Work-life balance is a term that often is thrown around; it may be familiar to some, but it can be elusive to most. Work-life balance is the relationship between your job and other important things that surround you, such as family and friends, sports, household chores, and commitments to volunteer in your community. If you feel like you do not have time for these things, you may not have a good work-life balance.
We have all experienced the feeling of being overwhelmed when demands are piling up. Many of us also know the feeling of not accomplishing our dreams. One side of the scale feels more dominant, which causes a negative shift towards dissatisfaction and disconnection. Those with workaholic tendencies and those who struggle in self-care practices are at high risk of facing burnout, fatigue, and health issues induced by stress.
Poor work-life balance can have a significant impact and cause health issues. One study found that people that work more than 55 hours a week are at higher risks for a stroke and heart attack. Working more than 55 hours per week is also associated with anxiety and depression. Even when adjusting sleeping schedules to relatively normal hours, studies have found that longer working hours correlated with declines in physical health.
No set formula exists to figure out what a good work-life balance looks like for each individual. However, we can take the following steps to find out what is best for us. With intention and creativity, you can rewrite your expectations and hit the reset button on YOUR perspective.
- Learn to say “No.” For many professionals, saying “No” is difficult. Nevertheless, “No” is one of the more important words we can use to set boundaries. Articulate the demands of your day and prioritize what you have on your plate.
- Take a break. Even a 60-second micro break can reduce stress, keep you engaged, help you concentrate, and make your tasks feel more enjoyable.
- Recognize the importance of your physical health. Maintaining your physical health and emotional wellbeing is a step in the right direction. Remember to:
- Practice Gratitude,
- Make social connections, and
- Take time off.
- Practice self-compassion. Let yourself make mistakes; perfectionism is an unrealistic practice. Be kind to yourself. You are human and so is everybody else. Realize that life is not always easy, and you are not going to get things right all the time.
- Make space for family time. Work is transient while family is here to stay. Regardless of how devoted you may be to your work or business, the love and importance of your family is unmatched. Set aside time and dedicate it to those you hold dear. Besides, placing work before your family hurts your job productivity by 21%.