WOW | Men Speak

The Key To Work-Life Balance

Compiled by: Rojina Maharjan
wow photo file © Ram Tandukar/ Gokul Shrees

Dr Bijoy Rajbanshi
Principal Consultant Cardiac Surgeon & HOD, Department of Cardio Vascular and Thoracic Surgery, Nepal Mediciti

This is a very pertinent question, achieving the elusive work life balance can sometimes feels like an impossible goal. As I am a doctor, my work is very demanding and I am required to be available all the time. My work does not allow flexibility or compromise. Often I have to attend to hospital emergencies in the middle of the night and this does put me in very precarious situations sometimes. I always make an effort to be home on time for at least two dinners in a week and do some of the household chores such as groceries and small errands. I reserve my Saturdays, which I usually spend with my family – wife and two children – avoid committing to and respectfully decline any social or professional activities that will take me away from my family. I believe communication between couples becomes the key and I share my concerns with regard to attempting to balance out both, and at the same time showing unconditional support to my wife’s work and prioritising her concerns as well. I always make the effort to call at least twice a day to enquire and to stay connected through the day. These minute things may appear trivial but shows you care. Time is precious and thus I try to do something together with my children – bath time, bedtime stories or even playing games that they like. I do look at taking the occasional vacation with my family and the occasional weekend getaways that rejuvenates me from my work stress and allows me to spend time with my family.

I believe it is very important to compartmentalise – in that what I mean is separate the two but at the same time focus when at both. Prioritising does not mean sacrifice, what it means is adjustment. Set boundaries for work and be disciplined and ensure good implementation, which is easier said than done but it saves time. Staying late at office does not mean that you like to live at work and taking a day off does not mean you do not like your work.

It’s important to value your partner and be an emotional support, especially in a profession like mine where the sacrifice she makes professionally and personally for running the family allows me to work without any stress of home. Similarly value your colleagues as well. Communication and being responsible is important, both at home and at work.

Focus on things that are important to you and be able to respectfully decline other things and prioritise. It’s what I would call a balanced sacrifice. Work life balance may sound so wholesome and rational; but falter in one and it will affect both.