We’re far past the age when returning home means leaving work in the office. With the common use of emails and our cell phones that can access said email, sometimes it feels like it’s an expectation to always be “on-call.” For the sake of our sanity and our social lives, we’re offering some tips and guidelines to find your own work-life balance.
What Even is Work-Life Balance?
When it comes to work-life balance, the focus shouldn’t just be on the number of hours you spend on your career versus the time you spend on all other aspects of your life. In fact, the definition of work-life balance doesn’t even mention time. The core of work-life balance lives with the concepts of achievement and enjoyment. Hence the ideal that if you love your job, you will never work a day in your life because with your dream job, achievement and enjoyment go hand-in-hand.
Worklifebalance.com goes even further in this article by unpacking what enjoyment fully entails. Enjoyment of course encapsulates happiness, but it’s also “Pride, Satisfaction, Celebration, Love.” So to start understanding what a good work-life balance looks like for you, start understanding what brings you enjoyment. It can be something as simple as having enough time to make your own cup of coffee in the morning, or being able to meet up with that one friend once a month.
Don’t Let the Perfect Become the Enemy of the Good
For all of our perfectionists out there, it’s time for you to recognize your potential. Not your potential to do everything perfectly, but your potential do even better when you allow yourself to release the standard of perfection you create for yourself. The hard truth is that completing every task, project, report, program perfectly is impossible — not near impossible, but impossible, period. When you release that expectation for yourself, you instead begin on the path of excellence, which is more withstanding and attainable than perfection, as Marilyn Puder-York explains in Deborah Jian Lee’s article on Forbes.
Be Your Own Boss for Your Health
Not maintaining a work-life balance does have serious cost on both your mental and physical health. From fatigue to a weakened immune system, overworking on that achievement aspect brings down your productivity and begins a cycle of further fatigue and lost time. The Mayo Clinic explains some more costs to not maintaining a work-life balance in this article, and offers some more guiding tips to creating the work-life balance that works for you.
Treat your health as something that is as important as your actual career. You may not be getting a paycheck to work out once a week or reading that novel you’ve wanted to, but the dangerous cost of not maintaining your health outweighs any benefit from your career. Your mental and physical health comes first, so take on the supervisor role for your wellbeing.
Finding a work-life balance can change from year to year and even week to week. That perfect balance comes through self-reflection and realistic expectations from and for yourself (as suggested from The Muse) and establishing that balance is a skill few truly master. Remember, though, don’t let the perfect become the enemy of the good; so keep trying, and keep living a life of achievement and enjoyment.