Work-life balance is the ability to apportion adequate time and commitment towards work and social lifestyle. The purpose of this skill is to avoid becoming a workaholicbutsocial misfitor the otherwise.
The phrase was first used in UK in the 1970’s to describe the balance in an individual’s work and personal life. Imbalance in work-life is more prevalent among youths. Although there seem to be no equal balance between work and life for most people, the purpose is not to achieve equilibrium but to attain sufficienttime and commitment for the enjoyment of social life and the performance of work.
Managing work-life balance is an important aspect of a person’s career because of the detrimental effects an imbalance can have on a person’s professional career or social life.
Importance of work-life balance
It’s not worth risking your work-life balance because a work-life imbalance has some dire consequences. An imbalance or too much time for work can result in recurring stresssymptoms that may affect your health negatively. In the same way, insufficient dedication towards work can ruin your career progress.
However, benefits of work-life balance include:
- The ability to effectively develop your work and social lifestyle simultaneously. This means there’s sufficient time to spend with friends and family as well as the chance to acquire new skills or further education while working.
- Healthy individuals mean improved or sustainable productivity and growth at the workplace. Statistics show that stressed up workers are more inefficient; they work below their capacities.
- Improved quality of life and standard of living. Citizens of countries with better work-life balance, mostly developed countries, enjoy better quality of life than those from countries with poor work-life balance.
- The result of quality life and good health is an increased or high life expectancy rate.
How to improve work-life balance
As discussed earlier in this article, the purpose of work-life balance is not to achieve equilibrium but to allocate adequate time for work and social lifestyle. There are many ways to improve your work-life balance but everything can’t be discussed here. However, the most important thing is to have a schedule that allows enough room for sleep/rest, work, and recreational activities such as sports, entertainment, religious ceremonies etc. However, these few tips will help:
- Take vacations and rests. Making money is good, but don’t spend every day or weekend working overtime. Don’t take supplementary or part time jobs if they will deny you sufficient sleep and rest or time with the family. You need some time for relaxation and recreation too. In every country, there are statutory regulations for annual mandatory leaves. Make use of such regulatory provisions and embark on some holiday vacation trips.
- Time management. In general, there are 24 hours in a day – 8 hours for sleep and rests, 8 hours for work, and the remaining 8 for other social activities like eating, exercising etc. Practice time consciousness and avoid procrastinations. As you spend time doing something else late in the night, when you have to be asleep, you end up sleeping less and this affects your productivity at work.
- Let people respect your timetable. You can’t please everybody. At times, friends or family may ask you over for parties and ceremonies etc. but if that comes at the wrong time, let them know you can’t make it. Likewise, your work may demand some extra time which is part of your social life. Don’t make a habit of always honoring such demands except in cases of emergency.