The Mentors at Growth Retreat

Physics, Maths and Chemistry of Work-Life Balance
by Sivakumar Surampudi
An imbalance between work and life basically means spending more time on one at the cost of the other. Often you may not really have a choice, because a day has only so many hours and there are competing demands from your professional pursuits and personal life on the same limited time, leading to stress. Balance is obviously a desirable goal, because the resultant harmony increases your energy and improves productivity. After all, you cannot add more hours to a day, but you can certainly bring more energy into those hours. And, the hours saved by productivity, in effect, are the hours added back to your day.  
In the above argument, three aspects require delayering, if we intend achieving the desired balance and benefitting from it. The what, the when and the how.
The what: Work and life are very broad buckets, so it’s important to appreciate their multiple components while figuring out “what all do I need to balance”. Work includes managing today’s tasks as well as working towards longer term professional goals, which means continuously strengthening different competences, as also building and expanding your social networks. You need to concentrate not just on your own work, but also develop the team’s capabilities. On the other hand, life means family – both immediate and extended, as well as friends – both old and new, besides self – time for the many personal interests, in addition to making time for fitness.
The when: Priorities and right balance vary depending on the phase of life and the stage of professional pursuits, as also the nature of work. In that context an interesting angle is about the time period over which you are trying to balance them. Is it a 9 to 5 work and 5 to 9 life? Or is it a Monday to Friday and the weekend combo? It could also be spread over a month if that’s what your work allows, and so on. Often, just changing the balancing-window can make all the difference.
The how: Whatever you intend balancing must be fully aligned with whomever you want to balance it with. Your family or colleagues must know your rhythm and adapt. If that doesn’t work for them, you have to adapt. It’s an iterative process based on empathy for each other’s context and a reality check from time to time. When done this way, it’s not actually balancing work and life, but it becomes a more seamless work-life integration or confluence.
Makes sense?
If the title is still a puzzle, the what is physics, the when is maths, and the how is chemistry. 
Sivakumar heads the Agri and IT Businesses of ITC Limited, a three billion dollar portfolio out of the group’s ten. Sivakumar also oversees ITC’s Social Investments Programme and Corporate Sustainability Initiatives, that helped ITC achieve the distinction of being water positive, carbon positive and solid waste recycling positive for nearly two decades in a row – the only enterprise in the world to do so. ITC’s trailblazing ‘e-Choupal’ initiative was also developed and executed under his leadership. Sivakumar also serves on the Advisory Council to the Ministry of Rural Development, the Commodity Derivatives Advisory Committee of SEBI, and on the Management Committee of National Agricultural Higher Education Project of the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare. He has been on the boards of NABARD and IRMA (Institute of Rural Management – also his alma mater, where he topped the Class of 1983). He has been the Chairman of the National Agricultural Council of the CII, Vice Chairman of the WEF’s Global Agenda Council on Social Innovation and UN Global Compact’s Core Advisory Group to develop Sustainable Agriculture Business Principles. Sivakumar blogs at 
You can connect with him on twitter @S_Sivakumar
We are now 50 issues old. When I started this I was not even sure if I can continue for couple of months. But the tremendous response to the newsletter has been a great motivation. Each issue is read by over 60% of subscribers which is huge. Also the best part has been its being such a new learning tool for me. I had to research extensively on every topic that I have written about in Good Vibes, which has increased my knowledge and improved my reading habit exponentially. Thank you all.
If you like this newsletter you have a zero cost way to support it by sharing with your friends and family and giving a shout out on your social media platform. On Twitter and Facebook or if you have received it as a forward please Subscribe.. Please leave your feedback and suggestions. You can mail me or tweet to @SandeepMall using #goodvibeswithSandeep.
We have also archived all the old issues and you can access them at They contain some very good tool kits to take charge of your well being.
See you next week .
Sandeep Mall
The information provided in this newsletter is not medical advice, nor it should be taken as a replacement for medical advice. I am not a medical Doctor so I don’t prescribe anything. Most of the tools suggested are based out of scientific research and my experiments with them. Your healthcare, your wellbeing is your responsibility. Anything we suggest here, please filter it through that responsibility. 

July 31, 2022

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© Sandeep Mall, All Right & contents Reserved.

  • Powered by