The only way to make sure there is enough food on the table, the lights stay on and nobody in the family lacks anything, is to work. The world we live in today is fast-paced and we need to be on our toes to keep up with it. We have already looked at some ways to balance your work-life or career with your personal life but here are some additional benefits that some people may not have realized. It is not an easy task and the interconnection between life and the internet has made it possible to work round the clock without even realizing it. Why is this so? Employers continue to demand more from employees and often we find ourselves replying to emails at all hours, completing a project on weekends and taking business calls at the dinner table.
As much as these things are not acceptable, everyone should find a way around them. Finding a work-life balance is imperative and you should work towards achieving that. It is not only beneficial for your relationships with the people in your life; you should do it for your own happiness and good health. It will also benefit your employer because when you are happy and wholesome, you will be able to deliver to your full potential at work.
Below are just some of the reasons to maintain a good work-life balance and why it is important:
1. Less Stress
In the United States, workplace stress is a big contributor to a lot of deaths and two reasons why many employees get stressed at work are taking on a heavy workload and having no work-life balance. A huge workload is stressful and people accept it because they often believe that they must take on every task that is sent their way. It should not be so.
Everyone should have boundaries and the workplace is no different. You cannot go beyond your maximum limit and being stretched will benefit neither you nor your employer, so why bother?
What you should do is be honest about what you can accomplish and talk to your manager about your workload. Your self-care is important and no matter how busy things get, prioritize self-care and do what you can by taking time out when you are at home to de-stress and relax.
2. Improved Productivity
Every company wants hardworking and productive employees. You might be working long hours and even overtime and be thinking you are a major contributor to the organization, but the quality of work you are putting out is probably poor. This is counterproductive and should not be the norm. Maintain a steady work-life balance and know when to stop working. You will be amazed at the results.
If you are not finishing work on time each day, talk to your manager about re-distributing some of your workload so that you don’t work all hours of the day.
3. Improved Mental Health
When you feel balanced in your life, you will be able to handle all negative thoughts and emotions. You should never stress the human brain beyond its limit and balance helps you have more space to think, understand your feelings and deal with them appropriately.
Ensure you give yourself some alone time to relax when you finish work – read a book, have a bath or go to bed early to help you de-stress.
4. Improved Physical Health
Taking better care of your physical health comes from balancing work with your personal life. This means maintaining healthy sleep habits, exercising regularly, consuming less sugar and alcohol and eating healthily. You should also not be stuck at a desk working all day and going straight to your couch or bed at night because you are tired. This kind of lifestyle is not healthy at all as you are barely moving. Having some free time to yourself gives you time to keep your body active and release endorphins.
5. Mindfulness and Presence
Being able to be present at work and at home is something that can only be achieved with a proper work-life balance. Imagine spending time with family and thinking about work or worrying about the mess at home when you are trying to work. By keeping work at work and leaving the home affairs at home, you will be able to be present physically and mentally where you are needed at any point in time.
6. Better Connections and Relationships
Working for long hours means spending more time away from the people you love. When you are tired and exhausted, neither you nor those you care about can enjoy your presence. Balancing your work and life allows you to spend more time with family and friends. Think about the importance of these relationships and how they contribute to your essence as a person.
7. Better Engagement at Work
When you have a properly maintained work-life balance, you will be happy and more motivated to execute any task that comes your way. Often, pressure and incentives do little to make an employee engaged. What these do when an employee is not happy is stress them out and make them anxious and resentful. Any employee who is connected to their co-workers is more likely to do their best because the environment is a positive one.
8. Improved Creative Thinking
The brain needs space to function adequately. It needs a break from technology, people, phone calls, social media and other distractions. An unhealthy work-life balance makes you anxious, stressed and too overwhelmed to think clearly. But with balance, you can think more clearly and creatively, which will yield better results.
9. Become More Rounded
If the only thing going for you is work, you might end up being a boring person. You should have other interests outside of work to improve your social skills. When you are outgoing and well-rounded, you can share your experiences with other people, especially your co-workers. Your interests will also look good on your CV as employers want to see the kind of energy you are bringing to the workplace.
10. You Have One Life
You only get to live once and you should make the most of it. Guard your life zealously and chase happiness at all times. You do not want to go through the years only to realize that you missed out on so many amazing things because you were only focused on work. Time, once lost, can never be regained and if your work is getting in the way of your life, you should work on balancing the two.
Elizabeth Shields runs HappyCleans, a house cleaning company in Oklahoma City. Her passions include healthy living, the environment, and writing.