Most of us spend a significant part of our lives working. Why then should work and life be viewed as opposites and why should productivity and work-life balance (WLB) be in direct conflict with each other? The answer lies in hyper-connectivity. We are constantly connected to our smartphones, social media feeds, news sites, chat messengers, and multiple other distractions that cut into our work time, which then further cuts into our spare time. Another major challenge is procrastination. While some of us are better at steering clear of it than others, most end up wasting a significant chunk of their work time due to this habit.
If you are one of the millions worldwide, losing sleep and life balance in your quest to be super-productive at work, these five pointers can help you get the best of both worlds.
#1 Play games – not the ones bordering on office politics though
Hardly anyone spends an hour eating lunch. Most employees watch movies, read a book, use the spare lunch time to work harder on their projects (especially around appraisal time), or play games on their mobile (not that bad; though physical ones are better). Instead, if your office has a games room, why not get off that desk and screen and play table tennis, carom, or whatever else is available. Playing games gets your creative juices flowing, improves memory, team collaboration, and significantly ups efficiency.
#2 Free Friday afternoons, anyone?
As an organization, establishing relevant rewards and incentives can go a long way in attracting and retaining talent. For instance, if a team did well and hit their targets, you could try giving them a Friday afternoon off – c’mon who doesn’t like to say ‘Thank God It’s Friday’! The move is sure to motivate employees to push for greater efficiency on other weekdays and the best part – they won’t feel like work slaves because they are getting freedom/entertainment in return.
#3 Work from home, work flexi-hours or full time in-office?
The answer to the great ‘structured working hours’ debate lies in how organizations and employers approach the issue. There are pros and cons to all these three approaches and while employees react well to discipline that comes with a tight structure, others may feel stifled and frustrated, prompting them to look for greener pastures.
#4 Banish burnout by working less and delegating non-core tasks
Most entrepreneurs can be heard saying that while counter intuitive, working less has actually boosted their productivity. Wonder how they did it? By prioritizing right and focusing their mental energies only on the tasks that mattered most – the rest is usually delegated to an administrative assistant who literally helps his/her boss remain sane at all times. Alex Chaidaroglou, CEO and co founder of Alto sight LTD, a company that develops eCommerce price tracking and comparison software says, “We are doing a disservice to our clients, team and product if we work too hard and burn out.” Remember, while work can be crazy when you are running a start-up business, everything CAN NOT be your priority.
#5 Adapt and constantly fine-tune your working style
Workplace dynamics are changing at warp speeds today and if you resist change, you risk being left behind in the race and stress will most likely become your constant companion. Adapt well, embrace newer working styles and technologies and always look for upgrading skills – both in professional as well as personal life.