Work-life balance: Is it a myth?
The quality of your work largely depends on your social environment plus your commitment towards the job and what you do on and off the job dictates the quality of your life. These different spheres of your life are intricately coiled with each other and the manner in which you balance those ultimately lays down the way your life shapes up.
Now, this balance is essentially the work-life balance which is struck at a point where you find an equilibrium between your personal and professional life.
However, is work-life balance indeed a myth or is it pragmatically attainable?
How to strike the balance?
Work-life balance is often considered an urban myth. This balance concerns less about the hours you put in work and the time you save for your private life and more about how you compartmentalize and utilize whatever time and opportunities you get with both.
If you’re finding yourself caught up between the continuous chaos of work and life and are often being called a workaholic who is always bantered about not taking out time for family and friends, the following approaches might help you calibrate:
- Scheduling helps you optimally utilize the time in your hands. It will result in efficient and better management of your tasks. Allotting a definite time bracket to a particular activity will ensure that the others don’t get compromised in the process.
- You may schedule your job and your time outside it accordingly as this will also make you more punctual and make your relationships, whether professional or personal, more defined, thereby facilitating your work-life balance.
- Prioritize the tasks that need urgent attention. See what serves your best interest and which one deserves pressing priority. You might need to work on a weekend due to the exigency of an assignment or you might need to not attend official calls when running a personal errand, it all depends on your priority.
- You don’t only have to decide what to prioritize, but also consider the reason behind the prioritization. Recognize the relative significance of each task to delineate a work-life balance or activity and give due attention to them accordingly.
- Lift only as much weight as you are capable of. You need to conspicuously communicate how far you are willing to go and demarcate your boundaries. If you have worked overtime for two consecutive weeks, it doesn’t mean that you are setting a standard for your work and you need to let this be known or it can be construed otherwise.
- You do not need to feel guilty about disconnecting yourself after you have catered to your commitments. Unless it is an emergency, try making a conscious effort to not let others trespass your boundaries.
Regarding your private life
- Respect yourself and others will respect you. Respect your boundaries and others will respect the same. While giving your best at work might be the most important thing for you, your time might be very important to others in your life.
- Be it a vacation with family, a game night with friends, or a simple yet precious me time, don’t forget to take a breather and attend to your private life as well. This indeed is important to maintain a work-life balance.
A melange of all of these will help bring you to a balanced state of your work as well as your personal life, where no domain of your life will be compromised. While it’s understandable that not all of us love what we do for a living, whatever we do should not dictate the way we live. Don’t sweat too much about striking a work-life balance, just remember that you work to live and not vice versa.
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Frequently asked questions
1. Is work-life balance a real thing?
- A work-life balance can be struck while you work for your career and enjoy your private life as well. In order to achieve this, your life doesn't have to revolve around making a penny or focusing solely on your family. Both of them can be achieved simultaneously.
2. What is your idea of a work-life balance?
- Work-life balance is a state which is achieved when both work and the other aspects of life are catered to.
3. Is it better to work to live or to live to work?
- Both of these are opposite of each other. While living to work means focusing your life around your occupation/profession, it by no means is a healthier option. Most of us work to live and rather than our lives centered towards it, we have our goals focused on it.
4. What do you feel is the best way to balance goals for work and life?
- In order to achieve a work-life balance, priorities have to be determined and specific goals have to be set. For this, proper scheduling or compartmentalizing has to be done to set healthy boundaries between personal life and work.
5. How do you encourage work-life balance?
- For employers, emphasizing productivity rather than hours can promote a healthier work-life balance. Giving them weekly reviews, reasonable opportunities, and breaks can help the employees create a work-life balance.