Singapore is a country that has successfully moved from being a Third World Country to a First World country in the past 50 years. It ranks among the top 10 most livable cities in the world. Popular, metropolitan, night life, jet setting lifestyle, and a busy busy workplace. Singaporeans are notorious for moving at a fast pace… as if a horse was behind them.
This fast lifestyle creates its own pressures, stress and a sense of excitement, adventure. But if you are unable to balance between your work and your play time, you will generally end up being stressed, and often wondering if all this running around & stressing was really worth it…
The key to work and enjoy is to learn how to achieve work-life balance in your life. It is pretty easy, if you follow some of these simple techniques, simply let go, and achieve a healthy and robust lifestyle, while getting things that matter, done!
Here are some things you can do right away to achieve maximum work-life balance:
1. Delegate Some Work:
We often get stressed out when we have too many things to do. The simple answer is to outsource or to delegate the work to another person. Simple to say, it does not come naturally to most people. That’s because they could be control freaks. They don’t want to let go. They don’t want to explain things to others, or are worried that it will not be done as perfectly as they’d do it.
However, to achieve higher productivity, and to have a better work-life balance, you must be able to set a clear objective and explain it clearly to the delegate. Then make sure he/she has understood it correctly. Set the timeline that is acceptable and achievable to both parties. Once this is done, simply let go.
Keep in mind that when you delegate, the quality of the work may not be exactly the same as when you do it yourself…. specially in the beginning. Do not let this be the reason for not delegating. Teach, mentor, and provide support to your team, so that they become good at it, and then you do not have to monitor so much in the long term.
Congratulations, you have got rid of something that could cause you stress, cost you considerable time and effort. Over time, it will become better. You will begin to enjoy delegating once you get used to it. On to better work life balance…
Further Reading: Are you Good at Delegating?
2. Break Up Large Tasks:
It is well known that when we have a task that will take a considerable time to do, we tend to procrastinate & postpone it. The longer you delay it, the more tension builds in your head. You are now not able to even relax during your play time. This nagging thought that you have to get the big thing done will be hanging on your head.
The key here is to break up large tasks into smaller, most manageable tasks which will take considerable shorter time. Then make it a point to get started with only 1 of the tasks. Because it is so small, you’d want to get it done at the earliest. It won’t take long too.
Once you get it done, you feel good, having made some progress, and more endorphins are released by your body. This gives you a feeling of satisfaction, reduces stress level, and increases relaxation, which ultimately improves your work-life balance.
Achieving work-life balance doesn’t have to be difficult!
3. Dedicate 25 minutes to One Task:
With many windows open, devices beeping, emails popping, your attention gets diverted all over the place, and we are unable to get anything major done. They day might go by just looking at all the work… 🙁
Disconnecting from the internet, closing your email & Facebook, and setting your phone on silent, it is time to focus on 1 thing. Only 1 thing. And nothing else.
If it is to write a report, get a proposal done, or analyze data, just focus on it single-handedly. It is not necessary to do it for long. Just 25 minutes. It is surprising how much can be done in 25 minutes, specially when you set a deadline.
Then take a 5 minute break, to get other stuff done, check any messages or urgent things. And then back to 25 minutes of dedicated, single tasking. This popular technique is called the Pomodoro technique.
And to help you keep track of the 25 minutes, you can install the Pomodoro iOS app, Simple Pomodoro (Android) or the Pomodoro plugin on Chrome, or Firefox browser. It’ll tell you when the time’s up. So you don’t have to keep checking the clock.
You can even get a handy Red Tomato Pomodoro Timer, which you can use whenever, where ever you are sitting. It is great to use at Starbucks, where I am writing this article.
Further Reading: Dump Multi-Tasking. Embrace Single Tasking.
These simple techniques can help you get more done, reduce stress, and achieve a more balanced lifestyle. Once you have less stress at work, you will be able to relax and enjoy more.
Attend Work-Life Balance Workshops
For more tips on how to reduce stress, and enjoy a higher work-life balance, you can attend a 1 day workshop on Work Life Balance in Singapore, with your fellow colleagues, and learn practical tips on how to have a balanced work and play lifestyle. Contact +65-6250-3575 or write to us.
Written by: Vinai Prakash
Vinai is the founder and principal trainer at SoftSkills.SG. He has trained hundreds of companies across 23 countries in improving productivity, getting more done and achieving balance in their lives. Vinai lives in Singapore.