5 Compelling Reasons to Improve Your Work Life Balance

5 Compelling Reasons to Improve Your Work-Life Balance

What Is Work-Life Balance and How Can You Establish a Healthy Attitude Toward Your Job?

From childhood, many people have been told that hard work is the key to success. Otherwise, they risk ending up with nothing. These beliefs can lead to self-doubt, perfectionism, and, most importantly, a lack of a healthy work-life balance.

Do you often ask yourself, “What do I want to do with my life?” whenever you choose to spend your Friday evening working instead of being with family or friends? It might be time for a change. After all, a healthy work-life balance is an investment in your mental well-being. So, how do you achieve it? Find out in this article.

Discipline VS motivation: how they’re linked with work-life balance

The lack of a healthy work-life balance leads to a loss of motivation. It feels like you don’t have the internal resources to get a job done. Motivation can be categorized as intrinsic VS extrinsic. For example, if you want to work to improve yourself and your skills, it’s intrinsic motivation. Conversely, if financial rewards are your primary driving force, it’s extrinsic.

American social psychologist Devon Price states, “Laziness doesn’t exist”. He argues that procrastination is just a signal that a person has depleted their internal resources for coping. Consequently, if you suffer from an unhealthy work-life balance, staying motivated becomes challenging.

The opposite of motivation is discipline, which involves having the internal resources to plan time, tackle difficult tasks, and organize work effectively. This aspect of balance is crucial because establishing it without consistency is difficult.

FAQ: What is an unhealthy work-life balance? 

FAQ What is an unhealthy work life balance

An unhealthy work-life balance happens when you spend all your time working, forgetting about other important aspects of life like family, personal growth, hobbies, etc. Such an imbalance can affect you physically, too. For example, you might start feeling tired quickly, have trouble sleeping, or lose your appetite. Plus, the stress from not having a good work-life balance can weaken your immune system, making you more prone to getting sick.

5 significant benefits of a healthy work-life balance

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the transition to remote work, people realized the significance of favorable working conditions and relishing life. For example, a 2023 study conducted by the World Economic Forum revealed that 48% would consider leaving their jobs if it encroaches upon their personal lives. 

FAQ: How can you maintain a work-life balance and manage stress? 

Extended periods of work without breaks can lead to high levels of stress. In turn, this negatively affects your mental well-being, causing issues like lack of focus or even depression. To tackle high cortisol caused by an imbalance between work and life, seek support from a psychologist, as the underlying reasons can vary. For example, you may struggle to set boundaries with colleagues or deal with perfectionism. 

Here are five benefits you can achieve through proper, well-established work-life balance: 

  1. Enhanced mental health. An unstructured workday can be a cause for anxiety. For example, when you stop working in the evening and see that some tasks are still unfinished. After getting home, you find yourself constantly worrying about this. Understanding that it’s impossible to complete all tasks at once can help alleviate this anxiety.
  2. Improved physical health. How often do you sacrifice exercise, proper nutrition, and adequate rest to achieve good work performance? The effects of an unhealthy lifestyle can compound over time. So, make your physical well-being a top priority. 
  3. Good productivity. An unhealthy work-life balance is linked to multitasking, where you’re constantly switching between various tasks, resulting in an increasing workload. Psychologists suggest that this diminishes concentration and productivity. Establish a clear daily work plan and adhere to it closely.
  4. Better family life. If work consumes a large part of your life, you miss out on important moments—like when your child first goes to school, or your spouse wants to spend time together. Amidst your work routine, it’s crucial to remember that some moments can’t be reclaimed. So, do everything possible not to miss them.
  5. Lower risks of burnout. People who experience severe burnout often never return to their profession. This means they have to completely abandon all their experience and start their career from scratch. It’s better to prevent this from happening rather than trying to cure it.

Improper work-life balance is now a social issue that governments strive to address. There’s even a European index where Luxembourg, Spain, and France rank at the top.

Useful tips to improve your work life balance

Useful tips to improve your work-life balance

If you feel like work is taking over a significant part of your life, it’s time to think about making a change. While switching habits is challenging, there are several helpful tips that can assist you: 

  • Learn to say “no”. Your colleagues or boss may pile up work tasks that can’t be completed on time. Honestly communicate this and explain the reason for declining.
  • Schedule breaks. Make them your work ritual. For example, go to a nearby store to treat yourself, spend time in the park, or listen to music. 
  • Allocate time for hobbies. Think about what brings you pleasure besides work. It could be fishing, knitting, reading books, or collecting. Dedicate time to your hobbies at least once a week.
  • Take a sabbatical. If you experience burnout, take a long break from work. During your sabbatical, consider visiting new countries or spending more time with family.
  • Work remotely. Some people are more productive at home. But don’t forget to separate your living and work spaces. 
  • Plan your vacations and weekends. Buy plane tickets to another country in advance or make arrangements to meet friends at a specific time. Once plans are made, they’re more difficult to cancel.

FAQ: What is the best way to maintain a work-life balance?

An unhealthy work-life balance frequently stems from unrealistic expectations. You might find yourself berated for not completing task X or reaching goal Y. The key is to realize that it’s impossible to tackle every work task; new ones will always pop up. That’s why it’s important to manage your inner resources properly. For example, decide how much time you’re willing to dedicate to yourself and your loved ones, versus work tasks. This balance can vary, like 30/70 or 40/60. Once you’ve decided, stick to this plan.

To sum up 

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is not something you should neglect. After all, prolonged stress negatively influences your mental and physical well-being. When faced with the choice of “work to live or live to work“, always prioritize living to work.

Written by Vishal