Type the words ‘work-life balance’ on Google and you will find thousands of articles and blogs telling you how exactly you can achieve it. But most of us are left scratching our heads, for it’s often hard to keep work and life separate and balanced at the same time. And no matter how meticulously we plan our daily lives, we are unable to keep this balance from tipping over every once in a while.
Work forms the nucleus of our lives. We spend a huge chunk of our days at the office, making presentations, closing deals and meeting deadlines. We overdose on coffee and peer into the computer screen for hours together. And even after office hours, our phones continue to buzz with notifications about pending tasks, follow-ups and updates. Long story short, we are burdened with professional tasks and responsibilities throughout the day. For some of us, this continues into weekends and holidays as well, leaving us with no time for ourselves.
Often, this delicate balance can tip over the other way as well. After all, professional responsibilities aren’t all we have in life. What about the responsibility of taking care of ourselves and our loved ones? The responsibility of developing ourselves creatively and spiritually? The responsibility of living our lives to the fullest?
Haven’t we all, at one point or another, found it hard to concentrate on the tasks at work because we’re busy thinking about a personal crisis? Work suffers as we make long phone calls and stare blankly at the excel sheet in front of us, lost in thought. Gopiram Balakumar, a London-based banker, has experienced this many a time. “I have missed my turn to speak at important meetings because I was too distracted by relationship or family problems. I have found spending eight hours at work tedious while my mind was elsewhere. Luckily, I haven’t run into serious consequences for such distractions thus far,” he says.
We cannot be at a family getaway and answer work calls the whole time. Nor can we complete a presentation successfully if we’re obsessing over affairs at home.
Take the case of juggling artistes. No matter how many balls they’re juggling, at any given moment, they’re only holding two balls in their hands while the rest are in the air.