5 Ways To Balance Home & Work With Mindfulness

by Puja Gokarn
"Love and work…work and love, that’s all there is,” said Freud. What the father of psychoanalysis definitely didn’t foresee was how complicated the relationship between work and life would eventually get for us. Here’s how you can strike just the right balance.

1. Prioritize

Prioritizing tasks based on importance and urgency will help you stay on top of things. Staying organized also helps deal with surprises and emergencies. Instead of stressing about the amount of work that has piled up, just take a break, breathe, chalk out the list and prioritize.

If you’re the kind who gets overwhelmed by a lot of work, assess why it’s happening. Are you understaffed? Are you not delegating? Is there genuinely more work that you can handle? At home, assess what needs to be done on a regular basis and what can avoided. If you find that the amount of time you’re spending on mechanical chores such as laundry or doing the dishes is a lot more, ask your family to help you. Delegate age-appropriate chores to children and by all means, ask your partner to step up. 

2. Pause, Breathe & Think

Every time you start to get panicked or worked up, put on the brakes. Stop whatever you are doing for a moment. Take a deep breath and pay attention to your breathing. Sometimes, that’s all it takes to recharge. If it’s not enough, just observe your thoughts and feelings for a while. This will help let go of any built up tension.  

Also, quite often, the solution crystallizes in our head while breathing. So you botched up the report by using last year’s figures or you forgot to pay your credit card bill on time, panicking will help you achieve nothing. But maybe, if you relax, breathe and think about it calmly, the solution will crystallize in your head.

3. Identify Your Patterns

A lot of our problems at work and home stem from faulty behavioural patterns. If we simply observe them without beating ourselves up, we can identify and resolve most of them. Being more aware could also help in identifying positive patterns. For instance, if taking regular breaks helps productivity, by all means take those coffee breaks. However, if it interrupts your rhythm, then you need to reassess and cut down on your break time.

It’s probably just lovely to wake up on Sunday morning and watch TV till noon. But if it’s eating into your family time, maybe you need to resist the urge to catch up on all your favorite shows over the weekend.

4. Find Me Time

Make sure you set time aside to do things that you enjoy. Take time to rest, to pamper yourself, to contemplate or simply to let yourself be. This will help you reset and deal with your work week in a more efficient manner.

5. Meditation

Practice meditation to become more peaceful, focused and less anxious. If meditation is not for you, you can try other forms of activities that are meditative in nature such as sketching or going for a run.

Maintaining balance between life and work will always be tricky. Use mindfulness to juggle both efficiently.  

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