Balance, a term associated with almost everything present around us. In this context, balance is when you feel at ease or at equilibrium with certain aspects like your regular eating habits, your health, your free time, your Ph.D., your relationships and your family. Achieving a work-life balance is a complete myth as the idea is not centralised and may differ from person to person.
“Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life !”
Work-Life balance is the term used to describe the balance that an individual needs between time allocated for work and other aspects of life. Having a well-balanced work-life is not only about coming to and returning from working on time. In a broader perspective, it’s about prioritizing what’s important at that time.
Striking a healthy work-life balance is a difficult challenge even in the best of times, but it is all the more intimidating and necessary during times of economic stagnation and uncertainty. Studies show that a poor work-life balance can result in unhealthy levels of stress, unhappiness, and even reduced productivity.
Causes of the Imbalance:
When you give in to societal expectations and pressures of how much the society expects from you, leads to gut feelings of dissatisfaction.
Well, it’s not wrong to be ambitious however when you are so completely cued into a mission that you forget everything else and this is when your extreme side of it proves to be nasty.
Desperate for perfection:
When we strive for perfection, we end up missing out on life, and we stress a lot more. Perfection detracts you from the incredible life path you’re on and prevents you from seeing the gifts that are always in front of us.
Your ability to help yourself will only be as good as your ability to be objective and clear about what the nature of your issues is. Even when you are feeling low and depressed your denial at those feelings and attitudes may cause a terrific imbalance.
Significance of Work-life balance:
Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is not only important for health and relationships, but it can also improve your productivity, and ultimately performance. Here are some more reasons why work-life balance is important :
1) It maintains Mental health:
Mental health is integral to living a healthy, balanced life. Mental health is important because it’s a vital part of your life and impacts your thoughts, behaviors and emotions.
Mental health influences the way individuals look at themselves, their lives and others in their lives. No matter how much time you devote to improving your mental and emotional health, you will still need the company of others to feel and function at your best.
2) It increases productivity:
It adds on to your productivity and enhances it. A healthy work-life balance makes people more motivated and boosts them to take up tasks. A good balance has the effect of making them feel refreshed.
Since there is less pressure at work due to stress and anxiety, the positive balance makes it easier for them to perform their tasks. It comes as no surprise that people who balance their lives efficiently have a higher chance of performing better at their chores.
3) Leads to More engagement:
Engagement is a type of energy that an individual sets into his work, involving himself to better his performance. It is a positive behavior that develops in individuals when he finds organizational support and cultural support.
Work-life balance facilitates collaboration in professional and personal relationships with more engagement. Conflicts are better tackled or addressed when there is a balance between both.
4) Fewer Burnouts:
Burnout is a syndrome resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. With pressurized deadlines backed with heavy workloads, this trend is understandable. However, burnout can be prevented with lifestyle changes in and out of your life.
Achieving work-life balance can be very unlikely without guidelines that make both fulfilling. Burnout is all-too-common, but it can be prevented once we shift away from stagnant work practices.
5) Makes a more rounded individual:
It is something that adds to your personality when you are able to manage everything within your time spheres. Having interest other than your work makes you have an all-round personality. And of course, to have a balanced career you need to have a good balance between your hobbies and your work.
Having interests outside of work will increase and improve your skills and make you a more rounded and interesting individual.
6) Develops an optimistic outlook in a person:
It seems like the importance of a positive attitude would be obvious, but it’s so easy to become consumed with your own thoughts and dramas. Your balance encourages you to reach for the stars, work hard and stay focused on fulfilling your dreams.
Your vision compels you to look at your chores with a different outlook. Positive people radiate differently, just by walking in a room with their energy – it changes the world and people around them.
7) Availability of a broader talent pool:
There lies a dearth of talent. However, with increased Confidence and a systematic approach to life, there is an intense upgrade of talent. You start rejuvenating and finding yourself. You start developing a keen interest in your own hobbies.
You then rise above everything and thus, the world gradually acknowledges your potential with the availability of broader talent pools.
Also Read – How To Boost Your Motivation While Launching Your Startup
Achieving a Work-Life balance:
The 12 tips outlined in this article are delineated to help you restore the balance — and harmony — in your work and personal lives, so you can enjoy both to the supreme:
1) Learn how to let go of things:
We hang on until we are forcibly taken away, and even then, we still hold on mentally and emotionally. What we may not realize is that holding on can wreak havoc in our lives.
When we learn to let go, we can be free of the sources of our pain and suffering that are holding us back. As you learn to let go, your self-esteem and self-confidence will grow. When you learn to let go, you’ll attract healthier people in your life.
2) Prioritize your time:
Keep a time log of everything you do for one week, including work-related and personal activities. Create a timeline of your activities. Specific computer programs can help you with this, or you can customize your own Excel spreadsheet or Word table. Don’t forget to invest in time-tracking tools.
You could also prioritize your tasks into four categories:
- Urgent and important
- Important but not urgent
- Urgent but not important
- Neither urgent nor important.
3) Establish boundaries at work:
The concept of work-life boundaries is simple. It defines how much of yourself you give to your career, and they guide how you form relationships with managers, colleagues, and clients. It includes the physical, emotional, and mental limits you create to protect yourself from over-committing, being used or behaving in unethical ways.
In order to maintain a highly productive and happy workplace, make sure that you have clear boundaries set up between you, your clients and even your senior officials.
4) Acknowledge your peaks and troughs:
Work isn’t always a steady, linear process. Most careers surprisingly come with peaks and troughs. Some months will be busier than others and you’ll have to work longer hours. At other times, you’ll have less work than you would ideally like.
Don’t try and be all things to all people. Schedule your priorities and don’t acquiesce to every request that comes your way. Make sure you have your expectations in check, about what it is really like to work in a particular industry, but also monitor your energy levels and keep up good regimes with family, friends and fitness.
5) Manage your workspace:
One of the most effective ways to separate your work and personal time is to establish a space in your home where you will do your daily job. Creating this separation within your home will help your brain to associate certain rooms or areas of your house with work. Committing to only doing work in a defined space, like an office or another sectioned-off area of your home, can help to create a more productive work environment.
Also, working for yourself does tend to require long hours and not much downtime; so try to invest in equipment that supports you. Try getting a comfortable chair, an ergonomic keyboard, a stand for your pc/laptop and many more.
6) Fill yourself with the good:
This strategy is all about you. Nurturing yourself, taking care of yourself and being compassionate with yourself. Getting clear on which people and what situations push you into the “orange” or “red” stress zones is crucially important. Try to seek out and surround yourself with individuals who have your best interest at heart vs. the bottom line.
The right circle of influence raises the bar, helping us to set new, loftier expectations of ourselves. Oftentimes, we don’t know what we are capable of until we see others achieve.
7) Practice mindfulness:
Mindfulness is paying attention to your present-moment experience with an attitude of openness and curiosity. Mindfulness is being self-aware, being curious, staying focused on what’s important, dealing better with stress and connecting with others more deeply.
While formal practices include yoga or meditation, there are many informal ways you can incorporate mindfulness into your daily life. These can include simple actions like noticing sensations while you’re showering or driving in silence and noticing the road as well as traffic lights and sounds.
8) Encourage vacations:
Your body is programmed to handle a certain amount of stress every day. When an employee exceeds the limit, they tend to feel exhausted and emotionally drained. This is where the vacation comes to rescue.
A mandatory paid time off can encourage you to take vacations and recharge yourself. It clears your head, re- energizes you and improves your productivity drastically. Vacations shut off the stressors and pressures of work. With the danger signal turned off, the stress response stops, and the body’s parasympathetic system can get to work on reparative and maintenance functions.
9) Unplug from technology:
Unplugging from technology has become mission-critical when it comes to achieving work-life balance and avoiding burnout. Technology is a good servant, but a bad master. The aim is to help you make your life easier, not control it.
The best way to truly disconnect (and put your phone away) is to find an activity you love—and that requires your undivided attention. Do some work on your mental health such as reading a business book, watching a movie or meditation. It will energize and refresh you, and enable you to nurture creative thoughts.
10) Pace yourself:
One of the greatest lessons to learn as you grow through your career is to pace yourself. Push yourself, however sleepy or tired you might be getting, a trip to the bedroom is not worth it. Complete your goal and then take a break.
At times, you will need to set the fast forward button to get you through a demanding task or time. Other times, you will need to gradually slow down, even take a few steps back to really concentrate on your current responsibility. Self-awareness is vital. Doing so will help you enjoy the journey as much as the destination.
11) Get plenty of exercises:
Exercise helps you have a better work-life balance by 1) reducing our stress, 2) increasing our self-efficacy, and 3) increasing our endurance. Just a few minutes of jogging, resistance training, or group exercise class can be enough to take your mind off of the stressors in your life and lower the level of cortisol in your body.
Overall, regular exercise can have a positive impact on nearly every facet of your life. The fact that working out gives you more confidence to tackle tough tasks is a great reason to keep the habit going.
12) Learn How to Say “No”:
Many of us struggle to say no, fearing rejection, anger or just the uncertainty of what the other person’s response will be. It’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you.
When you truly understand the dynamic and your role, you won’t feel as worried about the consequences of saying no. You’ll realize that your relationship is strong and can withstand your denial. Warren Buffet once said, “The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say no to almost everything.”
At the end, Hope the above ideas and tips have given you some inspiration as to where you could start improving on your work-life balance. Don’t confuse having a career with having a life. The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule but to schedule your priorities.
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