We often hear the term, work-life balance, when applying for jobs, attending Human Resource meetings or on company websites. So, what does that term actually mean? According to Business News Daily, it “is the state of equilibrium where a person equally prioritizes the demand of one’s career and the demands of one’s personal life”. For the next few minutes, we will break down the difference between a poor work-life balance and that of a positive one. Keep track so you can see how yours measures up.
Poor Work-Life Balance
- Long work hours
- Staying often to complete tasks or working longer shifts to fill a void in personnel
- Increased responsibilities at work
- Taking on other tasks but struggling to find time to complete or taking work home
- Increased responsibilities at home
- Taking care of children or family (with/without illness)
- An increase in expenses without an increase in salary
- Most in today’s economy might agree with this as a factor
- Difficulty relaxing at night or disturbances in sleep
- Finding yourself ruminating about tasks to complete
- Giving up on self-care
- You might stop exercising, enjoying time with friends, etc.
- Feeling lost in your sense of purpose
- Not having clear boundaries can lead to uncertainty of your personal roles
- Unfinished projects or engage in hobbies
- Unable to finish projects for home or office due to stress of time management
- Never saying “No”
- Feeling shame/fear if you say “No” to a task you know you do not have time for
Positive Work-Life Balance
- You prioritize your health
- Taking time to see doctors when needed or taking time off
- Don’t be afraid to “unplug”
- Take a few hours each night to unplug and practice mindfulness of your needs
- Use your vacation time
- It is given for your use, TAKE IT!
- Set boundaries
- Avoid burnout by separating your work and home life as much as possible
- Set obtainable goals
- Setting goals helps to define timelines for tasks and reduces stress through productivity
It is important to remember there is not going to be a one size fits all to the “Perfect” Work-Life Balance, only taking the initiative in how yours affects you. Take a look at the areas of your work versus personal life balance and assess whether or not it could use a tune up. It begins by implementing techniques to reduce your stress, setting firm boundaries and sticking to them. When you find yourself bringing work home daily, checking emails late at night, or giving priority to a work task over family time-it is time to reassess your boundaries.
So how does yours measure up?
If you are struggling with setting and maintaining boundaries, it may help to talk with a professional to see how you can strengthen them and institute a positive balance in your life.