A healthy work-life balance is the most common challenge of our time. Dinoy David gives you practical tips on setting our priorities and how best to utilize our time

1 PETER 5:8:

“Be well balanced, be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring, seeking someone to seize upon and devour.”

Striking a healthy work-life balance is a challenge even in the best of times. Arguably the two things which we are eager to have more could be time and money. Here, I would like to emphasize more on the aspect of time. If used wisely, it can lead to a healthy work-life balance. Given the fact that we have only 24-hours a day, setting our priorities right will determine how satisfied and how best we can utilize our time.

REALITY CHECK:

  1. I work for a financial institution. The nature of the job is demanding and always time bound, with very little time to spare for a break or to relax.
  2. Being a father of three kids, when I get back home after work, along with my wife, we mostly engage in the activities of kids, their studies, their development and care.
  3. Time to time, various responsibilities gets assigned within the Jesus Youth ministries, along with the nurturing of new comers.
  4. To some extent, our involvement in the social and cultural aspects of society.

The above aspects demand my time, effort and attention, and they do keep me busy. We are not made to work constantly. “Better is a handful of quietness than two hands full of toil and a striving after wind.” (Ecclesiastes 4:6) Now, let’s see how practically I was able to manage a healthy work-life balance.

DESIRE

Your desire to do things and the things to be involved is an individual decision. It is the same desire which helps a person to determine how to achieve them. I firmly believe that any kind of work we do, ultimately has to give glory to God. So when we are at work, we should give our hundred per cent dedication to it, no matter what our situation is. It is the desire to work well, that determines our success. On couple of occasions I did not receive a bonus or an increment. But without a change in attitude, I did my job more efficiently and effectively, and that’s when I saw the regret on my managers face. Our hard work will be rewarded, in some form or the other. Likewise, our desire to keep our family happy helps us to understand the needs within the family and helps us to push an extra mile for our loved ones. In the same manner, it is our desire to be part of a community which helps us to build our spirituality and to grow in the fellowship, that determines our involvement in the Jesus Youth movement. Not only being part but actively building the ministry, taking responsibilities and catering to the newcomers. So desire is the factor which helps us to grow both vertically and horizontally.

SETTING A TIME TABLE

“Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.” Psalm 143:8

When we are tightly packed and involved in lot of activities, setting a time table for our daily routine would be a good start. Not only setting the time table, but also following it. Starting from the time we wake up, the activities that needs to be done, before leaving for work, the fixed time to leave for work, the way you organize the work, leaving office on time, planning and following the activities for the evenings, and also stick to a routine of sleeping on time. Remember, a good night rest is very critical, and it restores the energy for a fresh new start the next day.

COMPARTMENTALIZATION

You might have come across people who are not able to perform well at work, due to tensions and troubles in personal life. And then, they carry the work pressure back home and get annoyed at family members. This is because the person is not able to keep the work and personal life separate. That is when compartmentalization is needed. When you leave the work place, make sure all your assignments are completed, so that you do not have to bother about it until the next day. Similarly, when you have taken care and made provisions for all the family needs at the right time in all sincerity, there is no need of worry at work. Although it might be difficult to make it practical, if practiced, it can work miracles.

PERSONAL TIME WITH FAMILY

Family is where we belong, and it is important that we spend quality time with them. Having a time for family prayer, coming together for at least one meal a day, weekend outings, occasional time of entertainment, helping out kids with their assignments, taking them for a walk, engaging in personal short talks with kids are some of the attributes.

HOBBIES AND PASSION 

It is a fact that as time changes, our priority changes. Yet we will have to find time for our hobbies  ̶  be it music, reading, travelling, sports, or even socializing. Our life becomes monotonous and boring without any hobbies or interests.

HAVING A GOOD CIRCLE OF FRIENDS

A friend in need is a friend in deed. Sometimes, a good circle of friends will be more comfortable than the family members. They ease us, comfort us, console us, take a lot of pressure off us. A true friend is somebody who is ready to give his self.

CONTENTMENT

Being content with what God has given will help us not to be greedy. Contentment brings into line what we desire and what we have. It is the friend of good work-life balance. All the toil of man is for his mouth, yet his appetite is not satisfied. (Ecclesiastes 6:7)

CONSECRATION 

Not the least, but the most important. All the above practical steps may fail, but through prayer and consecration, a person can overcome all the obstacles.

All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the spirit. Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established. (Proverbs 16:2-3) We need to ask the same question of everything we do: “Will it glorify God?” Ask God to give you a desire to spend time with his Word every day. So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31) “I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.” (Psalm 119:16)

Let’s ask the Lord to helps us to be fully present in all the areas of life that he has called us to. Let’s try to glorify him by establishing healthy rhythms of work, rest, and play. Amen

Dinoy Muringathery David has been actively involved in the Jesus Youth movement since his teenage days in Bangalore.Currently, he lives in Kuwait with his wife and two kids.