The Concept of Work-life Balance

Work-life balance is definitely one of the most used phrases in the work place. We have heard scenarios where some employees use work-life balance as an excuse to work less hours, take time off work, take a vacation or just become outright entrepreneurs but this is not always the case.

According to Wikipedia, “Work–life balance is the balance that an individual needs between time allocated for work and other aspects of life. Areas of life other than work–life can be, but are not limited to, personal interests, family and social or leisure activities.”

The truth however is that the term work-life balance is a concept; and really, the ideal work-life balance varies for different employees, employers or for individuals generally. This ‘ideal work-life balance’ may be hinged on where the individual is happiest, satisfied or successful. One research study demonstrated that having a job you like, a company you trust, and a choice over your work priorities creates a more engaged and satisfied employee compared to having work/life balance without those factors. In another, which looked at how employees rate “life satisfaction” with how they perceive their work/life balance, showed that life, not work/life, was the dominant determinant.

The consequences of work-life imbalance which includes; burnout, stress, anxiety and depression can be averted by imbibing some of these few tips on how to achieve and maintain work-life balance.

  1. Develop time management skills – This involves prioritising your work tasks and structuring your day around them. Learn how to make optimal use of the calendar application on your mobile phone.
  2. Be tech savvy – If you have tasks that can be accomplished on your mobile phone, tablet or laptop; explore doing them on-the-go or at your home. Leverage technology to work smarter.
  3. Take short breaks – Short breaks can be taken during the day at work to help keep you sane. Use this opportunity to see what you have left on your to-do list and re-strategize.
  4. Be innovative – Suggest ways to your employer on how to achieve a work-life balance and achieve the company’s overall bottom line at the same time. This will be a welcome idea in any workplace.
  5. Vacation – Use your vacation to recharge and refuel.
  6. Be more – The most important tip is to believe you can achieve all you set out to accomplish with patience, hard work and a smile on your face. This way, your job will not be a chore and you can find happiness at the workplace and other areas of your life

Here are some quotes on work-life balance you might find really interesting. 

  • “Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.” — Stephen R. Covey 
  • The Gift of Balance in Your Life – May you find the balance of life, time for work but also time for play. Too much of one thing ends up creating stress that no one needs in their life.” — Catherine Pulsifer 
  • “Better learn balance. Balance is key.” — Mr. Miyagi 
  • “Balance activity with serenity, wealth and simplicity, persistence with innovation, community with solitude, familiarity with adventure, constancy with change, leading with following.” — Jonathan Lockwood Huie 
  • “Work, love, and play are the great balance wheels of man’s being.” — Orison Swett Marden


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