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How to Attain Work-Life Balance Even in Singapore’s Workaholic Culture

by Voices Wellness 28 Oct 2021
Photo: Unsplash

Make time to breathe when you take your rest days as seriously as your work days. By SAMANTHA FRANCIS.

This year, a work-life balance survey ranked Singapore as the second most overworked city in Asia, second only to Hong Kong. This comes as no surprise, with longer working hours and overtime compounded by the current work-from-home situation. It might appear there’s little way out, for fear of appearing incompetent or unproductive, but by making little day-to-day changes, you might just be able to find a sense of work-life balance and inner peace.

Bookmark these tips: 

Curb your perfectionism 

Remember when perfectionism was the appropriate answer to an interviewer’s question about your weakness? These days, we’d rather value our mental health than try to reach unrealistically high standards and burn out in the process. When expressed healthily, perfectionism can help you steer clear of careless mistakes and create work that you’re proud of. But when left unchecked, it can be damaging to your physical health and exacerbate stress levels. If perfectionism is making it hard for you to relax or let go of work at the end of the day, it might be time to speak to a therapist.

Take your break time seriously

Whether you’re ready to embark on an overseas trip with the Vaccinated Travel Lanes, book yourself a staycation, or simply hang out at home, don’t forget to take your break as seriously as your work. Commit to being fully present with your family and friends and avoid work-related conversations whenever possible. Take time out to recharge by doing activities that you enjoy or even try doing nothing at all. Instead of documenting your rest days on social media, try going on a digital detox and posting these photos only after you get back from your leave.

Photo: Unsplash

Limit things that waste your time 

Life can be a lot more rewarding when you learn to prioritise what truly matters, whether at work or play. A quick scroll through your social media feed might not hurt your productivity, but if you’re trying to meet a project deadline, consider limiting your time on these apps. Meeting friends for drinks after work might feel like the perfect way to unwind, but if certain connections drain you of energy, you might be better off chilling out at home instead. Before you schedule a long and dreary meeting, consider if some things are better communicated over a quick email.

Unplug from work 

While technology keeps you connected to work, it’s easy to become tethered to it even on your rest days. Make a habit of setting boundaries by switching off notifications so that you can enjoy quality time with your loved ones in the evenings and avoid replying to work emails on your off days. If you start feeling anxious about not checking your work all the time, remind yourself that productivity is only possible with ample rest. By not reacting to work unnecessarily, you build resilience that gives you greater control over your work-life balance. This also helps you destress properly instead of anticipating work updates.


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