Achieving Work-Life Balance
Having balance between work and other life roles is important because it helps us maintain good mental health and live a happier life. If one outweighs the other, it often has some sort of negative consequences.
What is it?
“Work-life balance is the lack of opposition between work and other life roles. It is the state of equilibrium in which demands of personal life, professional life, and family life are equal,” claims Wikipedia. “Work-life balance is a term commonly used to describe the balance that a working individual needs between time allocated for work and other aspects of life.”
This is a little easier to accomplish nowadays, but it’s still not so easy. Many people struggle to find time for themselves or believe they’ll be more successful if they work more. Though if success is your goal, it actually might be more helpful to maintain a healthy balance between your work life and non-work life.
Why it’s important
One of Buddha’s 10 rules of success is to live a balanced life. “Being successful isn’t just about working all the time; you need to play and find your spiritual practice too,” the author says.”Being balanced is the key to not losing fatigue or wearing out, which in turn increases your chances of success.”
The happier you are, the more productive you are. If you have time to entertain your personal interests, hobbies, and family or social activities you’re likely to be happier. Whereas if you’re plagued with work, it can damage your chances of success because you’re more likely to be miserable (which negatively affects performance). No one wants that.
“The compounding stress from the never-ending workday is damaging,” says Deborah Jian Lee. “It can hurt relationships, health, and overall happiness.”
It really is just plain unhealthy to not have balance between work and life. Stress is mentally draining, causes fatigue, and weakens the immune system. This can also stunt your journey toward achieving wellness. The important thing is not to stress over pursuing a health work-life balance either.
Pursuing a healthy work-life balance
Wikipedia provides three moderators that may cause work-life imbalance: gender, time spent at work, and family characteristics. In terms of gender, they say that men tend to prioritize work duties over family duties, and women prioritize family. Even though it may be good financially, spending long hours at work leads to less time for other aspects of life outside of work. Are these things influencing your work-life relationship?
The good news is that whatever your dispositions are, achieving work-life balance isn’t impossible. So how can you achieve work-life balance? The first step is to evaluate your current work-life situation. By doing this you can then identify what steps you can take.
Mayo Clinic suggests setting limits and caring for yourself. To ensure you have time for activities and relationships you enjoy, they advise organizing your time. It may help to write down a schedule or make a list of events (having a plan can help you maintain focus). You could also reduce email access in order to leave work at work. In fact, taking a break from technology, in general, maybe a good idea.
Mayo Clinic also lists the following things that could help you cope with stress:
- Eating healthy
- Getting enough sleep
- Having time for fun and quality R&R
- Relying on a support system
In order to be successful in making time for life outside work, there are some small little adjustments that can make al the difference. According to The Muse, you don’t have to have tons of extra time to be more satisfied in life. You don’t necessarily have to spend hours a day doing things you enjoy or participating in activities.
You can spend just a few minutes doing hobbies, or combine hobbies and family time. If you have kids, they might enjoy cycling or birdwatching too. The Muse also mentions that by simply doing chores more efficiently you can have more time for yourself. What matters is having a life outside of work so you’re able to live a happier, more rewarding, more enjoyable life. This, in turn, will positively influence your life at work.
“Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is not only important for health and relationships, but it can also improve your employee’s productivity, and ultimately performance,” says Joe Wedgwood. “When we find and sustain a healthy work-life balance, we develop greater control over our focus and ability to concentrate on the task at hand.”
So be sure to play just as hard as you work.
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