The Importance of Work-Life Balance
Having a well-developed work-life balance is extremely important. Without a proper balance, it’s easy to allow your work life to overtake your whole life. However, allowing work to take over your whole life can negatively affect your overall well-being. It will eventually begin to influence your physical, emotional and mental health. We’re going to tell you how you can manage your work-lie balance.
What is a Work-Life Balance?
So what is work-life balance, anyway? Cambridge Dictionary defines work-life balance as “the amount of time you spend doing your job compared with the amount of time you spend with your family and doing things you enjoy.” Well, in short, it means that there is an equal amount of priority placed on both a person’s career and their personal life. There are a lot of reason’s that someone can find themselves off balance, such as an increase in responsibilities at work, needing to work longer hours, getting married and having a family, etc. When someone is able to properly balance all of their responsibilities, they are more likely to experience less stress and less burnout. This ultimately leads to a better sense of self and well-being.
How to Effectively Manage Your Work-Life Balance
Unfortunately, there will never be a perfect schedule that will allow you to have an unending harmony throughout all of your responsibilities, there are some things you can do to make things easier to handle. These are just some of the steps you can take to develop a better work-life balance:
- Accept that perfection does not exist. When trying to craft a more reasonable schedule, you have to keep things realistic. Everyone has days that they are more productive at work than others, while there will be other days that you feel like you need to focus on your hobbies or family time. The key is to remain flexible and adaptable to unexpected events.
- Pursue a career that you love. While it’s generally expected for people to work, this shouldn’t be a reason to settle for something that makes you miserable. Obviously there will always be something that doesn’t match your ideal employment situation, but overall you shouldn’t be dreading going to work every day.
- Make your health a priority. This one is extremely important. One of your main concerns should be the condition of your physical, emotional and mental health at all times. These elements are at risk if you are continuously overworking and stressing yourself to the max. Not allowing yourself to be well will cause you to miss more work and be less productive overall. On the other hand, if your health is a priority, the opposite will occur.
- Take your vacation or PTO time. This is time that you have earned at your job to take and recharge. A lot of people are afraid to take vacation time because of the possible backlog of work that will be waiting when they return. However, if your time off is carefully planned, you should be able to take your time off without feeling like you’re troubling your colleagues with extra work or coming back to a pile that was left unattended.
- Set boundaries and stick to them. As difficult as it may be, learn to leave work at work. You could consider having a separate phone and/or computer for work, but if that isn’t possible, try to set up different browsers, emails and other platforms that are different than the ones you use for work so that you can put work aside when you need to. If you work from home, try to schedule specific work hours that you will use only for work, and know exactly when you will stop working for the day. Communicate these boundaries with your colleagues and supervisors as well in order to build respectful work relationships.
6. Monitor how you’re spending your time. Are you aware of how much time you spend on activities that are time wastes? In order to build a positive work-life balance, you must make sure that you’re not using an overabundance of your valuable time on mindless activities. How much time do you spend mindlessly scrolling through your social media or watching videos? How much of that time could you devote to something more productive in order to have more time for other things that matter? Assess your time budget wisely.
7. Don’t try to change too much at one time. Building a balanced work-life schedule takes time and practice. Don’t expect to just magically wake up one day and have it all figured out. You have to be patient with yourself and leave yourself room for growth and change. By lowering your expectations and remaining flexible, you are more likely to see success in your work-life balance efforts.
Employers Can Assist Employees to Manage Their Work-Life Balance
Work-life balance isn’t, and shouldn’t be, strictly an employee’s responsibility. In fact, there are also many reasons that it’s a good idea for employers to encourage this balance within the lives of their employees. When employees have a proper balance, the employer is less likely to see frequent absenteeism and create a more loyal and productive team. Ultimately, this will lead to increased sales and lower costs for the company. By focusing on productivity rather than the amount of hours that are worked, employers can help to foster a well balanced work-life schedule for their employees. As a supervisor, it’s important that you encourage employees to take their breaks and time off whenever possible. Most importantly, lead by example.
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