The importance of work life balance has always been emphasized in the media, and even quite often from your peers. You may also have heard the concept of work life balance being conveyed by your HR personnel or team leaders at work. That’s not surprising, because maintaining a healthy work life balance is not just good for your holistic health and relationships, but studies show it also boosts employee performance and productivity. After all, happier employees feel that work isn’t a chore, and they don’t feel trapped in their work.
When employees have work life balance, it boosts morale. They feel more satisfied and more motivated to work, making fewer mistakes along the way, typically with improved productivity.
Furthermore, those who are content with their work life balance feel present at the moment. They better compartmentalize personal and professional life, giving them time for their families and passions. However, some workers may assert that work life balance is some sort of an elusive dream. Although they understand the importance of work life balance, it’s hard to find time to achieve it. The combined pressures of a job, family responsibilities, community obligations, finding time for hobbies, etc., can make it tough for an individual to juggle everything.
Indeed, balancing a happy home life with a fast-paced or challenging career could be very difficult to master, especially if you have a demanding boss or children that need a lot of attention. And the stress could be compounded by a high cost of living and burgeoning bills. But bear in mind that although achieving work life balance may be tough, it is not impossible.
Learning the importance of work life balance and why you ought to make it a priority helps you avoid burnout and promotes long-term happiness. Getting clear on the reasons for the importance of work life balance is key to creating a balanced life that you genuinely enjoy.
1. Understanding the Importance of Work Life Balance Could Mean Less Stress
According to the World Health Organization, almost 2 million people around the globe die from work-related stress every year. Furthermore, many working adults attest that their occupation is a source of stress. The biggest problem with this is that most people feel that they don’t have a choice because they need to work for income to pay for daily necessities and wants.
But here’s the thing: you have a choice. Work life balance is ultimately achieved through the choices you make and your mindset. Your job could be causing you stress because you’ve programmed your mind to think negatively about it. As a result, a negative mindset attracts the same forces into your life like mean co-workers or stressful work projects since the law of attraction purports life attracts like. If you’re determined to change that, you must instill the importance of work life balance in your mind and make striving for equilibrium a priority. Look at all the blessings that your job brings you. Only then can you be truly happy and feel positive with all the aspects of your life.
Understanding the importance of work life balance helps you acknowledge that you cannot do it all and be okay with that. You cut yourself slack and make room for mistakes because you’re only human. For example, in the past, you may have agreed to take on more work even if you’re not capable, which creates more stress. So if you wish to relieve work pressure and anxiety, remember the importance of work life balance and tweak your responses. You could start by doing the following:
- Learning to say no sometimes.
- Delegating work to others.
- Prioritizing certain tasks and letting go of non-priorities.
- Choosing your well-being first.
When you follow these tips, you may end up having a more manageable workload and free up time to do other things that matter to you, like attending your kid’s baseball practice or engaging in a new hobby. The end result is decreasing your work stress and anxiety levels. Setting these boundaries could be tough in the beginning and saying no to people may feel hard. But remember that spreading yourself too thin isn’t going to help you or your boss (if you have one). Choosing yourself and your happiness means finding more room for positivity in all aspects of your life.
2. Imbibing Work Life Balance Could Result in Better Physical Health
The primary problem of having a demanding career in this modern world is you’re mostly chained to your office desk. Whether you’re an employee or a freelance writer/ graphic designer, you’re glued to your chair, staring at your computer for the most of the day. And at night, you could continue this sedentary behavior by sitting on the couch watching TV because you’re too tired to move. You may unwind by drinking a glass of bubbly and watching Netflix.
Unfortunately, human beings are not programmed to sit all day and stay cooped up indoors. You’re supposed to stand up, move around, and explore the world. Research affirms that a sedentary lifestyle shortens longevity and increases risk of the following:
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Several kinds of cancers
- Depression and anxiety
Knowing the importance of work life balance means prioritizing things that take care of your physical health. That’s because you understand that how you work and live has an impact on your one and only body. Once you’ve internalized that, you can make an effort to prepare healthy meals, reduce alcohol intake, sleep early, and make time for regular exercise. You may also try to squeeze in outdoor activities as this generates endorphins, aka the happy hormones, which could make you feel more energetic and give you a positive outlook on life.
3. Better Work Life Balance Improves Mental Health
Learning the importance of work life balance is vital because it relates to your mental health. If you feel balanced and grounded, you are less likely to have as many negative thoughts throughout the day. The brain is not supposed to feel pressure all the time. If it feels incessant stress, you’re more likely to feel mental fatigue, anxiety, and depression. However, when you strive hard to achieve balance, you give yourself and your mind more breathing room.
This space is good for you because it promotes self-awareness. It helps you become more attuned to your values, beliefs, and thoughts so you can deal with them or channel them in a healthy manner. This allows you to make more informed choices that you’re happy with. Mindful meditations, other breathing exercises, and even writing in a journal can help improve this self awareness and promote better thought processes.
Knowing the importance of work life balance is crucial, especially if you’re guilty of blurring the lines between personal and professional life. This boundary may even be harder to achieve for self-employed people who run their own businesses. They can’t help but worry about their companies. They constantly get emails, SMS, or calls after office hours, which they can’t seem to ignore even if all those issues will still be there in the morning. If you’re in this situation, try these tips:
- Set a work schedule for yourself and make it non-negotiable.
- Use your phone’s “do not disturb” function to filter out certain calls and texts.
- Create an auto-reply email to settle queries after work hours.
- Make your team aware that you’re not taking inquiries after certain hours.
If you want to foster work life balance, discipline is essential. You can achieve a rewarding work life without compromising the quality time for family and other endeavors. It all starts and ends with you, because you are in control.
4. Striving For Work Life Balance Could Help Foster Healthier Relationships
If you’re working too much, this means you consume time meant for other things. Hence, you could be spending less time with your loved ones, community, and passions. This means you have less quality time for the people and things that matter to you. After all, it’s very hard to be fully present in the moment and give others your undivided attention when you feel exhausted from working too much.
However, some may say this work life balance concept is easier said than done. For instance, some freelancers tend to work around the clock. They may have clients in varying time zones, so they may not have a set 9 to 5 work schedule. If this is the case, achieving work life balance could be tricky but still doable. Creating a professional and personal schedule can help, as this ensures you have time to take care of all your needs. Making a self-care planner can help manage time for passions and personal pursuits.
When you know the importance of work life balance, you get to spend more quality time with family and friends. This will do wonders for your relationship because you get to foster bonds and make memories. Studies show that human beings have a fundamental need for human attachment and belonging. Connecting with people is a human instinct, so making time to nurture your relationships could provide a deeper sense of fulfillment and happiness. Moreover, there could be a ripple effect when you satisfy this area of your life. If you feel happy about your personal life, you’re likely to feel content with your career and even work relationships.
5. Achieving Work Life Balance Could Promote Happiness and Satisfaction
When you feel good about the state of your work life balance, you feel happier and more satisfied. These feelings pump you up and motivate you to perform better at work, and also in other areas of your life. This increased work engagement and improved connections with others can boost your morale and make you more productive overall.
Achieving a balanced state is very rewarding and it makes you feel good about yourself. It helps you take the reins and control your own life, including your career path.
When you’ve fully internalized the importance of work life balance, you create a fruitful and successful life on your own terms by prioritizing what’s important to you and ensuring your wellness. That’s because you know that you’re able to serve others to the best of your ability when you’re genuinely happy about your life, even if it is not perfect.
When work stress isn’t impacting you as much, you’re less likely to snap at your loved ones or take out work stress on them. You’ll likely end up with healthier relationships if you successfully improve your work life balance.
If you’re determined to create a blanched lifestyle to become a more rounded and well-adjusted individual, try the suggested tips mentioned above. You can take a CircleDNA test to find out some DNA insights that give you clues into what type of career might suit you best, based on your DNA.
- Are Happy Workers More Productive? The Mediating Role of Service-Skill Use (Andres Salas Valina et.al.) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7120033/
- Almost 2 Million People Die From Work-Related Causes Each Year (World Health Organization) https://www.who.int/news/item/16-09-2021-who-ilo-almost-2-million-people-die-from-work-related-causes-each-year
- Sedentary Lifestyle: Overview of Updated Evidence of Potential Health Risks (Jung Ha Park et.al.) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7700832/
- Interpersonal Mechanisms Linking Close Relationships to Health (Paula Pietromonaco and Nancy Collins) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5598782/