Work-life balance is fundamentally such a flawed concept. And I have enough evidence to back this theory up.
As the world around me took a hard stop, it definitely jolted me out of the hamster wheel that I was trying to run so fast on. All the office buzz and hustle of an urban lifestyle is very capable of making you feel that you are getting more done with all the meetings+calls+brainstorming sessions+commute+more meetings you are checking off every passing hour. Almost all of us fall prey to this high intensity mind numbing routine that we are often tossed into by the cultural norm of ‘staying busy’.
I had been constantly trying hard to get out of this viscous cycle and prioritise what’s important over what’s urgent. So, I immediately jumped on to the first opportunity I got to course correct both my work and personal life. And I did this by making one change at a time in my routine. Here are 3 core areas I focussed on to design a fulfilling day for myself :
- Physical & Mental Health : Okay, I admit it’s HARD but you can’t get away with it. If you want a really power packed day with a sane mind you HAVE to get into some form of physical exercise to create more energy for yourself. And most importantly do not overlook your mental health. I make sure I’m doing my morning meditation (I strongly recommend Headspace-https://www.headspace.com/) every alternate day (recommended everyday). It’s something which has definitely helped me stay mindful of what I am doing and since then it’s been easier to get myself back on track whenever I get distracted by the chaos around.
- Play : Whether or not you work in a creative field mixing Play with Work is an absolute essential which is often looked down upon by the so called “hustlers” who are always ranting about squeezing more out of the day. But trust me what you can achieve with a focussed work for 8 hours in a day is way more than an 18 hour work day which will eventually fry your circuits (especially in the long run). I make sure I’m having fun throughout the day keeping my energy levels high. I have designed my day in a way which allows me to get in and out of short bursts of deep work (I can share the details of my routine if you’re interested).
- Work : We made a company wide implementation of asynchronous communication at Lights Out, this summer (to avoid all the nuisance I mentioned at the start of this article). It not only helped us focus on the task at hand (rather than replying to every single thread of every single email) but also helped us in creating a work culture which expands & absorbs an erratic schedule in times like these. We learnt this the hard way and I recently stumbled upon this book, that enunciates this very theory. We’re finally believing that it doesn’t have to be crazy at work (https://www.amazon.in/Doesnt-Have-Be-Crazy-Work-ebook/dp/B07FQYGWCS) because if it is then you’ll end up hating what you started with so much love in the first place.
As I move forward into leading this changed lifestyle, I have developed a deeper understanding of how integrated work and life is (both creates energies for each other) and that work-life balance is fundamentally such a flawed concept. I’m waiting for someone to challenge me on this though.
When I entered this quarantine, I had two options: get riled up by everything that’s happening around; or be patient and dig deeper into myself and course correct what I’ve always wanted to do. You can see that I chose the later. And it’s never been a more fulfilling time in my life.
(#AtHome with Lights Out is a mini series of individual expression, from our team’s perspective on what their typical day during this quarantine period looks like; what they’ve experienced and little learnings that they’d like to share with everyone.)