I used to be a workaholic when I was working in big organization. Working from 9am-5pm hardly happened to me because my working hour used to be 9am to 9pm. Sounds familiar? Is that also your working hours? Yes, I am sure that happened to many people for different reasons. Some work late due to workload. Some said they can not leave the office because their bosses are still in the office. Sounds strange? Not really. I believed that is due to working culture. That could be another topic that we can discuss next round. Some of my ex-colleagues who work late are due to personal reasons such as traffic jam. Yes, traffic in Kuala Lumpur can be very scary. You can easily get stuck in traffic jam for 1-2 hours daily. There are many more reasons for people to work late in the office. For me, I work late due to workload and my personal interest on my work. Yes, I enjoy my work very much. In fact, my soul mate had complained about my working hours, but I did not change. People do not like changes because it is not easy to change, same to me.
However, what happened to our work life balance? There is no work life balance when we have long working hours everyday. I still remember that I saw a notice on the photocopy machine that reminds us to go home on-time with a long list of benefits stated. Guess what? I still see many of my colleagues are working in the office every evening. What does it tell us? A piece of A4 paper with a very nice quoting is not very useful! Again, it is very difficult to change a person behavior and mindset.
I quit my full-time job and started to adjust my lifestyle. My daily routine has changed. I adjust my personal time table to allow work life balance. Some of my friends said, “You have no full-time job, surely can achieved work life balance.” Is that true? No full-time job = work life balance? Honestly, I do not agree with it. This is because there are still things to handle without a full-time job. For full-time home maker, they have to run errands daily, taking care of children, be the kid’s driver, tuition teacher, house cleaner, home-chef and others. The list of things to handle just gets longer. What’s more with a small business on hand? With that, can we achieve work life balance?
Yes, we can! It is a matter of choice! It is our choice whether we want to achieved work life balance. You can choose what job you want, type of company culture you want to be with and time to call off a day. If we really can not make it every day, how about few days in a week? Or at least 1 hour in a week? Why am I sharing all these? This is because I finally realized the importance of work life balance. I set my goals smaller. Find 1 or 2 days in a week to finish my work earlier. Spend more quality time with my kids and my husband and pick up a hobby to learn. I noticed that there are positive outcomes due to small changes in my lifestyle. Spending quality time with family is crucial. All the bonding and good relationship starts from here. Communication is vital in any relationship. Imagine if you are working late very night till you are so tired, do you still want to talk to your family members? Even if you want, your body might not be able to afford.
Besides, getting adequate rest and eating right can increases your tolerance to stress and reduces sick days. I noticed there are positive change to my health when I have adequate rest. If you really want to be more efficient in your work, you should get start with work life balance. For those who do not know what to do after working hours, you may start developing your personal interest such as learning music, drawing, reading, do exercise, develop your social networking and enjoy your “me” time. In other words, you need to destress so that you could handle your daily life with more energy. Human body is like a battery. We need to re-charge our body!
Start with a manageable goal, be flexible in your personal timetable and give yourself a break. All of us has a choice on our lifestyle. You may own a better tomorrow with your choice!