Everyone seeks for work-life balance every day, even if one doesn’t fully realize that fact. What is work-life balance and how to finally find it?
First, a couple of extremes examples:
- Karoshi. Have you ever heard about ‘karoshi’? It’s a Japanese term describing death from overwork.
The source states: “A report, which examined karoshi cases and their cause of death, found that more than 20% of people in a survey of 10,000 said they worked at least 80 hours of overtime a month. And compared with the US, where 16.4% of people work an average of 49 hours or longer each week, in Japan more than 20% do. Half of all respondents said they give up taking paid vacations.”
2. Procrastination. Many heard this buzzword, and a lot happily get along with it every day.
Procrastination research state:
- 20% of people procrastinate
- in 1978 only 5% of the population were affected by procrastination comparing to 26% nowadays
- 40% of people experienced financial loss due to procrastination
- 20% of procrastinators are affected so badly that it jeopardizes their jobs, credits, relationships and even health.
So, what is a work-life balance?
Very few suggested more or less reasonable definition of the entire concept. Developing your own, you should accept these 3 facts:
Fact #1. Work-Life Balance is not really the equal balance.
It doesn’t literally mean Working hours number = Personal / Leisure / Family hours number. Planning equal hours for both activities is usually unrealistic and disappointing.
Fact #2. Work-Life Balance may vary day to day.
For instance, you became a happy parent. Obviously, your priorities have changed and it affected your balance. Or you’ve just started a new job position. Apparently, you’ll pay more attention your work for some time.
This means work-life balance is not a constant or some stable thing and it may vary depending on your individual needs and current circumstances.
Fact #3. There is no perfect work-life balance you should fight for.
We are all different. We have contrasting needs and goals every day. So, there’s no perfect way to set up the work-life balance to follow on a permanent basis.
But how exactly one may neither die from Karoshi AND nor procrastinate? How to set up the right work-life balance?
All of us need to achieve something and enjoy then. Try to follow this ‘achieve-enjoy’ concept while building your work-life balance:
1. Set up life goals (achieve!)
Business goals are common and logic. Why not set some personal aims? This will keep you sticking to them, which in turn will make you willing to pay attention and achieve.
2. Take control of your personal time (enjoy!)
One of the hardest tasks is admitting your own time is yours. You decide how to spend it every time.
“Learn to value what you do, who you are, and your time,” Tina Tessina, Ph.D., a psychotherapist in Southern California, said. “You will be more effective and less stressed if you learn to take charge of your work, personal and family time. Reducing stress means you’ll have the mental freedom to make better decisions and enjoy your life more.”
3. Prioritize (achieve and enjoy!)
“Use your calendar to claim time and space for priorities and not just meetings,” Helene G. Lollis, president, and CEO of Pathbuilders in Atlanta, said. “When something is on your calendar, it is like you have given yourself a ‘permission slip’ to focus on something important to you.”
4. Automate your routine (enjoy!)
Cut time / efforts / money wasting by automating maximum of your everyday flows: from paying credit card bills to buying foods (household tasks), and from receiving emails on defined time to making regular reports (work tasks).
There are a lot of software helping you in everyday flows automation. This way you win more free time, become more productive and avoid energy loss.
5. Unplug. Turn off all distractions (achieve!)
Every text message beep, notification, an email arrived or other alike noises are the biggest distractors. And each distraction wastes us up to 25 minutes to get back to our initial task. Too much!
Turn off all notifications, probably even go offline if you need to focus on some report or something important. This way you increase productivity, finish task earlier and save a lot of time.
Want to be happy at work? Have a life outside of it!
All job satisfactions (payrolls, relationships, commute length and other benefits) may be destroyed if you:
- don’t have a life after work
- don’t have money to afford it.
So, you might be a much happier person than you imagine if your job grants you both of these, and your current work-life balance works great!