A huge hello from Team PY and welcome to our End of Month series, “Coffee Meet @ PY”, where we’ll grab a new conversation every month. This month, we’re writing about how we make time for ourselves. Consider this to be your safe space where you can add in your own views and instances, pitch in with your experiences and let us know we’re not the only ones who feel this way. We’ll be adding these conversations to our Mental Health category and keep these open for discussion. Having said that, let’s begin!
Over the past few years, we have increasingly noticed people get too busy with life. It’s overwhelming, we know! However, we haven’t quite figured out why it’s consistently difficult for people to prioritize balance and make time for themselves. We can’t give you professional opinion on how to make life better. Nevertheless, we’ll talk about our experience with this and how we personally make time for ourselves.
How satisfied are you with your current work-hours?
Ri: If I had to be honest, I am in a much better position right now than I was 3 months ago. Most of it has to do with getting additional resources and learning to ask for help when I needed to. I am fairly satisfied if not completely elated with how much I’m working right now.
V: I find myself to be really happy with my current work-hours. My organization allows me the liberty of setting appropriate deadlines. It’s more project-based than hours-based, and I prefer that to be my ideal metric at present.
How often do you work on the weekend / over a vacation?
Ri: Weekends are a huge no for me! Again, recapping to three months ago, I used to work over the weekends and miss out on so much in life. Now, it’s my life mission to avoid work over the weekend. I make it a point to shut my laptop at 7 p.m. on a Friday evening and then not dig in again until Monday mornings are back. Vacations are not really my forte, yet. I have taken up work on every vacation that I’ve been to so far, and I’m not seeing this change in the near-future. However, I would like to take that up as a challenge soon.
V: There are pretty occasional instances when I’ve had to work weekends or over a vacation. Even then, it is primarily out of choice and need. The major focus of my deliverables are project-based and I’ve consistently been able to get them done over the week. I prefer reserving the weekends and vacations for getting my energy back on track.
Why do you think making time for yourself is important?
Looking back, we think we all lose out on important days, important memories, important people while we keep giving our entire share of time to our work. It’s not work that we think is the issue here, but not acknowledging that you’re doing enough. Sometimes adding up to your insecurity of the same is managerial pressure that reiterates on the premise that you’re not doing enough! You don’t have to keep proving to others that you are hustling. In fact, hustle is not the culture you should be aiming for, efficiency is. Being efficient and well-informed in your field is so much more important than a metric as incompetent as “work-hours.”
People lose themselves in this entire journey of trying to be the hardest worker in the room. It’s worse to think that prominent managers give impetus to such ideas. What’s the point of upskilling in tools and technology if you can’t upskill your mindset at the same pace? Eventually, employees get burnt-out; they give up on bigger dreams. They convince themselves that the corporate world is probably not fit for them, while it’s the other way around. The most important reason why we think making time is of essence is to stay sane; to keep loving your passion, your career, your job. Additionally, you also find a way to love other people better when you’re happier with the one thing that takes up majority of your headspace 24/7.
What activities help you make time for yourself?
Ri: My go-to relaxing activity is reading. I read heaps and heaps on primarily non-fiction, inspiring titles. I’ve noticed that book quotes and phrases contribute a lot to keeping me oriented in life. On a working day, I balance things out majorly by listening to a podcast. Some times, a cup of chai (tea) and observing the streets in quietude helps me reflect and calm down.
V: My idea of making time for myself includes some kind of a physical activity. I tend to resort to working out or playing a sport to regain composure. Sometimes, watching an inspirational movie or playing board games helps me relax as well. Something that I can always fall back on to reset my headspace is playing video games; they are amazing stress-relievers for me.
How do you suggest your readers make time for themselves?
- Biggest emphasis on setting boundaries! We know it can be tough for a lot of you out there, but this is the first step.
- Set time boundaries for work during the week, but also make space for any pending deliverable that has to be done on an urgent basis.
- Learn the difference between actual time-sensitive and perceived time-sensitive in order to make objective decisions on whether something deserves attention outside normal working hours.
- We personally find it completely worthless to give in extra time over the weekend, when it’s supposed to be your time to rejuvenate yourself. Give yourself permission to revive yourself.
- Start with making personal commitments right after work with friends or family. Gradually, you’ll be able to do the same when it comes to making time for yourself without feeling guilty about work.
- Moreover, we think realistic deadlines is a major factor to embed right here. Do not blindly say yes to a deadline you’re handed over.
- Reflect on whether this is a doable timeline; whether an average day (not your best, not your worst) would enable you to get this done without suffering a burnout.
- Remember that you’re supposed to fit your work around your life and not the other way round.
Lastly, we can’t help you figure out what activities would best help you relax; that differs from person to person. However, what we’ve tried to do above is help you find the time and space where you can decide what helps you relax and go pursue them without guilt!
We hope you’re inspired to take a break, make time for yourself and let yourself take those tiny breathing moments this week. We know that making time for yourself does not come easy to you. This is especially hard when we’re prone to people-pleasing behaviors. Despite that, we know that not making time for you isn’t sustainable. Take a small step today towards better mental health. For prompts on relaxation activities, refer to these resources below:
40 Ways to Relax in 5 Minutes or Less by Greatist
29 Relaxing Things to Do at Home and Outside by Live Bold and Bloom
Read our last Coffee Meet @ PY, where we spoke about why you’re doing better than you think you are!
Tune in next week for our upcoming post // “Best Quotes | Burnout – Solve your Stress Cycle” – can’t hold the excitement, stay hooked!