Work-life balance: can it be achieved?

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At some point, everyone gets tired of endless work tasks and the career race. When it goes on all the time, the resource quickly runs out and everything else takes a back seat. From the article, you will learn about the work-life-balance approach and how to achieve it.

What does balance mean?

Work-life-balance was talked about in the USA in the 1970s thanks to Rosabeth Moss Kanter’s book “Work and Family in the United States”. At first, the balance was attributed only to pregnant women and mothers, but with the growth of career goals, the situation changed. Employees began to recycle often, shifting the emphasis towards career. In connection with this, the growth of burnout at work increased, and productivity fell accordingly.

When the word combination work-life-balance is drawn for many people, an ideal picture is drawn in which you have time for everything. And close the work tasks, and do English, and also spend time with the family. It seems that if this balance is found, it will work like a magic pill. Of course, this is not so. Yes, it is difficult to imagine a person whose personal life and career do not affect each other at all. Everyone feels tired from time to time, rework and sit on social networks during working hours.

The main point is to manage your time and strive for balance in all spheres. In a world of information overload, it’s not so much about closing the laptop on time as it is about staying focused on your life. At the same time, work with the personal sphere should complement each other, and not compete. An excellent example of this approach is the company Slack, whose principle is simple: “Work hard and go home.”

Work hard and go homeUrgent work tasks can delay you at work, but this should not become a habit. The idea is to switch to personal matters at home. Despite the hiccups and rework of colleagues.

Integration of work with the personal sphere is another approach. At a glance, it contradicts work-life-balance. Indeed, the boundaries between the two spheres are blurring, but the balance, as before, remains. Integration involves a new perspective: work and personal life are parts of a single process. Here you don’t need to strictly divide personal and work time, instead – flexibility in the distribution of time. For example, you can leave the office an hour earlier, and complete the remaining tasks at home or go to the gym right in the office.

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Work-life-balance and removal

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the perception of the working day has changed. Many have completely moved the office to their home, and keeping the balance has been difficult. To find out if this is the case, SuperJob conducted a study. It was attended by 3,000 specialists of various professions who work in a standard schedule in the office and remotely. Of all those surveyed, 48% said that they find a balance between personal life and work. At the same time, the higher the level of income, the more attention is paid to work tasks. Lawyers (58%), accountants (54%) and economists (53%) were among the most successful time managers.

But those who work from home are more loyal to reworking: every fifth office worker finishes on time, only 12% of telecommuters follow this rule. At the same time, the two groups have almost the same attitude to processing: 40% of office workers and 34% of remote workers believe that regular delays are unacceptable.

And a couple of research insights:

How do you feel about working after hours? Research on recycling

Who is responsible?

It has already been accepted that an employee is more likely to blame the company than himself for excessive stress and overwork. High workload, endless tasks, colleagues who do not understand. But not everything is so clear. Even with the most loyal boss, it’s easy to get into overload mode.

It may seem that there is no other way, that you are forced to recycle, but is it really so? Most likely, you are afraid to say “no” or you are just used to it.

Well, in general, how you switch from work and how much you invest in it depends on you. During the working day, we do not delete work all the time. According to the Headhunter survey, 24% of remote employees spend 81-90% of their time at work. The rest goes to conversations with colleagues, social networks and reading the news. The tasks multiply, they have to be performed late at night and the working day increases to 12 hours.

But the company has another responsibility – to create comfortable conditions and perceive employees as a valuable resource, not robots. This approach started with IT companies, and gradually yoga in the office, a psychologist and flexible working hours became the norm.

Why balance?

It would seem that the answer lies on the surface. You allocate time correctly – you have time to deal with all spheres of life. But in addition, balance preserves physical and mental health. When there is no clearance behind work tasks, sooner or later the body will fail, and the quality of work will not be very high. Over time, the tension turns into emotional burnout and becomes chronic, which can lead to depression and health problems.

Many people in non-stop work mode do not imagine how it is possible to engage in self-development, sports and family. The balance in this case frees up the energy that was entirely spent on work tasks.

Finally, work-life-balance helps to see new faces. Do you not have a favorite hobby or have you been planning to improve your financial literacy for a long time? The freed time can be spent with pleasure on yourself and what you have been putting off for the first month. This is the main advantage of life balance – spending time on what is really important. At the same time, when life is filled with interesting hobbies, meetings with friends, leisurely walks, there will be even more resources for productive work.

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If you decide to stick to the balance, here are some steps:

1

Determine priorities

Work-life-balance does not mean that you divide work and personal time strictly equally. Start with these questions:

  • Is everything in my life going as it should?
  • Where is the energy flowing and in what area is it lacking?
  • Am I enjoying it?

Even if recycling is a conscious choice, you should understand how you feel with such a burden.

2

Make a life balance wheel

This tool will allow you to clearly see the spheres of life entering.

  1. Take a piece of paper and draw a large circle.
  2. Divide it into 8 parts.
  3. Write a title above each: career, finances, relationships/family, hobbies, health, friends, self-development, spiritual growth.
  4. Mark each sector from 1 to 10.
  5. Score each area and connect the circle.

It will not be possible to align the wheel immediately – act gradually. To do this, choose 1-2 areas that you want to tighten. Write down a small plan and start making time for them.

3

Review time management

Periodically, everyone needs a shake-up and new patterns. Often tasks are collected because you keep them in your head or jump from one to another. It is impossible to do everything in time, so keep your focus on the important priority tasks and try to delegate the small ones. Also, pay attention to the productivity time – everyone has their own. And don’t forget about notes and mobile apps.

4

Make a schedule

To remove the emphasis from work, you need to fill the time with other things. Do something new every day outside of work: dinner with family, meeting friends, hobbies, and put everything on the calendar. So the motivation to finish work on time will be higher.

5

Plan without fanaticism

In an ideal picture, the day starts with checking email and ends with a leisurely conversation with colleagues. But even a time management guru can’t predict everything, so leave room for force majeure. Leave work early if you were very late yesterday, or review your breaks throughout the day. Do not strive for an ideal schedule, choose a realistic one. And remember that balance is achieved gradually.

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