote working was accompanied by a flurry of fresh changes which workers across the globe either relished or struggled adapting to. While many loved the absence of long commutes and working from the comfort of their homes, others found it difficult to juggle work and family responsibilities with no clear boundary separating the two.

Not that the professional world was all peaches and cream before the pandemic hit, but the overlap between work and life served to trigger the emotional fault lines, accentuating mental health woes.

Be it remote work, hybrid work or work from office – one thing that needs to be taken care of is mental sanity, which lies at the heart of the work-life balance.

Now that we have stepped into 2022 , what better time than the New Year (albeit cliched) to take stock of our lives and flip the script on how we work without compromising the quality of life.

Having said that, let us zero in on five New Year resolutions that can help you remain zen-like in the face of chaos. Let's get started and make light work of the ever-elusive work-life balance.

  1. Plug into your inner self– Most of us go on living our lives on autopilot. We seem to drift along without putting much thought into why we do what we do. In a work culture that idealises rat race and hankering after fatter paychecks, some of us never get to discover our true purpose/passion – let alone act on it.

To get a grip on work-life balance, we first need to be aware of our own self. We need to define our priorities in life and work. To do that, it is important to take a break from the daily monotony of life – to pause and ponder about what you want from work and life.

Try and schedule tiny pockets of ‘me time’ into your daily calendar. Meditate. Write. Breathe in and breath out. Be still. In other words, unplug from the daily humdrum and plug into your own soul.

  1. Set. Clear. Boundaries – Trying to give your valued opinion in an office Zoom call while your cat’s all over the keyboard? Do you have crazy family members whose constant chatter drowns out the work mail notifications? Are you waiting for your baby to sleep before you can send one last urgent mail at 12 am?

Many of us saw the quality of our lives fade away just like the boundaries between work and life. In the pre-pandemic era, we might have cursed the painfully long commutes to office, but we now realise how important a purpose it served. Between the feverish pace of work and utter madness of life at home, the commute time served as a clear barrier to separate the two – a shock buffer that helped us emerge from our work personality and ease into our less formal family lives.

However, with offices shifting to a cozy corner in our homes, boundaries have been decimated. What can help you get back your sanity is building clear boundaries between your work life and real life. Make sure your workstation is at such an isolated place in your house where you can invest quality time to concentrate on your deliverables.

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Do not eat/play video games/play with babies/or daydream at your desk.

PS: Dedicate it completely to work and do not visit that corner on your day-offs – or off hours. Treat it like your mini office.

 

  1. Honour your time: “Those who work much, do not work hard.” This is what American philosopher Henry David Thoreau wrote while talking about what makes for an efficient worker. This might come as a surprise in today’s world, where many have come to glamourise the hustle culture and work stress. However, rather than measuring productivity in terms of the amount of time dedicated to work, it is the quality of time that matters more. Respect your time. Dedicate it strategically based on your priorities. Set up a time barrier – to separate your work and real life – and do not cross it. The key to a better work-life balance is to never waste your time on things that do not add value to your life. We have limited time on earth and how we spend it, shapes our lives.
  2. Prioritise your health. Always. – You might be a star professional at work, the Man Friday of the CEO or the lifeline of the entire office; however, if you let yourself fall sick, you would end up doing more harm than good. Worse, if you do not take a sick leave, you run the risk of falling deeper into a spiral. The workplace does need you – but it needs you alive and kicking. Hence, taking care of your health should be on the top of your list of priorities. Especially with Omicron continuing to boss around the globe, (and you never know how many more mutants the virus might cough up in 2022), it is a wise move to keep yourself in rude health. Make sure you devote enough time for exercise. Besides boosting immunity, it also adds zing to your mental health by releasing feel-good endorphins.  Try and take short breaks during the day to recharge yourself. Set alarms and just get up from your desk, do stretches or take a stroll.
  3. Be grateful: One of the key reasons we feel stressed out in life is that rather than counting our blessings, we count what others have and fret about why we don’t. Those who feel truly thankful for all they have, are bound to enjoy a happier state of mind than those who complain about the lack of things. Gratitude is a magical practice which if adhered to on a regular basis, can be life-changing.

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Any sort of stress originates from a feeling of lacking something. Gratitude is a superb antidote to that as for everything you lack, you have countless of gifts you have been bestowed with. Remarkably, as per a study, practising gratitude can also help tame down physical health problems. If anything, the last two years have accentuated the significance of having a grateful state of mind. To inculcate this habit, keep a journal or download a gratitude app and jot down five things you are grateful for everyday and see how the grass turns greener on your very own side.

In a nutshell

While it is sensible to try and stick to these above-mentioned points to ensure a saner work life, if we look deeper, the concept of work-life balance is not without flaws. To begin with, work and life are not two separate things -- work is just a subset of the all-encompassing, ginormous thing called life.

 

Secondly, the idea of work-life balance implies that work is something essentially burdensome, which has to be balanced with life (which should ideally be smooth and light).

 However, if you love what you do, work becomes a happy highlight of your life. And happiness is the ultimate end result, that we all are looking for. So, in short, it's all about adding love to what you do. Find that spark in your work and let it light up your life. Wishing you a terrific 2022!!

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