Do we work to live, or do we live to work? It is a very tricky question as there are many of us who treat work as our life. We however need to remember that although we can be happy with just working, it is extremely vital that we build a life beyond our jobs.
Below are 5 reasons why a proper work-life balance is necessary:
1) If work is the only pillar that you stand on, should it fall, so will you. You need to set up other pillars anchored on your social, emotional and intellectual dimensions. If you do, you stand stronger as it is unlikely for all pillars to fall at the same time.
2) Your body may be sending an SOS signal. The demands of work can be extremely stressful. To continually subject yourself to stress is harmful not only to your mental and emotional health but also to your physical body. There are numerous stress related conditions such as high blood pressure, depression, anxiety and even obesity which can be avoided if you only know how to press the breaks every now and then.
3) You might be missing out on other things that can make you happy. It is understandable if you are happy at work. However, without exploring different areas in your life, you would not know if there are additional sources of happiness other than your work.
4) There are loved ones who may be needing your care and attention. It is easy to fall in a warp hole where all that exists is work. It is possible though that as we drown ourselves with work, we get to neglect family or friends who may be needing our attention and TLC (tender loving care).
5) This eases boredom and burnout. Before your mind finally screams ‘Enough!’, be sensitive to the hints it is giving you. Once totally bored and burnt out, you would lose that gusto or zest for work. You simply drag your feet to the workplace. When at work, it is difficult to focus. You then become inefficient, and before you know it, you may either be losing your job, or worse, your mind. Before all these happen, let rest and entertainment come into play.
Here are a few pieces of advice on how to achieve it.
1) Decide on your priorities. You need to make a commitment to let go of work from time to time to explore other sources of fulfillment. If you experience a relapse and get sucked back into workaholism, you simply need to remind yourself of the importance of having a work-life balance.
2) Compartmentalize. Upon entering the office, let your entire attention be focused on work. In the same manner, once you bundy out, leave your work behind. That being said, you need to ensure that you work efficiently throughout the day such that you can fully rest your mind as you reach home.
3) Get out there. Discover new hobbies. See the world. Do something different. Finish your house chores. Run errands for your loved ones. Go on a date. See a movie. Wine and dine. Visit the spa and have yourself pampered. It doesn’t matter what you do as long as you tend to other things aside from work.
4) Once in a while, do nothing. Don’t be guilty of indulging some of your weekends with zero activities. Provide a time for yourself to simply let the peace and calm sink in. It is not effective if you appear to be resting but your mind keeps churning. Make sure that your mind rests as your body does.
5) Do not forget what is truly important. Although you are providing for your family, to completely lose time for them is a different story. Likewise, if your studies or hobbies are equally important, make time for these. Be sure not to abandon what are truly important as you fulfill your work-related responsibilities.
Remember that at the end of the day, the power to allot time is in your hands. It is you who ultimately decides where and how to use this limited resource. Everyday, you are given only 24 hours. Resolve to spend every precious minute judiciously while making sure that work alone does not tip the scale.
Work is work is work. It’s the hand that feeds us. It’s a blessing. But sometimes, it can be a curse especially when it turns toxic that the salary you get, no matter how big or small, will never be enough to compensate for the ill feelings. Everyone is replaceable at work – that’s the honest truth. It is up to the individual to find work-life harmony, and to get there, is to quit being in-denial of toxicity.