During the course of your lifetime, you will wear many hats. More often than not, success comes from learning to balance the wearing of these hats. Work-life balance is the concept of properly prioritizing between your profession or “work” (career and ambition) and your personal “life or lifestyle” (health, pleasure, leisure, family and spiritual development/meditation). The communal goal of obtaining work-life balance lies in the achievable benefits of balance.
Benefits of Work-Life Balance
- Increased productivity and improved relationships, on and off the job
- Reduction of stress by feeling more rested and organized
- Better physical and mental health
- More leisure time for yourself or to spend with loved ones
- Getting more accomplished, leading to career success
Work-Life Balance Is Personal
Although a common goal, work-life balance typically means different things to different people. Everyone is responsible for creating their own sense of balance. Balance means you are feeling adequate and successful in both home and work environments. You should not feel overwhelmed, guilty or lacking in these areas. If this describes you, perhaps you have already achieved work-life balance. However, most of us have yet to achieve this level of satisfaction.
In order to prioritize and balance your life, you must first determine what is most important to your happiness. This will change as you age, switch careers, and acquire additional or different responsibilities.
Myths to Dispel
According to Jessica Gendron, President of The Center for Leadership Excellence, there are five work-life balance myths we need to dispel to achieve true work-life balance.
- Myth: Balance Equals Perfection
- Reality: Perfection is not an attainable goal.
- Myth: Balance Means Everything is Equal All the Time
- Reality: As priorities shift, so will your focus which makes balance teeter back and forth.
- Myth: Balance is Easy
- Reality: We cannot have it all, therefore choices must be made, even if difficult.
- Myth: You Can Do It On Your Own
- Reality: Balance requires allies, advocates, supporters, and helpers.
- Myth: Work-Life Balance is Completely Attainable
- Reality: Balance is attainable in small portions and must be readjusted often.
Tips to Achieve Work-Life Balance
|Set priorities and have a clear plan||Stop procrastinating|
|Unplug when possible and say “No”||Find a mentor and ask for support|
|Identify and remove obstacles||Focus on one thing at a time|
|Track your time/set boundaries||Realize there will be overlap|
|Do one thing you love, everyday||Evaluate balance regularly|
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Reference: Jessica Gendron, “The Five Myths of Work-Life Balance.” The Center for Leadership Excellence, February 5, 2019, accessed April 20, 2020, https://cleindy.com/the-five-myths-of-work-life-balance/.