AESOP’S FABLES: THE HORSE AND THE GROOM
A rich man hired a worker to groom his horse. Each day, the worker spent hours brushing the animal but also stole a portion of the horse's allotment of oats and sold them for profit. The horse's health went downhill rapidly. Finally on the verge of collapse, the horse cried out: 'If you really want me to be at my best, groom me less and feed me more everyday'
A healthy life is lived one day at a time.
‘For the long-term health of the company, encourage everybody, especially workaholics, to lead balanced lives’
These days, work-life balance can seem like an impossible feat. Technology makes workers accessible around the clock. Fears of job loss incentivize longer hours. In fact, a whopping 94% of working professionals reported working more than 50 hours per week and nearly half said they worked more than 65 hours per week in a Harvard Business School survey. Experts agree: the compounding stress from the never-ending workday is damaging. It can hurt relationships, health and overall happiness.
As our workloads increase, we are forced to cut down more on things in our private lives such as family time, hobbies, sleep and relaxation activities. Although seemingly unimportant, these things enhance the quality of our lives and directly impact our workplace performance. Working longer hours does not necessarily bring about greater productivity to an organization; rather a judicious allocation of time is to be preferred. These workaholics are marked by the following characteristics:
1. They justify working long hours on providing better.
2. They have multiple addictions to food, drugs or alcohol
3. They cannot relax, even when they are not at work they are thinking of it.
4. They are obsessive and no job to them is ever finished
5. They are self-centred and have a magnified view of the importance of their work
6. They are spiritually bankrupt.
Work-life balance means something different to every individual, but here are tips to help you find the balance that’s right for you.
1. Let go of perfectionism: A lot of overachievers develop perfectionist tendencies at a young age, but as you grow up life gets more complicated. Perfectionism becomes out of reach. The healthier option is to strive not for perfection, but for excellence.
2. Unplug: From telecommuting to programs that make work easier, technology has helped our lives in many ways. It has also created expectations of constant accessibility. The work day never ends. There are times when you should turn off your phone and enjoy the moment. Don’t text at your kid’s soccer game or send work emails while hanging out with family. Make quality time true quality time.
3. Exercise and meditate: Even when we’re busy, we make time for the crucial things in life. We eat. We use the toilet. We sleep. Yet one of our most crucial needs – exercise– is often the first thing to go when our calendars fill up. Exercise is an effective stress reducer. It pumps feel-good endorphins through your body and lifts your mood. Dedicate a few hours each week to self-care by exercise.
4. Limit time-wasting activities and people
5. Change the structure of your life: Sometimes we fall into a rut and assume our habits are set in stone. Take a birds-eye view of your life and ask yourself: What changes could make life easier?
6. Start small. Build from there: We’ve all been there: crash diets that fizzle out, New Year’s resolutions we forget by February. It’s the same with work-life balance when we take on too much too quickly. It’s a recipe for failure. Take it slow