July 27, 2018

Yin and Yang of Work Life Balance

Having Work-Life balance is extremely important in today’s competitive business world, where everyone wants to be the best in their work. As people put more and more pressure on themselves to get better results at work, their attention begins to shift away from their personal life, and they becomes solely career focused. While this might seem rewarding in the short run, it could have many negative impacts in the future.

1.Health Problems

Increased hours of work lead to pressure, stress and anxiety. As this work pressure continues to build up, one’s health continues to deteriorate. Several medical studies have observed that work-life imbalance could lead to increased mental, emotional, physical, as well as behavioral problems. These could range from less serious problems like the flu, to more serious problems such as digestive or respiratory problems.

 2.Susceptible to burnouts

‘Burnout’ refers to the complete physical or mental breakdown caused by overwork and stress. When burnouts occur, people feel overwhelmed and unable to meet constant demands. This could affect every dimension of one’s life, from their work life, to their personal and social life. A proper work-life balance is essential to ensure that burnouts do not occur.

3. Problems in personal life

As one begins to focus solely on their career, they begin ignore their personal life as they cannot find enough time to give to their loved ones.  Their leisure time with family and friends continue to reduce as they keep isolating themselves from their personal life and giving more time to their work life. One must understand that as important as it is to have a secure job, it is equally necessary to have a harmonious relationship with family and friends.

 

An imbalanced work-life can cause a lot of problems in one’s life. Too much focus on work life may get you a good paycheck, but it makes you completely detached from social and family life, which may lead to loneliness and depression, which is extremely harmful. Excessive focus on personal life, on the other hand, has its own shortcomings, as job security is important for every individual to live a content life.

But what is the right work life balance?

One thing people need to understand is that work life balance does not mean an equal balance. It does not make sense to schedule equal number of hours for personal life and work life. This becomes unrewarding and unrealistic. Each of us has our own balance based on our priorities. This could be different for people at different stages of their life. What is important is that a person must feel content with their personal life as well as work life. Only then can it be said that they have achieved a proper work life balance.

These are few points to help you get closer to work-life balance:

  • Begin Small

If someone is facing an imbalanced work-life, it is not possible to get the right balance in the blink of an eye.  One has to take small steps, one at a time, to keep moving to a better balance. For example, if you are giving no time to your family, begin by, say, taking your family out once a week or go for 15 minute walks every day, where you can just relax, talk and not think about work. These small changes in your daily routine can go a long way in improving your personal relationship while also providing your work thoughts a rest to start afresh.

  • Avoid perfectionism

We live in a society that has become so competitive that everyone wants to be perfect in everything that they do. If one keeps trying to be perfect and puts more pressure on oneself, their work stress will keep increasing and it can get to a stage where it becomes almost destructive. It is important to realize that while it may be easy to be an overachiever when you are young, you have to let thehabit go as you get older. Strive for perfection but try to understand the reality.

  • Start saying NO

Most of us live under a false sense of obligation where we assume that we have to do everything that is asked of us. What we must realize though, is that if we say yes to every task that is given to us, people will begin to dump even more work on us, and it will become harder to have a proper balance between our work life and social life. Whether it is the boss who is giving you those extra hours, or attending the relative’s party who you don’t even know, you have to prioritize and give time to the things that matter, so that you can manage both dimensions of your life more efficiently.

  • Unplug

Sometimes, all you need is a well-deserved break to get your life back on track. It is completely acceptable to treat yourself every once in a while, and do the things that you love. Being too career focused tends to make people dull and monotonous. While spending too much time with social and family circle might hinder your work and personal life. Well-deserved breaks from time to time, be it simple walks, reading books or a relaxed vacation, can replenish yourself. This will help reduce the stress and anxiety caused due to an imbalanced work-life.

  • Make time for yourself

Most of us tend give too much time to either work or family, and forget to spend time with ourselves in the process. Giving time to ourselves is a very important component of a balanced work life. For example, one could meditate for a few minutes every morning, or rediscover their old hobbies.

It is important to understand that giving time to oneself is necessary, because in the process, people begin to understand their needs and priorities better. Once someone figures that out, it becomes easier to have a work-life balance.

Once you begin to have a balanced work and personal life, you will automatically feel happier and more content. Moreover, the people around you will also begin to find you more efficient, stable and fun to be with. It will become easier to achieve, both your personal goals, as well as your career goals. Hence it is vital for every individual to have the right equilibrium between their work life and their personal life.

 

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Mudit Bakshi

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