What is work life balance. What is work life integration. How to achieve a good work-life balance. Benefits of work-life balance.
Do you often feel that you're married to your work? Do you ever think that all you do is work? Statistics show that nearly 66% of workers admit they lack the work-life balance they need. In another study that explored workplace stress, it came out that 39% and 19% of the respondents said the heavy workload and poor work-life balance was the primary cause of their stress, respectively. Many employees and business owners struggle to manage their work-life balance.
However, separating your personal and work life is easy when you understand how to manage your time and responsibilities. Therefore, this post guides you on how to manage your work-life balance. It gives you practical tips and ways to re-establish and manage a healthy work-life balance. It also discusses the benefits of an excellent work-life balance and the drawbacks of not having one.
Work-life balance refers to the state of equilibrium where you prioritize your personal and professional obligations equally. So, what exactly is a good work-life balance? The definition of a good life-work balance differs widely. However, a healthy or good work-life balance entails one or more of the following aspects:
Consequently, balanced work-life help reduce stress, prevent workplace burnout, and still live your personal life.
Work-life balance tends to focus more on keeping your work life separate from your professional life. In brief, a work-life balance approach stipulates that work hours should be for work and personal time is strictly for your personal life. There is a defined boundary between work hours and personal time.
On the other hand, work-life integration focuses more on blending personal and professional lives. Generally, this approach aims to create a common ground whereby your personal and work lives can co-exist together. Below are examples of work-life integration:
Regardless of your work approach, i.e., working from home or office, you're prone to not maintaining a proper work-life balance. However, you can follow a few steps to improve how you divide your energy and time across work and personal life.
The first step to improving your work-life balance involves setting clear boundaries between work and personal life. Additionally, you should define your work hours. More importantly, you should stick to it.
Having boundaries helps you work better because you know what to do and when. Besides, it helps you reduce stress.
Once you've set boundaries and defined your work hours, you should have a to-do list for the day, week, or month. You need to know the things (tasks, duties, meetings, appointments, etc.) you need to get done during a specific period.
So, what is the importance of a to-do list? It helps plan and manage your time effectively throughout the day. It also allows you to break down complex tasks according to the available time.
Since you already know what activities you'll carry out throughout the day, the next important step is to be focused and avoid distractions. Distractions include:
Eliminating distractions increases your productivity. Thus, you can efficiently execute the tasks at hand within the set time frames without the need to stretch your work hours. As a result, you'll go home worrying less about your work.
Do you ever accept extra tasks or commitments to get along with your manager or boss? It's time you learn to say no to the additional workload you cannot handle, which consumes a significant portion of your time.
You shouldn't always put others' needs before yours. It's not all about work; you need time to work on personal objectives.
Physical, mental, and emotional health should not be overlooked to achieve a good work-life balance. Consider engaging in regular exercises before or after work. Also, have practical ways of unwinding your mind, relaxing, and enhancing your relationship with loved ones during your time. More importantly, get quality sleep.
You need to have a reasonable plan for how you'll spend your day and avoid over-scheduling yourself.
When you're at home, you should detach yourself from work-related stuff. Avoid checking and responding to your work emails when you're at home. Disconnecting from work also applies to anyone using the remote work model.
You don't have to strain with tasks you don't enjoy and are not good at. It will take much of your time, and you will lose efficiency. Therefore, delegating such tasks is way better.
It also applies to your home chores or responsibilities. As a result, you work in a less stressful environment and remain productive.
You need to develop a support system at work and home. Have coworkers that can handle your tasks on your behalf when you've got pressing personal issues and vice versa. Also, have a family member who helps you with child care or other household responsibilities when you've got a lot of work and vice versa.
If your employer provides vacation and off days, take advantage of that. These are the best days to take a break and declutter your mind. Also, spend holidays and off-days with your loved ones and do things you enjoy.
Employees who achieve a harmonious work-life balance enjoy significant benefits, as outlined below:
When your life and mind are less stressed, you are more likely to perform assigned tasks more efficiently.
An excellent work-life balance allows you to manage your time well and focus on various aspects of your life without compromising your work or personal time.
When there is a healthy work-life balance, you can easily focus on tasks and what you're good at.
An excellent work-life balance allows you to focus on self-development and your well-being. As a result, you're in better control of your personal life and less stressed.
You feel more valued when you're in an environment that allows you to easily strike a balance between your time and your work life. You're less likely to leave, and your commitment to your work is on another level.
A good work-life balance keeps your stress levels low; you can easily navigate and manage daily tasks. More importantly, you have a happier life.
Having a poor work-life balance can have detrimental effects on your personal life and career. Below are some of the disadvantages of not managing your work-life balance:
Overworking and overburdening yourself only puts you at risk of experiencing burnout. Additionally, you experience fatigue, which causes you to be unproductive and inefficient in your work. There is also a high risk you will experience psychological distress.
Poor work-life balance can significantly impact your physical and mental health. Excessive work and family pressure make you prone to many illnesses and medical conditions such as strokes, headaches, heart disease, depression, sleep dysfunction, colds, and exhaustion.
Besides, a poor work-life balance leads some people to engage in substance abuse. Consequently, they risk their physical, mental, and financial health.
A poor work-life balance is likely to cause conflicts with loved ones, especially if you're married. Your partner, kids, and the people you love most may feel detached from you. A lack of quality family time may also negatively impact your mental health.
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