How do I balance both? This was the first thing I thought about when I woke up this morning.
When I quit my full time job 2 months ago I hardly had an idea of what I would be doing. Going to office had kept me on my toes for 4 years. Things became tougher after marriage as I had to take care of the so-called family and my work. Mornings and Evenings were typically spent in kitchen and afternoons were busy with the office work. Weekdays were completely packed and weekend was spent on washing, mopping and dusting. I was overwhelmed with responsibilities that came with marriage and struggled to balance work and life. I cribbed, complained and also made mistakes that newly-weds generally do, but slowly found myself a routine and happily got used to it. Finally I thought I could balance both.
Things changed, we moved to a different city, one thing led to another and I quit my job. Although I knew this was coming, when it actually happened it wasn’t that pleasant. Not having a job suddenly after 4 years of working invited a lot of confusion. I did not know if I should study further, take up a job that was satisfying but less paying or continue working in my current area of expertise. I suddenly had so much time in hands and absolutely nothing to do. I started doing household work, started spending more time in the kitchen cooking 3 fresh meals daily, started painting, blogging etc. I found that I could do so many things and once again I could balance everything around me..Until I got my new job!!This was a work from home opportunity, something that I had never done. Initial days were spent in setting up things and I could continue with my routine like before.
Soon things changed and I started getting more work. I juggled between work and life trying to balance both but the moment I stopped, I relaxed !! And one of them took a hit. 2 months of break from work made me a good home-manager. Certain things were expected from me and some were taken for granted. Fulfilling those expectations along with work took a toll on my life. I sstarted shirking away from so many things and on days when I had any important deadlines I even missed my lunch or dinner. Yesterday was one such day. I was working against a deadline for 20 hours straight except for the 4 hours I spent sleeping. I finally managed to finish it but it made me frustrated and worried about being in the same mess again.
Now, I wish to go back to my regular office. At least, I could finish my work there and come back home after the work timings. I crave for that separation now. I know that this is not what I want my life to be and instead of cribbing about it, I have decided to refine it. This time, in a more structured way. I thought about it, did a bit of self-introspection, took some online help and have now come up with some golden rules for myself. Here they are-
- Prioritize work but keep the approach flexible – Each day brings new problems with it but with problems comes the solution. Although I intend to have a firsthand list of things I need to do, I also aim to keep it flexible after all following things to the T can also be taxing at times.
- List out non-negotiable things – While every day can be different, I want to come up with a list of things I just don’t want to compromise. I have not gone for a walk this week because there was a deadline I had to meet.
- Let less important things go – I read this online and its so true. A lot of times, it’s not work itself that’s bleeding into our social time. It’s the work-related events we can’t stop thinking about. So if its not a big deal and can wait till the next day then let it be.
- Not to put all eggs in one basket – If life was only about work it would have been disappointing. While it is important that I enjoy my work I can’t expect it to fulfill all my desires. The month-end pay check can never buy me the quality time I could have otherwise spent with my DH. I want to remind myself that I am much more than the work that I do. There are passions which are waiting to be fulfilled and I definitely need to work on them. There are precious moments which are meant only for family and friends and they need my attention as much as my work.
I have finally found out things that would hopefully make life simpler and help me strike a balance between work and life! These might or might not be the sure shot way of achieving the right balance but I sure will give it a try!