If you are reading this, then you are likely working for a living. Most adults have to work to earn money to support themselves and any dependents. If you are married, then your spouse may also be spending most of his or her time working as well.
Without the income from two jobs, it would be difficult for many people to afford the necessities of life—food, clothing, housing, and utilities. But is there such thing as having too much work?
I’m sure at some point in time we’ve all heard about someone who worked so hard that he or she burned out and became sick. How do you avoid this pitfall? I decided to find out by doing some research on the subject and interviewing various people in different fields about their work-life balance.
There is no single definitive answer to the question of how to perfect the work-life balance. Depending on your occupation, family situation, and other commitments, you will have to tailor a solution that works for you.
That might include getting a second phone number or making fundamental changes to the way in which you work.
Why Is Work-Life Balance So Important
When we talk about work-life balance, we are really talking about our overall well-being. Too much work can lead to burnout, even depression, and a few serious symptoms you may learn in this post while too little work can leave us feeling bored and unfulfilled. We need a healthy balance of both work and leisure in order to be happy and productive members of society.
In the past, it was more common for people to have one job that they worked at for their entire lives. But in today’s economy, with its ever-changing landscape and demands, that is no longer feasible.
Many people now have to juggle multiple jobs or careers in order to make ends meet. And with the advent of the internet and the global economy, it is becoming easier and easier to work from anywhere in the world.
The downside of this is that it is often difficult to find the time to do all the things we want to do outside of work. We may feel like we are always working, or that our work is encroaching on our personal time. This can lead to stress and a feeling of imbalance in our lives.
Is There a Perfect Work-Life Balance?
There is no one right answer to the question of work-life balance. What works for one person may not work for another. Some people need to work long hours in order to support their families, while others may be able to work from home and set their own hours.
The important thing is to find a balance that works for you and your family. That might mean setting some boundaries with your employer or working fewer hours. It might also mean saying no to some commitments in order to have more time for yourself.
It’s also worth mentioning that the perfect work-life balance may change over time depending on your circumstances and priorities.
You may find yourself wanting to spend more time at work when you’re raising young children, for example, while in middle age you might want to focus more of your attention on volunteering or pursuing a hobby.
The More You Have, the Less You Have
One of the primary reasons that people struggle with work-life balance is because they feel like they need to do it all. And why not? We are surrounded by society’s messages telling us that success means doing as much as possible.
If you want to be a great parent, then spend as much time guiding your children as you can. If you want to advance in your career, then work more hours and take on extra assignments instead of spending time with your friends or loved ones.
In reality, this approach rarely works out well for anyone involved. A person who spends all his or her spare time working will likely become exhausted and unhappy. Similarly, a person who tries to do everything at once will often feel overwhelmed and stressed.
The key is to find a balance between doing what you have to do and doing what you want to do. That might mean setting some limits on how much work you take on, or it might mean scheduling regular time for yourself to relax and rejuvenate.
How to Achieve Work-Life Balance
So now that we know why work-life balance is so important, let’s take a look at how we can achieve it in our own lives.
1) Take Advantage of Technology
Technology has made it easier than ever to stay connected with work even when you’re not at the office. Use your smartphone or laptop to check in with work periodically but be sure to set some limits. Checking work emails during dinner is not going to help you achieve a better balance.
Getting a second phone number, for example, can be a great option to ensure that you only deal with business calls during business hours.
2) Set Boundaries
Working from home has its perks, but it can also be easy to blur the line between work and home life if you’re not careful. Make sure you set boundaries for yourself and stick to them.
For example, don’t work from home in the evening unless it is an emergency, and try to take a break from work at least once a day to do something unrelated to work.
Set boundaries for when you are working and when you are not. For example, you may want to work from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm so that you can spend time with your family in the evening. Or you may decide to take a break every two hours so that you can have time for a quick walk or run.
3) Talk to Your Supervisor
The first step is to talk to your supervisor and discuss your concerns about achieving a work-life balance. Many employers are now more understanding and willing to be flexible when it comes to hours and working from home.
They may even have policies in place that can help you achieve a better balance.
4) Manage Your Time Well
You should also plan your time wisely and use it as efficiently as possible. For example, if you must commute to work, think about carpooling or public transit. Then you gain some thinking time or the chance to read a book rather than being stressed in all that rush hour travel.
If the journey isn’t too far then you could even ride a bike or walk instead of driving. Much better for you, and it could even be quicker as you walk or cycle past the traffic jams.
5) Be Realistic About Your Goals
Be sure that your expectations are reasonable and that you have the time to achieve them. If not, then don’t set yourself up for failure or disappointment by setting goals that are too ambitious.
One way to measure whether a goal is achievable is by asking yourself whether you have the resources and support needed to do it?
The Bottom Line
All of life is a balance. Don’t focus on one side of the scale too much, or you’ll end up with an imbalance that can leave you feeling unhappy and frustrated.
Work-life is only one aspect of your life as a whole, so don’t neglect the others. Although there will be some inevitable conflicts from time to time, by following these simple principles you should find it easier to achieve work-life balance more often.