The work-leisure dichotomy of the 1800’s was later labelled “work-life balance”. But what does “work-life balance” mean?
The expression coined in the late 1970’s, was created to describe the balance between an individual’s work and personal life. “Balance” in this context literally means:
a situation in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions
This is a matter of subjectivity. However, anthropologists define happiness as having little or no differentiation between the professional and personal life. The more closely aligned your work is to your personal life, the happier you will be.
Makes sense, but how easy is it to achieve?
Work-life balance is of particular relevance today, not least because employees need to do more in less time, but also because it is harder to switch off. The advances in technology remove the limitations of physical location. There are no boundaries. Although helpful, the unlimited access to work can create stress and anxiety, particularly if you are not in a job you love.
Below are some tips to help regain some balance.
- Manage your mobile devices. Decide a time each day and turn your phone off and put your out of office on.
- Give your mind a rest- Socialise, exercise, meditate, play sport. Do anything you enjoy unrelated to work.
- Book a holiday. Have something to look forward to.
- Make your commute work for you. Use “dead” time to plan your day. Answer emails, or make phone calls, but once you get home, stop.
- Work from home. The lack of distractions might mean you are more productive.
- Set yourself hourly deadlines and goals and stick to them.
If making the changes above doesn’t improve how you feel about work, it might be time to look at changing the work itself. For help finding how to align your professional life more closely to your personal life, why not give us a call for a free chat to see how we can help.