Walking out of college as a fresh graduate, chances are you are oblivious to how to achieve work-life balance at work. Some students enter the corporate world through campus placements. For these students who have little or no exposure to corporate life, it becomes necessary to manage time effectively to maximize their learning and have a healthy work-life balance.
One of the ways to manage time effectively comes from adequately planning your daily activities at work. In this blog today, I will take you through my experiences as a fresher in the IT sector in Bangalore, India. I will walk you through the dos and don’ts of time management and the tools that have helped me achieve a healthy work-life balance. It’s not always easy to do, but once you have managed to find your routine, I guarantee it will favorably affect your productivity.
What is work-life balance?
Simply put, it is an act of balancing your professional and personal life simultaneously. When your personal life is balanced, your professional life is automatically balanced. Achieving this balance between your professional and personal life will also satisfy you in your professional space.
My experience in achieving a healthy work-life balance
I started my internship at Mindset in June of 2021. Since I was juggling academics and work simultaneously, I opted for a part-time internship, working only a few hours every day. I would attend classes in the morning and then work post lunchtime. However, the pressure started mounting once I moved to a full-time position at Mindset, all the while completing my post-graduate degree. This was when I realized I needed to start planning my time and tasks effectively. Otherwise, it would all be far too overwhelming.
How I managed time while juggling work and academics simultaneously
It is fair to say that this was a challenging phase for me. While I did not manage to socialize often, I did manage to juggle work and academics with careful time management. I followed a disciplined routine which helped me complete both without any mishap.
- On weekdays, I would dedicate 8-9 hours to work but also find a few hours to catch up with my coursework.
- On weekends, I would spend most of my time finishing my coursework and finding time to meet friends and family. The downtime is imperative for a healthy mind.
- When I had exams approaching, I would use my PTO to prepare for them
- Once back at work, I would work a few extra hours. But the flexible work policy at Mindset made things easier and more achievable for me.
After graduation, I had all the time in the world to dedicate to work, but I realized that I also needed to find time for my hobbies, family, and friends. This had taken a backseat over the previous few months. It’s easy to get caught up with work and spend all your time working, but finding a balance was vital. This is how I managed to bring about that balance.
- Setting a self-appointed timeframe for each task and strictly sticking to this deadline.
- Dedicating specific time slots for specific tasks
- Prioritizing tasks
- Dedicating weekends completely to friends and family
- Also finding the very crucial ‘me time’ post-work every day.
Reasons for Imbalance at work
Suppose you don’t maintain a disciplined work routine. In that case, you will never find the work-life balance that will eventually affect your productivity levels and motivation for your career path. In my opinion, you should avoid
- Taking on more responsibilities than you can handle
- Working long hours
- Over-thinking and micro-managing tasks.
- Not knowing how to complete the task at hand within the stipulated time
- Not having a proper idea of the job role
- Lacking passion in your job profile
- Spending too much time on social media
Factors to help you achieve work-life balance
- Support from the manager and peers
- Flexible timings
- Avoid micro-management
- Build trust amongst colleagues and maintain a good work ambiance
- Maintain healthy relationships with colleagues
- Participate in employee engagement activities actively
- Build a seamless communication channel with your manager and seek help when needed.
Our professional and personal lives are rife with uncertainties. The lack of social life and imbalance in life can affect mental health. Sound mental health is vital. Balance the odds & evens of personal life & professional life with proper self-assessment. Be more compassionate towards yourself. It is only when you care for yourself that you are capable of caring for others.
Having said that, it is only when the organization you work in is aware of the importance of work-life balance and its impact on mental health that you can achieve the desired work-life balance. Then employee and employer should harness a relationship that is not only about work, meetings & deadlines but also about maintaining a healthy relationship.
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