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Every post is a result of a thought. These stem from everyday experiences that one comes across or reads about. Today’s post got its trigger from a post by Anusha Subramanian in Business Today called ” All work and no play”. She writes about the pressures Indian men go through to achieve their goals: a great career and loads of money. Today’s executives work under relentless pressure to meet their deadlines, achieve their targets and are so spent by the end of the day that they have virtually no time or energy for anything else. The more they want-the more they need to work. Life, in effect, is a vicious cycle.

I feel titling a post ” 7 Steps To Achieving Work/Life Balance” would sound quite pompous. Yet, what does work/life balance which we speak so much actually mean? I suppose the answers could vary from person to person. Mine simply would be: To Lead A Better Life.

My 7 Steps to A Better Life are:

  1. Do what you love: If you genuinely enjoy your work, it seems so much more interesting and stimulating. Use your talents where they matter most. As the old saying goes: “Love what you do and you don’t have to work a day in your life”.
  2. Determine Goals: Be it in your professional work or your personal life, set goals which are meaningful to you. See life in it’s totality. The goals you set are determined by your special circumstances and should motivate you to do your best. They should be a blend of both professional and personal goals- to give your life more meaning.
  3. Share responsibilities: Whether it is at work or at home, share responsibilities. Don’t be the overworked hero. You can’t possibly do everything yourself and do it well. Give help and take help. Help others by all means but not at the expense of your own needs.
  4. Give your best in whatever you do: Sloppy work gets you nowhere. It results in expensive and frustrating re-work. Don’t bite off more than you can chew- at work or at home- and do your best in all that you do. In this way you are assured of better returns in the long term rather than through erratic bursts of excellence followed by patches of poor performance.
  5. Stay Healthy: All the money in the world is of no use if your health does not permit you to enjoy it. With increasing demands- at home and at work- staying healthy is the only way you can cope. If you are fit, you can meet the demands of a long day more easily.
  6. Keep an eye on the price tag: Nothing comes for free. There is a price to pay for every thing you do. Ask yourself if the goal is worth the price you have to pay for it- the price may be by way of physical and mental effort, or in monetary terms. Is it worth the effort?
  7. Enjoy & Don’t Feel Guilty: Make time to relax and enjoy the fruits of success. There’s little point in working so hard that you don’t have the time or energy to enjoy what you have earned. Make it a point to take a break- without feeling guilty about it. You have earned this for yourself. When you are relaxing, don’t let your work pressures get to you. There is a time and place for everything. Worrying about your work while seeing a movie with your family does not make it any more enjoyable for them. Nor does it solve the problem at work.

Periodically review your progress in following these 7 steps. Remember this quote from James Truslow Adams: ” There are obviously two educations. One should teach us to make a living and the other how to live”.

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This is Post No: 248 of the “A Step A Day” series : To provide perspective and provoke thought to facilitate self-development across a wide spectrum of issues- big and small- crucial for executive success.