We Can Never Achieve Work Life Balance, Unless…

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We Can Never Achieve Work Life Balance, Unless…

Work life balance is the big dream and desire for most people, except for workaholics who enjoy working regardless what time or where they are (perhaps, even during holiday). This voice of Malaysians wanting work life balance is substantiated with survey results from AIA survey and KISI studies, that Malaysia is ranked the 3rd most overworked countries (we surpassed Singapore, can you believe?). On average, Malaysians work 15 hours extra per week. 


And, our government also has put in effort to promote work life balance with the new EA implementation to reduce maximum working hours per week (from 48 to 45) and introduce flexible work arrangement to meet the needs of different working individuals.


This seems we make good progress to achieve work life balance, isn’t it? But, what is stopping us, really?


When I started my first job, I went into a fast track management trainee program. From there onwards, I immerse myself in my career (wake up> work> lunch> work> dinner> work/learning>sleep (dream about work). Did I overwork? Yes! Did I have work life balance? Not really. But, I was young and I want career progression. So, I think it is still fine.


Even after getting married, I still work very hard, as a career woman. And, I forgot that I have additional family commitment, where my life could not just revolve around work. I started to struggle and juggle between work, family commitment and health. Since then, I set my new year resolutions every year in attempt to achieve work life balance.


But, I did not succeed. And, after much reflections, I came with these realizations that, we can never achieve work life balance unless….

  • We overcome hurdles and potential mind blocks
  • We work on improving our productivity level
  • We choose to be the architect for our life 


Overcome hurdles and potential mind blocks


Everything starts with the right belief. If you do not believe it, you won’t do it wholeheartedly. I am a workaholic, I consistently think about work, whenever I am not learning or working, I feel like I am slower than my peers. So, I believe that work life balance = slower progress in life. That’s why I did not take it seriously, even though I came up with many plans.


Question for you:

  • Do you truly believe in what you want to achieve? 
  • What are your potential mind blocks that stop you from achieving your goals?


Improving productivity level


How to do more with less? The faster we finish our work, the earlier we can go home, right? It is pretty simple. 


“I can never finish my work”

Do you feel so? Sometimes I have to put aside my fitness plans or family gatherings in order for ad-hoc or urgent work. This is always my top excuse.


So, if we can never finish our work, means we can either choose to work overtime or choose to leave it to next day. Sometimes, work is urgent, so we need to complete it by the deadline. If this situation persist through a long time, you need to think: Is it productivity or workload issue? Sometimes, it is not the workload problem, but we are just not productive enough, especially you see your other colleagues could have a life but you cannot. You need to seriously consider about ways to make us to be more productive, if you want to have a life.


Imagine if we could do more with less:

  • Automate process instead of manual process
  • Use 1 hour to complete the task, instead of 3 hours (more focused, less distractions)
  • Less re-work


When we focus on improving our productivity level, we still can become a ELITE in our company and not affecting our work life balance. 


Ask yourself these questions:

  • What are the tasks that bring me better work outcome?
  • How can I automate this task, with minimal manual process?
  • What are the goals I want to achieve today?


Focus on the right thing, and be productive every single day!


Become the architect for our life 


Last but not least, remember: You are the architect of your life. You decide how your life is going to be, not your parents, your teachers, your partners. If you ever think “I have no choice”, you are wrong. You choose to breathe, you choose to eat McD, you choose to listen to others’ opinions, you choose not to leave the party. Even thinking that you have no choice is also your choice. If you want to live your life, start thinking about what kind of life you want, and create your own life blueprint. When you truly live, this is where you really achieve your work life balance. 


To sum it up, whether its achieving work life balance or living a purposeful life, remember these 3 key points: Choose the right belief, Be productive, Decide your life.


If you are serious to achieve your goals, want to know how to remove your roadblocks to success, interested to learn to boost your productivity levels, wonder how to start to create your life blueprint, come explore all these in our ELITE program. Why not spend 3 hours to kickstart a good 2023? PM us.


Written by Choon Ee May,

SHRA Training Manager


Ee May is a psychology graduate with HR and training experience.  She is passionate in retail training (obviously) and Excel and process automation. She loves to seek for new achievements, like dipping in the ice pool in negative temperature. 

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