Dr Chee Yew Wen understands that working and living in Singapore can be stressful and hectic due to issues like rising cost of living, slow economic growth and being connected on your smartphones can make you feel like you’re constantly working off the clock. Many Singaporeans also start to work beyond 8 hours a day as there might have been a layoff at the workplace and they are afraid they will lose their job therefore staying past the hours.
Even if you get to knock off on time, you may also find your phone buzzing with messages or emails after work from your bosses or colleagues which requires you to reply them through the phone and this can make you feel like you are unable to be completely switch off after work. It can be difficult to strike a balance between work and life due to various external factors, however you have to understand the importance of maintaining a good balance between work and life before it starts to take a toll on you. While you are unable to take control of the external factors, you are able to work on situation you can control and find a balance in life. Dr Chee suggested a few ways to find a balance between work and life.
Organize Your Time
Plan and organise your upcoming schedule the week beforehand and allocate time for work, family and friends so you can be productive at work and strike a balance with life outside work at the same time. List down the important tasks you have to work on for the week and spread out your workload instead of cramping them last minute which can make you feel stress out. On a daily basis, take 15 minutes every morning before you start work to list down the things you want to accomplish for the day and strike them off the list when you are done.
This way, you will be able to feel motivated when you have completed the tasks you have set for yourself. If you feel that you are still racing for time, ask yourself what has been draining the time you have at work? Learn how to say ‘No’ to your colleagues if you feel you have too many projects to handle and deadlines to meet. Emails can also hinder your work efficiency. Try to limit email checking to 1 to 3 times a day and refrain from checking them aside your allocated time. Surfing your social media accounts like Facebook and Instagram will also slow down your progress at work. While it is important to keep yourself informed with your friends’ latest updates, you will notice that it will take up quite a bit of your time therefore it is recommended to do it after work or during lunch breaks as they are deemed as unimportant.
Stay Connected with Those that Matter
It is important to spend time and connect with your family and friends as they can be a strong support to help you through in any difficult times you may face in the future. Making plans to do your favourite activities with them is extremely important because they keep your mind off work and allow yourself to destress. Activities and exercises are instant mood lifter as they produce feel-good endorphins and spark a positive feeling in your mind and body. This will only take as little as 30 minutes a day of exercising to boost your overall health and energy levels.
There will be some days when you do not feel like exercising and that is perfectly fine. You can still achieve the balance in life with some quality ‘me’ time by reading a book or taking a long bath with your phone away to spend time with yourself. Make it a point to disconnect yourself from your mobile device after 9pm to switch off from work completely. Place your phone outside your bedroom before heading to bed and avoid using it before you are asleep as the light emitted from your phone may prevent the production of melatonin which is required for you to fall asleep.