Achieving the perfect work-life balance

Ajit Diaz, a second generation printer, while enjoying his work, embarked on a plan to build up the organisation with a satisfied work force, using social, sport and spiritual activities. He shared his experience with the members of the Printing Technologists Forum in Chennai. Here is a brief by D Ramalingam of P&P. Ajit Diaz, managing director, Pio Printers Pvt Ltd, Chennai started his presentation with a challenging question, ‘Work-life balance, is it an oxymoron or is it practically possible?’ He said that work-life-balance is a concept including prioritising ‘work’ (career and ambition) and ‘lifestyle’ (health, pleasure, leisure, family and spiritual development). He stressed that we miss out on work-life balance because of competitive environment, unreasonable long working hours and being a compulsive workaholic. These do not allow any time for anything. “Some of these may be overdone and so best option is prioritising,” he suggested. What are those priorities? “Earn a decent living, make more than that, create a wealth base, do something exceptional in our career, build corporate empire, become really rich … or just become richer and richer. There one has to decide; to have enough for one’s need, for one’s and children’s needs for five generations.

To achieve work life balance, do we have to compromise with life?” The speaker recommends, “Get your priorities right, manage the time and keep reminding that work is just one part of your life.” Other things in life include family, health & fitness, sports, entertainment, our duty to the nation, community service to the unfortunate, spiritualities, hobbies... the list is endless.

So, how can you maintain a work-life balance? “Set realistic goals, allow non-negotiable time for family. Allow time for entertainment, hobby, community service commitment and setup a schedule day by day or for the week as ‘If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!’”

“Since you cannot change 24 hours in a day, start your day early,” he said. “If Sunday is a holiday, do not break the rule.” He cited interesting anecdotes on the importance of family life. He also asked participants to set aside at least 30 minutes a day for fitness and recommended to go to regular medical checkups and take a balanced diet. “A great way to keep fit is to pursue at least one sport activity or pursue a hobby. Do this just for you. We are just a passenger in this ship called life, set some moments to connect with your inner self. You would realise that not everything is in our hands. That is spirituality. Our elders fought for our freedom. It is our duty to do something to our nation as well,” he added. “Most of us are fortunate to have normal lives, some are not. Set aside some time for community work as well.”

Ajit, however, admitted that there is no right formula that fits all. Each of us is unique and special like our finger prints. He finished his presentation with the thought, “Start tonight - find yourself.”

Has Ajit practised what he has preached? The answer is emphatic yes. Ajit Diaz achieved this by setting his own path. Inheriting a printing press from his father, he today mentors a dedicated team of 72 employees whose education expenses he bears. From age of 14, he has been strolling around in his father’s concern Pio Printers Pvt Ltd. He enjoys sailing and spends some time working for the community through a trust belonging to his church. Starting his day early, exercising, breaking off work on time, spending time with family and friends, pursuing a hobby, connecting with his spiritual side, serving a social cause, all done on some schedule as per his own formula.

If Ajit can do it, why not we?

Group Publications