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Distressing About ‘Work-Life Balance’ Can Be a Trap

Remote
Health / Stress / Burn-Out

11 May, 2021

Faisal Abid
Faisal Abid

Co-Founder / CTO at Eirene Cremations

Faisal Abid, Co-Founder, and CTO at Eirene Cremations, elaborates on the complexity of balancing professional and personal life for mental well-being.

Problem

Working at a big corporation, I realized that the 9 to 5 working hours are pretty time-based instead of an accountability-driven environment. Most of the time, people are tired in the morning, and there is not much productivity. Fast forwarding the day, employees go for socializing over coffee, and then lunch happens, and then everyone goes back home. The real work happens when people are at home, and there is not much distraction. Long story short, the 9 to 5 pattern does not guarantee efficiency, productivity, and in all, employee happiness.

Actions taken

The big thing that I really do is fixing my own hours. The times that I am actually not working, I prefer not to procrastinate. I fancy doing what I like to do, which could be something as simple as watching TV or videos. Now here’s the key: it can happen anytime during the day. However, I always make up for those hours later on.

Instead of breaking my day into two, which typically ends up not working, it is more about having the flexibility to get things done in my work life, as well as having the time and energy to enjoy my personal life. The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly shown that many engineers have the freedom to work when they want and set up a routine that works best for them.

Also, I must say that it is a creative industry. As much as we, engineers, are creating codes, building apps, and solving technical issues, I never deprive myself of the outside world. Sometimes, when I cannot work myself in the morning, rather than forcing myself, I take a nap, play Xbox, or simply go outside. When the motivation comes back, I continue my work, which indeed makes me feel better.

Lessons learned

  • Accept the fact that there is no perfect work-life balance. Instead of striving to live for the perfect schedule, the better way to do it is by trying for a realistic one.
  • Set boundaries. When you are done with work, try not to think about answering company emails or the upcoming projects and meetings.
  • It is essential to make time for things that make me happy. Just because work keeps you busy does not necessarily add up to neglecting personal relationships.

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