5 REASONS WHY WORK LIFE BALANCE IS IMPORTANT
For the majority of people, work life takes over their whole life. The desire to succeed professionally and move closer to career dreams takes over our lives. This desire leads to a poor work-life balance, causing problems such as mental health issues and burnouts.
So, what exactly is work-life balance? It is the ability to equally prioritize time allocated for work with time allocated for other aspects of life such as personal interests. The ability to achieve an equal balance between work life and personal life comes with the choices you make. Here are five of the many reasons why having this balance is crucial.
1. Improvement in mental health
The main reason why work life balance is related to mental health is because poor work life balance comes with chronic stress. When you feel more balanced in your life you are able to deal with negative thoughts and emotions. Being balanced means you have more time to think and understand your feelings and thoughts and deal with them rather than letting them build up.
Prioritizing tasks that give you joy and happiness will help mental health issues. It comes hand in hand with self-love, being able to put yourself first and do things that make you feel good and fulfilled.
The Mental Health Foundation conducted a survey in 2014 finding that more than 40% of workers neglect other aspects of life due to work and nearly 66% of employees have experienced some kind of negative impact on their personal life.
2. Increases productivity
The main reason people aren’t able to achieve a work life balance is because they have a strong desire to improve in the work place. In order to improve and be productive in the work place having that balance is necessary.
If you think about it, it makes a lot of sense. If you are able to take time away from work and focus on other things in your life that make you feel better, you will be more focused and more motivated on work, which will make you more productive.
This is also essential to avoid burnout, which is the state of emotional, physical and mental exhaustion from prolonged and excessive stress. According to the Harvard Business Review, the psychological and physical problems that come with burnt-out employees cost around $125 billion to $190 billion a year in health care spending in the United States.
3. Increases ability to be present
Creating a balance with work and personal life helps you become more present in the moment. Without a balanced lifestyle, your mind will always feel cluttered with thoughts and stress. Whether you are stuck on thoughts about your work when you are with your family friends and constantly checking your email, or vice versa thinking about your home-life, whether it’s the guilt of leaving children, arguments with partners or family members.
The constant worrying about things that are not in your control at that moment takes away from your mindfulness and presence. Being able to take control of your thoughts and worries is one of the main ways to remain calm. Moreover, you will be more aware of the things around you in the moment, whether it be people emotions, improving relationships with friends and family because you are able to respond intuitively.
Having work life balance does not only impact your productivity in the workplace, it has many benefits to your mind, thoughts and life as a whole.
4. Better physical health and wellbeing
Creating a balanced lifestyle will also improve your physical health, not just mental. Increasing stress and working hours leads to more work and less sleep. Less sleep comes with many physical negative effects such as anxiety, depression, higher risk of strokes, and heart diseases.
According to Medical News Today, a five-year study found the risk of developing depression in healthy individuals is 1.66 times higher in employees working more than 55 hours a week (normal working being 50 hours a week) and the risk of anxiety was 1.74 times higher.
Taking time away from work can improve physical health, sitting at a desk all day in front of a computer is not what is meant for human beings. Taking time away from work to exercise, go for a walk outside any type of movement outdoors will increase endorphins which will make you feel more positive and better about yourself.
5. Greater success
The prevalent term “grinding,” is a misconception meaning working all hours of the day and night and focusing only on work and never taking time away, will lead to success. Unfortunately, that is just not the case.
Having work-life balance will make you more successful, the ability to prioritize things that make you happy and fulfilled, taking care of your physical and mental health to avoid burnouts and increase endorphins, being present and in control of your emotions, thoughts, and feelings.
Are all of these things not considered success? Is success only measured through money and what you have? Having a balanced lifestyle will give you the ability to be more successful in both your personal life and career.
A couple of things you could do right now to improve your work life balance are understand yourself, find what is important to you and what makes you happy and prioritize them. Set specific hours for work, when you are not working make time for other things such as exercise, time with your friends and family. Lastly, meditation, take 10 minutes out of your day to meditate, you can find meditation videos on YouTube, that will help you destress and be more present.
Do you think you have a healthy work-life balance? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!