Work-life balance is really about feeling content. . . in who you are and the decisions that you’re making
What is work-life balance and why is it important to find it?
Typically almost everyone thinks that they have to equalize work and personal life to find a perfect balance, focusing only on time spent on each. What if time isn’t the problem? Balance is about making a positive impact at work and family/interests. It’s also about staying in the present moment with actual space to feel it. There shouldn’t be any guilt, shame, sacrifice, or apology when you have prioritized self-care.
It means that work-life balance is not about equalizing time for both sides, there are not only two sides to care. It is about feeling content in your life, who you are, and what your mindset is. Unfortunately, you can’t find a ready-to-use solution, you have to create it by yourself.
Why do we need to think about it?
According to statistics in 2019, the number of people who feel stressed out at work is approximately 35% all over the world. At the same time, one in four employees say they are at risk of burning out in the next 12 months. We are talking about “nowadays” – because of the pandemic (and additional stress factors), these numbers have increased by at least 20% in comparison to previous years.
Our brain is not meant to be permanently overloaded with tasks, meetings, people, social media, messages. Balance and a clear mind give space to think more creatively and see things more clearly. It means a better product at work and a better commitment to your private life.
Work-life balance means better physical health
To achieve a balanced life it is important to take care of physical health. This doesn’t only mean exercise, but also growing healthy sleep habits, eating healthy food, and reducing intake of the products that are harmful to health. Don’t forget to take some breaks during the workday. Even a 30-second microbreak can improve concentration, reduce stress, keep you feeling engaged, and make your work feel more enjoyable. MIT senior lecturer Robert Pozen recommends taking a break every 75-90 minutes for 15 minutes to allow your brain to consolidate and retain learning.
Balanced life improves relationships
In our company, we appreciate everyone’s boundaries and encourage people to “unplug” out of their working hours. We recommend everyone to set and communicate their work hours to your colleagues and customers – which includes when you will work and when you won’t be available to respond. This removes the pressure to keep checking messages and allows you to be more present with people around. Also, it is a way to improve your engagement level with everything you do.
Planning your work and setting priorities
We need to know that our teammates are not overwhelmed with work. A lot of us are high-achieving professionals, and as we know such people are guilty of taking everything on themselves from time to time. They don’t want to “bother” anyone by asking for help. Sometimes this is tied to identity (“I’m supposed to be the one who has it all together”) or feelings of obligation (“Who else will do it if I don’t?”). Instead,consider that asking for help gives other people the gift of giving–and being part of a solution and support system, which builds the benefits of mutual relationships for all involved. It can be helpful to recognize that saying “no” to yourself on things that are less of a priority frees up time and energy to say “yes” and attend to other more valuable things.
In Appliscale we are setting up open, honest conversations with people about their workload and needs so together we can find productive solutions such as deprioritization, job sharing, and other creative options. We believe this will help us all to plan our workload and set up priorities without being overwhelmed and overstressed.
Impact on the engagement at work and productivity level
A less stressed, mentally, and physically healthy individual who feels connected to co-workers is more likely to be motivated to work harder. This increased motivation means that you’re going to perform at a higher level and be more engaged. Even better is that increased engagement results in improved workplace morale, more accountability, and communication. The thing that WILL make you more productive is a better work-life balance. Think about it: you’ll feel better (both physically and mentally), be more focused and present, and will be able to think more calmly, clearly, and creatively. Plus, you’ll be more motivated to work hard.
What that means is that you’re more likely to perform at a higher level because of your balanced lifestyle. If that’s not a formula for productivity, then I don’t know what is.
Real work-life balance increases levels of success, happiness, and fulfillment
Balance is about feeling good about yourself and being in control of your life and career path (both keys to creating happiness for yourself and bringing real meaning to your life). Think about the reasons listed above about why work-life balance is important. Most,if not all of them will make you feel more positive, happy and fulfilled. Besides, a balanced lifestyle makes you more well-rounded, a more creative thinker, and more productive. And that means that you’ll have more ability for success in both your personal and professional life.
In Appliscale we support the idea that a less stressed and healthy mindset is the key to proper prioritization, being more present, building up strong boundaries, and creating space for your brain to think creatively. So, now it’s time for you to start creating a more balanced life. And you begin within your mind by taking control of the things you can and learning to let go of the rest.