Importance of Work-Life Balance and Ways to Achieve It

Written by: Thrishala Gunathunga

The world is more demanding than ever, so it is very important to find a delicate balance between our work and personal lives. This is because a good work-life balance is essential for our overall well-being, be it enhancing our job performance, satisfaction, productivity, mental health or general quality of life. Therefore, in this article, we will look into the importance of work-life balance and ways to achieve it effectively!

Why is work-life balance important?

  • It helps in improving job satisfaction.

When employees have time for personal pursuits and relationships, they tend to be more happy in their professional roles. For instance, being able to attend family events or prioritise time with loved ones instead of working longer than the intended hours contributes to greater job satisfaction. 

  • It enhances mental well-being.

Continuous work stress can lead to burnout, anxiety, and other mental health issues. Therefore, taking short breaks during the workday to practise mindfulness or engage in a hobby like even reading for 5 minutes while working, can significantly contribute to reducing stress levels and promoting mental well-being.

  • It improves physical health.

 Long hours at the desk and constant work pressure can lead to physical ailments, especially when it comes to those working in the IT industry. Therefore, regular exercise, such as a daily 15-minute walk or gym sessions after work, can counteract the negative effects of a sedentary work lifestyle and contribute to better physical health.

  • It helps increase productivity and concentration. 

Imagine you have been working for more than 6 hours on a certain project, and with new information coming in, now your mind can’t concentrate anymore! Well, it is the time to take a short break – whether it is having a chat with a colleague or drinking a cup of coffee. These small moments can surely recharge your brain and increase your productivity. 

  • Opens up opportunities for career growth and personal development:

Balancing work and personal life allows individuals to pursue personal development opportunities. Whether it’s taking up a new course, attending seminars and workshops, or exploring creative hobbies, these activities contribute to personal development and allow for career advancement as well. 

What are the ways to achieve a good work-life balance?

  • Set boundaries:

Clearly define your work hours within an organisation and stick to them. Avoid bringing work home whenever possible, and resist the temptation to check emails or complete tasks during personal time, especially when spending time with your loved ones. You can also designate specific times to be tech-free, such as after 9.00 pm daily or during the weekends. 

  • Prioritise important tasks:

Identify the most important tasks and focus on finishing them first. This helps you avoid feeling overwhelmed and ensures that the most demanding tasks are completed first. You can also use the Pomodoro Technique, where you work for 25 minutes and take a break for 5 minutes, to stay focused during work hours and take regular breaks.

  • Don’t say yes to everything:

Be realistic about your capacity at work and don’t overcommit so much that you forget to have a personal life. Instead of saying yes to everything, you can politely refuse any additional work. Thank them for the given opportunity and that you will not hesitate to offer help in the future. 

  • Make use of your vacation time:

Use your vacation time to relax and rejuvenate instead of working during that time too! This is especially related to remote workers. Therefore, always remember that taking breaks from work, whether short or extended, is crucial for mental and physical well-being.

  • Don’t forget to assess and adjust regularly:

This means that you have to set aside specific times, whether weekly or monthly, to evaluate your recent experiences, feelings, and stress levels related to work and personal life. This could involve even discussions with trusted mentors, work colleagues, friends, or family members.

In conclusion, achieving work-life balance is a continuous process that requires conscious effort and commitment. It may be slow at first and you may struggle to find the right balance. But nothing is impossible, right? So take that first step and be true to yourself! Believe that you can shape your work-life balance and foster a lifestyle that aligns with improving your overall well-being.