What is work life balance?
Work life balance is the equilibrium between your personal life and work life. It is the balance you strike where you spend equal or enough time for yourself, with yourself and loved and on your career and work related activities.
Work-life balance is the idea that you need time for both work and other aspects of life, whether those are family-related or personal interests. Spending too much time at work can lead to chronic stress or burnout and too much time without being productive can lead to unfulfillment and sadness. This is why a balance is required.
However, in today’s times, it is very difficult to find that work life balance. There are many reasons why that is that case. Let’s take a look at some of them.
Why are you unable to find a work life balance?
- Too much work
- Longer working hours
- Work from home
Too much work. When you are overloaded with work, it’s difficult to find time for anything else. You spend most of your time at work or when at home, thinking about work. This is because you have so much pressure, it becomes difficult for you to switch off from work. As a result, there is too much stress and not enough happiness.
Longer working hours. When you need to start clocking in longer working hours, the time you have for yourself automatically drops. You end up sleeping and eating during your free time and then it’s back to work. This leads to potential personal problems and a lack of happiness at work.
Work from home. This has become a big cause of lack of work life balance since early 2020. Due to covid-19, work from home culture has become prevalent and that has led to a bigger issue. You are called into work over the weekends because you’re at home and personal and professional boundaries are non-existent. Now, work life balance has gone for a toss and you may end up spending most of your time working at home, rather than being at home.
How to find a perfect work life balance?
- Leave work at work
- Exercise and meditate
- Start saying no
- Create time for yourself
- Work smarter
- Ask for help
Leave work at work. Develop a mental on-off switch between work and home. It helps to establish a smoother transition from work and home. If you can find an activity right after work to unplug, that’ll help you prevent spending extra 10 minutes at work which may turn into a few hours. Once you’re logged off, don’t check your work calls or emails and let your team know you are unavailable. If you can start communicating this, you will be able to strive for a better balance.
Exercise and mediate. These two activities can help boost your mind and body and help you unwind and relax post work. Meditation helps clear your mind, build positivity and allow you to find time for yourself after a hectic day. Exercise helps you take care of your body, put yourself first and improves your mood! This can help you enjoy the rest of your evening, so you can be sure of better work life balance.
Start saying no. A big reason why you end up having a bad work life balance is due to extra workload. If you can start refusing work at the end of the day, or say no when you’re already overloaded, it can help you avoid burnout and leave work on time. Just because you are available and don’t complain is no reason to take on more work. Everyone has limits, find yours and start to politely decline extra work which you can’t handle.
Create time for yourself. Every day, find an hour of time where you do something for yourself. This could mean going to the park, reading a book, watching TV or pursuing a hobby. Whatever it may be, for that hour, you’re unavailable to the rest of the world and this time is just for you. Follow the same practice over the weekends as well and find your mood getting uplifted! This self-care will make you happier and allow you to achieve better work life balance.
Work smarter. Rather than work long hours and work a lot, try and hack your productivity so you can work smarter. The Pomodoro technique, Eisenhower decision matrix and other productivity tools are a great way to stay on top of your work. Extensive to-do lists, proper time management and taking on just enough work is a great way to maintain work life balance.
Ask for help. If the situation is too bad and you find yourself having no time for yourself, reach out to a professional or loved one for help. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness and it can help you come out of a slump. In case you’re struggling, suffering burnout or just fed up at work, talk to a friend and figure out a plan. A short holiday, some time off and other self-care activities can help you get back on track and devise a clear route to achieve better work life balance.
To sum up
Work life balance is a key aspect of your life. It is not right for you to overwork yourself and suffer from workplace stress everyday. If you are unhappy at work, take a moment to pause and assess what is going on. Work life balance is not a luxury, but a basic human need and it’s important you are able to find it, no matter your field of work.
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Jash is an expert on mindfulness.