If you’re serious about living the dream-like life of holding on to a full-time job and finding the time to maintain your mental wellbeing while side-hustling once in a while, you’re not alone.
According to an article, work-life balance has become the top reason why Singapore employees leave their jobs. We often discussed the lack of personal time in a positively negative light. It has come to the point where we’ve accepted that the busier we are, the more successful we are.
But the concept of time usage has changed over time, and people are starting to acknowledge that lesser time spent at work doesn’t indicate nonperformance.
And ever since the internet found out about the benefits of good mental health, we became obsessed with improving the work-life juggling act.
A search on the internet about taking care of the mind and you’ll find loads of articles, listicles, and blog posts. You could be all set to mimic these tried-and-tested methods, but sadly, we’ve to say that this isn’t a Ctrl-C-Ctrl-V situation.
Everybody’s situation differs. But it’s universally agreed that time is the groundwork to get the balancing act going. Here we zero in on the tricks on how you can potentially claw minutes back from.
Define your priority
Too much on your plate and everything seems important? The key is to prioritize. Be it professionally and personally, you need to decide which matter holds the greatest weight.
For instance, say you’d like to input more time for your side hustle than your full-time job. But Singaporeans are truly a bunch of workaholics, by choice or not.
Like many Singaporeans, it’s normal to feel the pressure to pull extra hours in the office. Try to refrain from doing so though.
Remember, small chunks of time add up. You should leave precious time for what really matters. If time forbids, do what you can with the time you’re certain you have, such as the commute back and forth.
Use that 30 minutes well: you can either choose to use that for work like clearing your work email or to catch up with your friends or family.
Reduce scrolling time
Isn’t it funny that you think you don’t really have time, yet seem to have no problem finding time to idly scroll through your phone? You have no idea how much time you spent per day scrolling through your phone, do you?
We spend hours (specifically about 4) on our phones daily. Time flies when you’re scrolling and swiping. But over the course of the year it adds up to a whole month, which has a great effect on fulfilling the perfect work-life balance.
You need to be thrifty with your time. Learning to say no to mindless scrolling can help you reclaim time, which in turn could do good to you achieving better work-life balance.
Stop saying “I don’t have the time”
Somehow, it always feels like a rat and mouse game with time—you try to catch up but it just speeds up. “I don’t have time for the yoga session on Sunday.” “I don’t have the time to purge my kitchen.” “I don’t have time to finish a book.”
You’re busy, but usually, not as busy as you think you are. It doesn’t take long to realize that the phrase “I don’t have time” is as much of a reflection of our values, priorities, and mindset rather than the truth. Your words have an impact, so always think before you speak.
Like what we’ve mentioned, it’s wise to spend less time on your devices. Because when you save up to 4 hours daily, imagine what could be done.
Focus on the work you’re doing
Tempted to multi-task? Unless you’re a really great juggler, try to focus on what you’re doing at the moment. If you need to develop a 33-page report in 2 hours, make sure you keep your other devices away.
Get rid of distractions and you’ll realize how much easier it is to complete a job. Besides that, to stay focused on your prioritized tasks, keep a log of what you need to do for the week and what you plan to do to achieve them.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Like the quote goes: “No man is an island.”
When taking a five minutes break is considered a luxury, it’s time to rethink how you can unload some of the things you have on your to-do list. It could be your weekly house-cleaning duties, your daily meals or even your own work that’s taking a toll on you.
For starters, you could arrange a timetable with your spouse to delegate house chores. Otherwise, don’t hesitate to reach out for help when necessary—you’d be surprised at how many people engage help for the smallest matter.
Do things that makes you happy
Every night, you tell yourself you’ll start the book you’ve always wanted to read. Fact is, every night, you binge on Netflix. But it makes you feel good! You might consider that binge-watching junk, but don’t be too hard on yourself. We’ve been putting off the very things that are personally enjoyable to us, but those things could be regarded as useless.
Well, not everyone has to live that perfect Instagrammer lifestyle, where baking time and yoga and work happen simultaneously.
If Netflix-ing makes you happy, which is essentially the root of perfect work-life balance, why not? And with that, we move on to the next point.
Don’t do anything
A lot of people tend to feel guilty when they’re doing nothing. But sometimes it’s okay not to do anything. It’s certainly alright to look out of the window during the 30 minutes commute; it doesn’t kill to have a coffee at a cafe without typing on your iPad; it’s certainly okay to sit at your desk for 10 minutes letting your mind run free.
Perhaps not doing anything is how you attain the balance that you’ve been yearning for so long.
So how can we achieve the perfect work-life balance?
Fruitful work, healthy family relationships, our sanity, core strength, and sleep—is it possible to have it all? Most people would think that work-life balance means setting a clear-cut boundary between work and non-work activities.
Truth is, these two often cross paths. Nobody can guarantee that phone meeting won’t happen on a Sunday.
But, the time for work and life are both malleable. You should be free to divide time for each as you please.
Don’t worry if you’re spending extra time on your work. If you think that’s important and it makes you happy, go ahead—you should be satisfied with your time usage.