Work-Life Balance

Secret Ingredient Of A Purposeful Life: Work-Life Balance

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“You can have it all. You just can’t have it all at once.”

– Oprah Winfrey

How hard can attaining work life balance be when we have 168 hours in a week? 

Suppose if people get the recommended 8 hours of sleep per night, they will have 112 awake hours, with nearly 30% of those hours spent at work. Now, while this may appear to be a negligible rate, other factors like a two-way commute, overtime, and out-of-office team building activities or events can eat into the remaining time. As a result, it’s no surprise to see how much work creeps into our daily life.

Balancing work with other duties, as well as the much-needed ‘time-out,’ has grown increasingly difficult since the widespread acceptance of remote work over the past year.

According to a survey done by the British Mental Health Foundation, 40% of respondents said work caused them to overlook other elements of their lives. Increasing their susceptibility to mental health issues, burnout causing them to miss work and, in some cases, forcing them to resign.

What Does Work-life Balance Actually Mean?

The term “work-life balance” refers to a pristine condition of harmony between one’s personal and professional lives. Balancing the two is a tricky feat, especially in today’s environment, where working from home is the new normal. However, we believe (and have said since long before the first lockdown) that the concept of work-life balance is obsolete.

By definition, it opposes one against the other, while in reality, work is a part of life, and we need to take a more holistic approach to actual fulfilment, both at work and at home.

The ability of an employee to maintain a good balance between their job obligations, personal commitments, and family life is referred to as ‘work life’ balance. As more individuals experience tension between their professional and personal duties, businesses are increasingly understanding the necessity of assisting them in achieving this balance. Many workers’ personal duties are increasing in today’s world, from childcare and elderly care to volunteer work and family commitments.

The work life balance crisis occurs at a time when their work responsibilities are also growing, causing a conflict between personal and professional expectations as well as an increase in anxiety.

The Importance Of Work-Life Balance In Life

The importance of work life balance is felt by every working professional. Employees and businesses equally need to strike a work-life balance. If your employees are dissatisfied with their employment and cannot find meaning and fulfilment in them, they will be less effective and productive, take more sick days, and eventually burn out. As a result, you’ll have a high staff dropout rate as a company. That’s not good news for you, because a high turnover rate is expensive for your company.

As a result, ensuring that your employees have a healthy work-life balance becomes one of your top objectives in the workplace. Furthermore, by establishing policies that promote a good work-life balance, you can both retain and recruit talent that brings value to your company. There are numerous advantages to establishing a good work-life balance for your business includes:

  • Increased business profitability by lowering staff churn out rates, allowing you to focus more on productivity and providing value to your clientele through efficient personnel.
  • Improved employee morale as a result of increased job satisfaction.
  • A more engaged workforce of happy employees that work harder, miss fewer days, and feel more connected to the company.

Achieving a healthy work-life balance offers numerous advantages from the employee’s standpoint as well:

  • Better time management allows you to focus on practically every part of your life. You can work, spend time with your family, go to a yoga class, and even go out of the house for some fresh air by simply creating a schedule that allows you to accomplish all of these things and more.
  • A greater drive to experience life to the fullest. You can do whatever you want to do without compromising anywhere if you manage your time well. Rather than sitting back and feeling sorry for yourself, you will be more focused on the task at hand.
  • Improved physical, emotional, and mental health due to the fact that you are no longer losing out on life. You’re doing both what you want and what you have to do. This lack of shame over missing out on things improves your physical, emotional, and mental well-being.

Many researchers support the points stated above about the importance of work-life balance in life. But is there a way to know when this balance has been tipped off?

Symptoms That Show Your Work-Life Balance is Distrubed

At work, almost everyone encounters uncomfortable situations. Projects pile up, you stay late and bring work home with you, but the flood of emails continues apace. When this starts to happen on a regular basis, it’s time to rethink your work-life balance — and make some constructive efforts to focus on ensuring job burnout.

How do you decide when it’s time to reconsider your work-life balance? Here are several mental health warning indicators.

1. You neglect your physical well-being.

You’ve been up too late or are having difficulties sleeping. You don’t get enough exercise because you sit all day. You eat almost entirely from a vending machine or drive-thru window, or you don’t eat at all. You’re bothered by a nagging discomfort or a health problem, but sadly you do not have the bandwidth to deal with the same.

2. Your mental health is deteriorating.

If you’ve noticed symptoms of anxiety or despair due to deadlines, it is time to take a pause and reconsider. In an overburdening condition, one begins to feel dread, restlessness, despondency, panic attacks, mood disturbances, and even suicidal thoughts.

3. You develop an IDGAF attitude.

Most professionals begin to not give a damn about the work once they reach a limit. The purpose of work loses its meaning for them. They don’t feel like having any ties to coworkers or clientele. It’s as if they are just punching hours.

4. You consider yourself incompetent.

Does it ever happen that you feel nothing is enough, despite the hard work you put in? You’re usually late, and the quality of your job could suffer as a result. You’re continually concerned about how well you’re doing at work. You are afraid of being fired, but you may also secretly yearn about it.

5. There are no clear lines separating work and home life.

You’re putting in increasingly lengthy hours. You can’t take a vacation without receiving calls, texts, and emails from your employer. You have the impression that you must be available at all times.

6. You start isolating.

Despite the fact that you are continuously surrounded by people and are always linked electronically, you no longer have the time or energy to engage in meaningful connections with family or friends. Your relationships start to suffer as a result.

So, how can we build a work-life balance? Here are some work-life balance tips for you.

How To Restore Work-Life Balance: Effective Work-Life Balance Tips

Work-life balance is more about having the adaptability to get things done in your professional life while still having time and energy to enjoy your personal life than it is about splitting the hours in your day evenly between work and personal life. There may be days when you work longer hours so that you can enjoy other activities later in the week.

Here are 10 strategies for achieving a better work-life balance.

1. Admit that there is no such thing as a “perfect” work-life balance.

Hard truth! When you hear “work-life balance tips,” you probably envision a way to have a productive day at work followed by some time to spend the rest of the day with friends and family.

While this appears to be the ideal situation, it is not always attainable.

Instead strive for a realistic schedule rather than a perfect one. You may devote more time and energy to work on some days, while having more time and energy to explore your interests or spend time with your loved ones on others. Balance is achieved over time rather than on a daily basis.

It’s critical to stay flexible and evaluate where you are in relation to your goals and priorities on a regular basis. Allowing yourself to remain open to redirecting and assessing your needs on any given day is key to finding balance. Your children may need you at times, and you may need to travel for work at other times, but allowing yourself to remain open to reorienting and evaluating your needs on any given day is key to finding balance.

2. Look for a career that you enjoy.

Despite the fact that work is a societal expectation, your professional options should not be limited. Simply said, if you despise what you do, you will not be happy. You don’t have to enjoy every element of your career, but it should be interesting enough that you don’t mind getting out of bed in the morning.

We propose finding a profession that you are so enthusiastic about that you would do it for free, as sad as it is. Something is amiss if your job drains you and you find it tough to do the activities you enjoy outside of work. You could be working in a hostile atmosphere, for a toxic person, or in a job that you don’t want to do.

If this is the case, it is time to find a new job where you can have fun at work!

3. Make your overall health a priority.

Your primary priority should be your total physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing. If you suffer from anxiety or depression and believe that therapy or a life coach will help you, make time for it. Even if it means leaving work early. If you have a chronic condition, don’t be scared to call in sick when you’re having a bad day. Overworking oneself stops you from improving, and it may force you to take more vacation days in the future.

Prioritising your health will help you become a better employee and person. You will miss work less, and you will be happier and more productive when you are there. Prioritising your health does not have to entail severe or radical measures. It might be as basic as meditating or exercising every day.

4. Don’t be afraid to unplug your devices.

Reducing connections with the outer world allows us to recover from weekly stress and creates space for new ideas and thoughts to develop. Unplugging can be as simple as practising meditation instead of checking business emails on your daily commute.

5. Take some vacation time. 

Genuine detoxing sometimes entails taking vacation time and turning off all work for a period of time. Whether you’re on a one-day staycation or a two-week trip to Bali, it’s critical to take time off to both physically and mentally rejuvenate.

According to the U.S. Travel Association’s State of American Vacation 2018 study, 52 percent of employees have unused vacation days left over at the end of the year. Employees are frequently concerned that taking time off will interrupt the workflow and that they will return to a backlog of work. This concern should not prevent you from taking a well-deserved vacation.

The truth is that there is no honour in refusing to take well-deserved vacation time; the benefits of taking a day off much outweigh the drawbacks. With careful planning, you may take time off without worrying about bothering your coworkers or returning to a massive workload.

6. Set aside time for yourself and your family.

While your job is vital, it should not consume all of your time. Before starting this job, you were an individual, and you should prioritise the activities or hobbies that made you happy. Work-life balance necessitates purposeful activity. Nothing can replace the rejuvenating powers of Me-Time.

You will never have time to do other things outside of work if you do not make a concrete strategy for personal time. You have full control over your time and life, no matter how crazy your schedule may be.

Make a calendar for romantic and family dates when organising time with your loved ones. Planning one-on-one time with someone you live with may seem strange, but it will ensure that you spend meaningful time with them without work-life conflict. Work keeps you busy, but that doesn’t mean you should overlook your personal relationships.

Recognise that no one at work will love or appreciate you as much as your loved ones do. Also keep in mind that at work, everyone is replaceable, no matter how valuable they are.

7. Set boundaries and work for definite hours.

This one might not seem as easy as said. At times, tasks pile up and being the workaholic  you are, finishing those tasks becomes important. Our only advice is: set boundaries for yourself and your colleagues to avoid burnout. When you leave the office, avoid thinking about upcoming projects or answering company emails. Consider having a separate computer or phone for work, so you can shut it off when you clock out. If that isn’t possible, use separate browsers, emails or filters for your work and personal platforms.

Additionally, it is recommended to set specific work hours. Whether you work away from home or at home, it is important to determine when you will work and when you will stop working; otherwise, you might find yourself answering work-related emails late at night, during vacations or on weekends off. 

It’s also a good idea to let your team members and boss know about any boundaries beyond which you won’t be available due to personal obligations. This will guarantee that they are aware of and respect your workplace boundaries and expectations.

8. Stick to the determined objectives and priorities.

Set attainable goals by employing time-management techniques, analysing your to-do list, and eliminating things that are of little or no value.

Keep track of when you’re most productive at work and set aside that time for your most important work-related tasks. Checking your email and phone every few minutes is a significant time-waster that detracts from your concentration and productivity. Organising your day can help you be more productive at work, which means you’ll have more time to unwind outside of work.

9. Master the art of saying no.

It’s critical to select what you want to accomplish, with whom you want to form bonds, and how you want to spend your time. We get so many requests and offers to do different things that we end up saying yes to things we don’t want to do but feel obligated to do.

Have the self-confidence, fortitude, and self-respect to live life on your own terms, saying yes only to the things that truly matter. Start saying no to everything else.

You obtain clarity on what and who is necessary and who isn’t when you know who matters most and what matters most. You’re short on time. You’ll become more focused and present in everything you’ve said yes to once you start saying no to most things.

10. Make a commitment towards a brighter future.

Right now, at this current moment, you have the power and control to pick what bigger and better future you desire for yourself. It’s entirely up to you how far into the future you wish to ‘vision.’ It could be three, five, ten, or twenty-five years. This is your future to create, but only if you take the time now to consider where you are and where you want to go.

Take this into consideration: Examine your ‘future self,’ and be certain of where you want to go, who you want to be, and how you want to live. Then, return to the present day and make a plan for how you’re going to develop and ‘move toward’ this bigger future.

Having a clear vision and clarity about where you want to go and the steps you need to take to get there, will provide you with more energy, engagement, motivation, creativity, and productivity.

The Secret Ingredient in Work Life Balance: The Rise Of Flexible Work Environment

Professionals who are able to strike a good work life balance frequently credit their flexible work schedules. According to heads of multiple corporations, many firms have given employees more flexibility with their schedules and where they work in the last seven years.

Employers are clearly struggling with reduced resources for perks that have a direct cost. They have made it a point, however, to provide employees with a broader range of benefits that meet their individual and family needs while also improving their health and well-being.

Employers may benefit from flexibility in the long run. Looking ahead, it’s apparent that if businesses want to recruit and keep top people, they’ll need to discover methods to offer flexible work alternatives in order to stay competitive.

In the end we all have distinct life responsibilities, work-life balance will mean different things to different people. Balance is a very personal issue in our always-on society, and only you can choose the lifestyle that best suits you.

Quotes on Work-Life Balance

Here are some impactful quotes on work-life balance that you can print and place it around your workspace to remember. 

“Balance is not better time management, but better boundary management. Balance means making choices and enjoying those choices.”

– Betsy Jacobson, Business Consultant

“Work life balance is not an entitlement or benefit. Your company cannot give it to you. You have to create it for yourself.”

– Matthew Kelly, Author

“You will never find time for anything. If you want time, you must make it.”

– Charles Buxton, Writer, and Politician

“You will never feel truly satisfied by work until you are satisfied by life.”

– Heather Schuck, Author

“If you want your children to turn out well, spend twice as much time with them and half as much money.”

– Abigail Van Buren, Advice Columnist

“Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.”

– Stephen Covey, Author

“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.”

– Michael Altshuler, Motivational Speaker

“Time is really the only capital that any human being has, and the only thing he can’t afford to lose.”

– Thomas Edison, Inventor

“Invest in your work life balance. Time with friends and family is as important as time at work. Getting that out of balance is a path toward unhappiness.”

– Stephen Gillett

“The challenge of work life balance is without question one of the most significant struggles faced by modern man.”

– Stephen Covey, Author

“Burnout is about resentment. Preventing it is about knowing yourself well enough to know what it is you’re giving up that makes you resentful.”

– Marissa Mayer

“A time for everything: A time to relax and a time to be busy, a time to frolic and a time to labour, a time to receive and a time to give, a time to begin and a time to finish.”

– Jonathan Lockwood Huie

“The gift of balance in your life – May you find the balance of life, time for work but also time for play. Too much of one thing ends up creating stress that no one needs in their life.”

– Catherine Pulsifer

Frequently Asked Questions

What is work life balance?

The term “work-life balance” describes a perfect state of balance between one’s personal and professional lives. Balancing the two can be difficult, especially in today’s world, where working from home has become the standard. However, we feel (and have argued since before the first lockout) that the concept of work-life balance is no longer relevant.

Give some work-life balance tips?

  1. Admit that there is no such thing as a “perfect” work-life balance.
  2. Look for a career that you enjoy.
  3. Make your overall health a priority.
  4. Don’t Be Afraid To Unplug Your Devices
  5. Take Some Vacation Time

What are some of the famous quotes on work life balance?

“Balance is not better time management, but better boundary management. Balance means making choices and enjoying those choices.”

– Betsy Jacobson, Business Consultant

“Work life balance is not an entitlement or benefit. Your company cannot give it to you. You have to create it for yourself.”

– Matthew Kelly, Author

“You will never find time for anything. If you want time, you must make it.”

– Charles Buxton, Writer, and Politician

What is the importance of work life balance?

Lowering staff churn rates increased business profitability, allowing you to focus more on productivity and offering value to your clients through efficient workers.

As a result of higher job satisfaction, staff morale has improved.

A happier staff that works harder, misses fewer days, and feels more connected to the organisation.

What are the symptoms that show your Work-Life Balance is disturbed?

The symptoms that show your Work-Life Balance is disturbed is as follows:

  • You neglect your physical well-being 
  • Your mental health is deteriorating 
  • You develop an IDGAF attitude
  • You consider yourself incompetent 
  • There are no clear lines separating work and home life 
  • You start isolating
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