In this article, we are going to look at what a healthy work-life balance means and why it’s so difficult to achieve a healthy balance. We are also going to share with you a few strategies that you can use to improve your balance whether you are a student or a CEO.
If you are reading this, you are probably interested in work-life balance like a lot of people around you and convinced that it can help you lead a happier, fuller, and meaningful life. But what does work-life balance mean to you? And how will you know when you have achieved it?
In the original definition of work-life balance, both aspects are considered equally important and equally deserving of our attention and time.This eventually leads to the process of trying to distinguish between the parts of our attention and time that are being given to our personal pursuits and work. And then dividing up this time and attention equally. As you are going to see, this definition leaves a few aspects to be desired on the table.
Work-life balance is not a thing
You’ve probably seen a young child mixing two different colors of play dough, right? Once they’ve mixed the colors, it’s quite difficult to separate these colors again. This is the counterpoint of equal balance which we’ve discussed a while ago.
According to write my thesis, work and life are not entirely separate things that we can distinguish from each other and measure accurately. To understand them, you need to think of them as a single whole. While this is better than the equal balanced view, it goes a few steps ahead: work and personal life are not two separate things and neither are they a single homogenous pursuit.
Most people say and do things at work that they wouldn’t give their time or attention in their personal lives. This perspective on work-life balance helps in bringing a holistic sense to our way of thinking.
Making choices between work and life
This might seem obvious but it’s worth pointing out that work-life balance is something that you have to do – not something that your boss or any higher entity can do for you. Therefore, it’s important to recognize how the role that decision-making plays in our work and life.
Even your work-life balance would be decided for you by the government, technology, or employees, it wouldn’t be the best situation for you. This is mainly because the balance would be forced on you and decided for you. And one of the core facets of being human is the power to creatively choose how, where, and when you will engage with life and work.
As assignment help online reports, work-life balance has a personal and creative ingredient to it especially when you are trying to craft and navigate the sort of life you’d like to lead. This is going to be part of the creative decision-making that we are going to add to our definition of work-life balance.
The pursuit of satisfaction
So far we’ve discovered that work and life are not separate entities but connected ones. We’ve also pointed out that work-life balance gives us the ability to creatively choose how to engage with both important aspects. The most important thing to point out here is the idea of satisfaction. Since it’s one thing to have the power to choose between personal pursuits and work. And another thing to be satisfied with both areas.
According to buy essay online, you can devote equal time to both fields and think of it as some sort of balance. However, if you view a single arena as the one where we suffer and underperform so that we can do well in another, this is not a healthy balance. Worse, if we achieve balance in our personal lives and work but feel unsatisfied in both areas, we haven’t gained anything from our efforts. Therefore, the idea of a healthy work-life balance is not just pursuing balance for the sake of it but pursuing balance to become satisfied in both life and work.
Look for ways to have a personal life and work support each other
To have a healthy work-life balance, you need to look for ways that your life and work can support each other instead of going against each other.Since our time and attention are limited resources, it’s logical to think of work-life balance as a zero-benefit game where a single gain comes at the expense of another. However, it’s also true gains in a single area can foster growth in other areas.
Consider this – if you are experiencing growth in your personal life, is it not likely that you’ll bring this positive mindset and outlook to work? You should reframe your thoughts on work-life balance to get the opportunity to make changes that will support your life and work either simultaneously or in turn. Instead of playing the zero-benefit game, you’ll be looking for creative solutions that will in supporting your personal life and work.
Defining work-life balance
Taking all the perspectives that we’ve discussed to mind, we can come up with a clear definition of work-life balance:
Work-life balance is an ever-ending process where we get to choose where we shall invest our attention and energy so that life and work don’t fight each other but enrich and support each other.
Consequences of poor work-life balance
Life can take us at break necking speed that is usually unsustainable in most cases. We often feel demands coming at us at different angles. And finding that happy medium feels elusive. Is it possible to find a balanced work-life, personal life, and relaxation time? It is possible to find this balance and enjoy the health benefits that they have to offer. A poor work-life balance will not affect the individual but also the people around him or her. Some of the common consequences of a poor work-life balance include:
Burnout takes driven, intelligent and talented people saps the energy they need to do their work. You can recover from burnout. However, it’s better to invest in work-life balance now to avoid burnout in the first place.
2. Depression and anxiety
This is one of the unfortunate side-effects of poor work-life balance.When you are out of balance, your mental reserves will be depleted and you are likely to fall into the trap of dysfunctional thinking. And this will make it harder for you to manage your life.
3. Sleep deprivation
When you are out of balance, most people experience difficulties in getting or staying asleep. And this makes it harder for you to be productive in the days to come. And this prolongs the poor balance cycle.
4. Increased conflicts in relationships
When you are unsatisfied with what life offers, it will harm your listening skills. You also have less emotional awareness that is needed to engage productively with clients and colleagues. Studies show that your relationships determine as much as 80 percent of your chances of success in life. When your relationships, suffer, you’ll end up suffering immensely in the long run. Conflicts in relationships can lead to unhappy marriages and divorces.
5. Parent-child tension
Parents who are out balance usually experience increased difficulty in parenting children regardless of their age. And this leads to decreased satisfaction in both parties. Children need love and attention just as plants need water to grow. Children who don’t receive love and attention from their parents end up with low self-esteem, anxiety, stress, and even depression.
6. Escapist behavior
When our lives are out of balance, we tend to look for an escape.This can take different forms such as binge shopping, substance abuse, and social media addiction to name a few. It’s important to be aware of these behaviors since they usually crop up during the early phases of poor balance.
Benefits of good work-life balance
When you understand the importance of a healthy work-life balance, you’ll be motivated to take the steps that are needed to achieve this goal.Work-life balance is important for organizations and employees. A healthy work-life balance will help in boosting employee productivity, health, and morale. Some of the benefits that you’ll get from work-life balance include:
- Fulfilment: People who maintain a balance between their personal life and work experience a sense of contentment and fulfilment in life.
- Health: Work-life balance helps in reducing health-related complications and the risk of dangerous diseases such as hypertension, heart diseases, stress, depression, and lifestyle ailments to name a few.
- Increased productivity:Work-life balance helps in boosting performance and employee productivity at work.
- Strong healthy relationships:Work-life balance helps in facilitating collaboration in both personal and professional relationships. Conflicts can be addressed or tackled when there is a balance in both.
Tips to balance work and home
You can achieve work-life balance in whichever way that’s best suited for you. To achieve a work-life balance, you need constant attention. At times, you’ll feel like you are being dragged in opposite directions. However, focusing on maintaining a balance between life and work will pay off in spades.Here are a few tips that you can apply to achieve work-life balance:
1. Put your work away or turn off your computer
Today, we can easily access work thanks to rapid technological advancement. And this makes it difficult to leave it behind after an entire workday. While accessing work easily has several benefits, it can become a big problem if you can’t put your work away. Whenever you can, try turning off notifications and avoid refreshing your emails after work hours.
To support your efforts, you need to set boundaries with clients and co-workers. The more you answer their emails, calls, and texts after work hours, the more they’ll rely on easily accessing you anytime. Emphasize the fact that you’ll be available during work hours only. And you should be contacted in case of an emergency. With time, you’ll stop reacting to updates from your colleagues outside work hours.
At times, you can’t avoid bringing work home. While working outside the office, give yourself a time limit and avoid working beyond it.
2. Avoid time-wasting activities
Taking breaks and engaging in mindless activities can be fun.However, prioritizing important tasks so that you can get your work done on time will pay off in spades. If you are having difficulties in prioritizing urgent activities or tasks, consider writing down a to-do list.
A to-do list should be written the night before to enhance its effectiveness. After writing down all the activities that you need to perform, prioritize them in order of importance. A to-do list helps you get the highest value out of your workday so that you can enjoy your leisure time.
If procrastination affects you, consider breaking huge projects into small manageable chunks that you can work on during the week. If you are your boss, focus on blocking time. Figure out the amount of time needed to work on a particular task and set an alarm if necessary. Avoiding distractions during the day will help you achieve balance in the long run.
3. Look at your schedule
In most cases, achieving a work-life balance requires constant changes in your schedule. For instance, if you have to work for a few more hours to complete a project, you can consider rescheduling or canceling other obligations in the evening to ensure that you have the mental space and time needed to recharge and live a balanced life.
Learning to delegate at work and home will help you focus on tasks that will help you achieve balance. You need to identify areas at work that require restructuring. For instance, there are tasks that you might consider delegating or completing as a group instead of working on them individually.
4. Communicate with your boss
Maintaining open lines of communication with your manager about your duties and responsibilities is essential to achieving a work-life balance. Your supervisor should ensure that you are achieving your professional and personal goals. If you are feeling overworked or burnt out, your boss is likely to be unaware unless you communicate. Being honest and offering effective solutions will pay off in spades in the long run.
Your work-life balance is dependent on your responsibilities and priorities. Setting boundaries is one of the best ways to achieve balance and help you stay motivated at work. Focusing on work-life balance will help you achieve your professional and personal goals easily.
This article is a guest post by the talented writer Jennifer Holland. Jennifer is a professional writer with 3 years of experience who has been writing about education and student life for several years. She helps students get their dream job by offering them her excellent writing skills and knowledge.