Work-life Balance – Why is it the Need of the Hour?
“It’s nearly midnight and Richa is still editing her supposedly last e-mail for the client before going to the bed. These trivial edits of full-stops and semicolons are now simply frustrating her.” She promised herself at the beginning of this month that she would keep her work and personal life separate and would maintain her work-life balance. But clearly, she failed in achieving her monthly goals.
If you are into the corporate sector, it won’t be hard for you to resonate with Richa and the way she’s living her daily bread-and-butter. We all work nearly 12-14 hours a day and so hardly get time to rest or spend time with our loved ones. Before I proceed further, I have some questions to ask you all:
- How many of you feel that you are falling prey to workaholism?
- Are you Happy with your Disturbed Lifestyle? Probably NOT, I presume.
- Did you ever try searching for reasons which can be accountable for disrupting your daily work-life balance?
- Did you ever try achieving work-life balance knowing its repercussions?
There are various factors that I believe are responsible for ruining our lifestyle, but majorly I contribute it to technology. Recent tech advancements have surely aggravated the situation across the globe hampering our mental peace big time.
What All Will You Learn in this Post?
I can bore you with writing a thesis on this topic, but will it serve my purpose? NO, it won’t. So, to keep you engaged throughout, I will help you understand the following concepts in brief, yet in a little more detail.
- What do you understand by the term Work-Life Balance?
- Major factors that contribute to disturbing your everyday routine
- Some Quick and easy tips to help you manage both your Work and Life
You can GOOGLE and look out for more questions, but covering all of them would be out of the scope of this blog post. So, keeping it short LET’S BEGIN our journey on some self-realization:
What is Work-Life Balance?
There is no one-size-fits-all mantra that can define both the terms. However, if we look at the Wikipedia definition:
Work-Life balance is a term commonly used to describe the balance that a working individual needs between time allocated for work and other aspects of life.
If you can maintain a balance between your work and other aspects of life you are doing great in life. Following this practice regularly keeps your mind at peace and avoids the chances of you getting anxious especially if you are a teenager.
Bonus Read: How Anxiety and Stress Affects Your Teenager
An increase in workload brings you stress and impacts your productivity. This constant pressure makes you lose interest in life and you start finding out ways to keep yourself motivated. So, if you are constantly thinking about your work commitments and are ignoring your loved ones, take a break and STOP right now. Treading this path will only disturb your mental peace and impact your relationship with others.
But how do you identify the signs of living a disturbed lifestyle? The fact is – there are multiple factors involved, yet they vary for every individual. So, if you are interested in learning about the primary factors, head to the next segment.
Factors Contributing to a Disturbed Work and Life Balance
A proper balance is a must to sustain a healthy lifestyle. However, the statistics shout out a completely different story:
- Nearly 27% of US citizens suffer from work-related stress impacting their productivity./span>
- While, in India, 95% Millenials suffer due to work-related factors
These two are mere examples, yet it’s a fact that the situation is similar in other parts of the world too. So, what are the primary factors that lead to a disturbing routine and messes up your work-life balance? Let’s check them out:
- Poor Time Management and Work Schedule
- Undue stress
- Personal Relationships
Poor Time Management and Work Schedule
“Time Nahi Hai” is the most common excuse you would hear people saying. Do they lack the time or something’s wrong? Everybody gets 24 hours in a day, yet most people complain about time. The underlying fact is – it’s all about Time Management i.e., how well do you plan your day. Poor time management not only imbalances your work-life routine & your productivity but also leads to other physical/mental repercussions.
Poor time management also enforces corporate employees to work round-the-clock and be online always. They are forced to bring back their office work at home to meet project deadlines and hence fail to maintain the right balance between their personal and professional commitments.
Stress in any form is bad for the mental and physical well-being of an individual. Living under stress for a long duration can lead to mental health issues, fatigue, depression and simultaneously impact your work-life balance. As per the Harward Business Review, nearly $125 billion to $190 billion a year is spent solely on healthcare issues within the U.S. demographics.
The statistics are alarming and raise questions on whether it’s the fault of the employees or the organizations altogether. Excessive stress hormones impact one’s productivity and ultimately leads to burnout.
As discussed in the pointer #1 above, bringing back your office work at home isn’t a great habit. It’s not something that you should be proud of and hence must discourage. Not spending much time with your loved ones can badly hamper your relationships. Constant practice can further mess with your work-life balance. So, you must keep your mind at peace and avoid work thoughts to make time for your family and solidify your family bond.
In today’s era, we have free access to all sorts of tech gadgets. The technology acts both as a boon and a bane for human species, it all depends on the perspective one keeps. The massive usage of technology impedes the quality of life in general too.
Even multiple types of research globally prove that responding to an email/WhatsApp during dinner time is completely acceptable now. While the ones who don’t check their phones or e-mails regularly tend to feel happier, are less stressed out and see a considerable rise in their productivity and concentration.
As discussed in the aforementioned pointers, the concept of staying connected 24/7 has messed with your privacy too a great extent. Almost every other work employee is now expected to be reachable after office hours. Long working hours not only ruin your work-life balance but can create unnecessary stress for your body leading to multiple health issues.
Practical Hacks to Resolve Work-Life Balance Issues
Almost everybody tries to maintain a proper work-life balance in today’s cut-throat competitive world, but do all succeed? Not all if I can say so. You must strategize and formulate a plan that works the best for you as an individual. In this segment, we cover some basic yet practical hacks to permanently help resolve your work and life balance issues seamlessly. So, without further ado, let’s begin:
Prioritize Your Health & Body – Its Worth Millions
We often take our health for granted despite knowing the repercussions. As Jim Rohn rightly quoted:
Take Care of your Body. It’s the Only Place that You have to Live
So, prioritize your health always to ensure you stay miles away from unwanted stress and anxiety attacks. It does not mandate that you sweat furiously under the pretext of prioritizing your health, but simple meditation or therapy can be equally worthwhile. Pushing yourself is good, but not at the cost of your mental and physical fitness.
As is rightly quoted:
“Prioritize your Health first and foremost to become a better employee and person. It will keep you happier and more productive”
So, call in sick when you aren’t feeling that well. Overworking yourself only makes you more grumpy and prevents you from getting better mentally and physically leading to multiple days off in the future.
Unplug Yourself TODAY to Get Better
We all are a part of a connected world now, one that never stops nor sleeps. We too much rely on our technology and the gadgets to complete even mundane tasks. But the pressing questions are – Can these gadgets help us in the long run? Are they the ultimate source of giving us mental and physical ailments? I leave the answer to you.
Despite the virtual connectivity, it’s always better to build up real-time connections and connect with the real world. You must unplug yourself from your smartphone/laptop and spend more time with your loved ones. It not only helps you recover from weekly stress but also refreshes your mind giving you time to focus on other important ideas.
A simple activity like a book reading is a great way to ensure you unplug the right way and allow your mind to explore different worlds at a given point in time. Another activity like meditation can help you avoid potential burnout and bring your mind at peace in the simplest manner. Frequently practicing these tactics will keep you fresh, energetic simultaneously boosting your work productivity.
Set Your Work Hours Carefully and Stick to Them
As you read earlier poor time management can hamper your work-life balance drastically. So, set your work hours carefully and manage your time well to get the best results. Having a dedicated time-slot for work will not only keep your projects on track but will also avoid the chances of you working outside office hours.
You can think of keeping a separate phone/laptop exclusively dedicated to work commitments and make it a habit to switch it off once you clock out. It will help you stop thinking about work while you are at home with your family and are taking care of their needs. A clear bifurcation is important so that you don’t work while you are on a vacation or are occupied in some other personal activity.
The Bottom Line
Everyone carries a different meaning to the term work-life balance. The perspective differs based on life commitments. Corporate leaders need to reinvent their workplace culture to ensure the balance stays intact and all employees are aligned towards the same goals. Doing so will not only give more revenue to the organization but will also help the leaders retain talented employees for long durations.
What tactics do you implement in your everyday life to maintain a perfect work-life balance? Have some thoughts to share on this blog post? Drop-in your views in the comments section below.