Work Life Balance
We express ourselves through the work that we do. Naturally, we spend about 70% of our time doing work related things. Research shows that over 94% of the working population spends over 50 hours weekly on work, as against the 40 hour work week.
Work life balance is the state whereby there is a perfect or almost perfect equilibrium between our career and our personal life. It means that a person gives equal priority to both work and other aspects of one’s life. Good work life balance improves work effectiveness and productivity.
Oftentimes, we find ourselves still doing work related things at home, after working hours. This results in us spending less time with the people that care about us and even with ourselves.
Outside of work, we have our families, recreational activities and ourselves to attend to. If we spend most of our time at work and doing work even at home, we leave little or no time for ourselves and our families.
It is actually not something that we do consciously; it is not something we give much thought to. To not spend too much time on work is actually something we have to give thought to and take conscious action to do.
Usually, when we have a pile of workload to do, it is easy to want to finish up when we get home. Improper work life balance can have adverse effects on one’s health and happiness. It can also lead to reduced effectiveness both at work and outside of work. Most health issues of the working population come from overworking. The person is then forced to make time for non-work activities and proper rest when the body breaks down.
Here are a few tips on how to improve our work life balance:
Plan or schedule family and personal time: It takes a conscious effort to plan and prioritize family and personal time when creating our daily, weekly and monthly schedule. If we really want to have more balance between our work and personal life, we have to make it a priority and actually work towards it.
Unplug from technology when at home: Because of how easy technology has made it for people to easily communicate, it is easy for employers or team leads to send work related messages while employees are out of work and expect it to be attended to. It is important to keep work at work and face our personal life when not at work – except you are working remotely, which should also have time schedules to accommodate work and personal life.
Prioritize important work tasks: When at work, you have to set priorities for your important tasks and attend to them as quickly as possible so you don’t have to do it at home, especially when you are working with deadlines. If you don’t, you will always have outstanding work that you have to take care of when you get home.
Avoid time wasters: There are several activities that actually waste precious time, even at work. Make sure to avoid or limit such activities to the nearest minimum as they take the time for more pivotal issues.
Don’t be in a hurry: If you have not been having a great work life balance and you want to start implementing some of the tips we have shared here, don’t rush into it. Take it step by step. Don’t rush to put it to work all at the same time, you could overdo it in the wrong way. When changing a habit, it is necessary to take it one day at a time, one step at a time, instead of going in full force. Consistency is better than intensity.