Tuesday,12 December, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1181, (23 - 29 January 2014)
Tuesday,12 December, 2017
Issue 1181, (23 - 29 January 2014)

Ahram Weekly

Entre Nous

Let’s talk about better living! Our new interactive family corner aims to expand our lifestyle horizons with practical little pearls of wisdom from the editor and input from our readers.

Work-life balance

“Life is actually really simple, but we insist on making it complicated,” said Confucius, the famous Chinese philosopher.

We all dearly wish our life would run more smoothly, but life has its ups and downs. Fortunately, while life may never be hassle-free, it can be simplified. Professional life in particular can be time-consuming and draining. It is not surprising that we are sometimes suffocated by work to the extent that our other important aspects of our lives, such as family, social life and hobbies, suffer. Even though this hectic work culture has become pervasive and not easily shaken off, luckily there are still some things we can change. Even if we can’t change the environment, we can at least change the attitudes we hold within ourselves. Here are some experts’ tips to reduce stress and simplify your work life. Use your own judgement and needs to choose which steps work best for you and skip those that are not applicable.

1. Learn when to say “no”

It’s great to be helpful to coworkers, but priority should always be to complete your job well first. If your organisation appraises employees based on how much they are willing to do work outside their scope, try to balance between fulfilling your roles and going beyond.

2. Take regular breaks

Most of us are so work absorbed that we forget about breaks and this can have an overwhelming effect on our stress level. When you place sustained attention to a task, you get distracted and make more mistakes. It ends up with you taking a much longer time to finish it. Taking short rests will rejuvenate your energy levels and keeps you motivated

3. Get proactive with complaints or let them go

Save your energy by focussing on creating change. If thereisno fix, focus on doing what you do well. Work your way to a viable solution instead of complaining.

4. Reduce tech distractions

Set e-mail alerts only for the people who you need to respond to right away — your boss or an important client — and then let the rest wait. We work better when we allow ourselves to achieve a state of flow.

5. Single-task

By having to-do lists, we’re going to feel tempted to try to cross things off more quickly. However, the more things you do at once, the less of your attention you give to each task, which means you do it poorly and you have to do it again.

6. Accepting imperfection doesn’t mean rejecting perfection

Every job comes with its own expectation on how thorough it has to be done. If you’re always aiming for perfection in everything you do, you’re going to be burdened by your overwhelmingly increasing stress in the long-run. When you are performing well on your work as a whole, the resultant satisfaction has a positive trickle-down effect on the rest of your life outside work.

7. Delegating work

Entrust certain tasks to others if you are to really improve your productivity level. Focus on what you do best and you will do a better job organising your work, and hence, achieve a more balanced work life.

8. Have something to look forward to

To simplify the pain of work, try to connect the reason why you’re doing the work you dislike with what you look forward to. If you fail to derive enjoyment or find meaning from your work, then link your efforts to a certain cause outside work.

9. Work hard and play hard

Work and play are distinct from each other. Once you accept that distinction, you will be able to simplify your work-life by a notch. As much as possible, don’t bring work home with you. If that is not possible on a day-to-day basis, then consider taking a complete break from work during your vacation. Switch off your mobile phone and resist checking your e-mails every 15 minutes. Go out and try to enjoy your life.

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