Many people see work life balance in their minds as a seesaw. When you overspend your time in a day more fully absorbed in your work than your home – or conversely, when you neglect work to spend more time with your family – there is always a guilty seesaw between your heart and your head.
One part of you says that without work you can’t put food on the table for your loved ones, and you have to work more to earn more. Another part of you says that without a home and family to care for more deeply, what is the point of working hard, and who are you earning money for?
To understand why an optimal life is not just about work versus home, you have to first get off the seesaw and look at everything with a different eye. You should worry about whether work and home life are getting quality time, no matter how much time you allocate to them. You must be all there mentally, wherever you are at each moment.
When you have work life imbalance, you don’t just suffer guilt and stress. It can give you serious ill health eventually if the problem is not addressed. Let’s examine why a reasonable proportionality in lifestyle is vital in many ways.
After the Covid-19 pandemic arrived, everybody had to work from home. That has now blurred the lines between home and work entirely for almost everybody. According to Morgan Smith, writing in CNBC.com, many people have loved the change and freedom from the 9-5 life so much that many big businesses have had to offer double pay and additional massive incentives to get their employees to return to offices.
Further, according to Kim Parker et al., writing in Pew Research Center on post-pandemic workstyles, people now agree that an equipoise between work and life is really about feeling content with who you are and the decisions that you’re making. An ideal distribution of your time is not something that will happen on its own. It has to be created by you through conscious choices.
We are in a nether-land now, with many of us still deciding how to re-orient our hours at work and home in a more organized way, to give good priority to both. In all this pandemic-led disruption of the old way of life, we may have all found the opportunity to rebalance our lives.
Even as we become aware of our power to make the right choices on working versus family hours, we must be mindful of the serious medical ailments that may beset us if we continue to avoid making the choices we must.
According to the Mental Health Foundation, it’s not even worth referring to the dilemma as “work life balance”. They say it must be called “unhealthy versus healthy life balance.” A poor adjustment between working and non-working time can cause enormous mental stress, unproductivity, or problematic psychological behavior at work or home, impacting professional and personal relationships.
According to BioMed Central, increased job exhaustion and decreased health can become a vicious cycle for most people. Other experts also agree that chronic stress can lead to a weaker immune response and cause more deep fatigue, mental burnout, frequent muscle aches, headaches, or even a higher risk of strokes and heart attacks. Irritability and anxiety are found to be more common in those who suffer through a poor division of their time. Allowing the issue to fester may culminate in prolonged depression, sadness, and drug or alcohol abuse.
Stress, in its lingering form, occurs when we fail to offset the skew in our lives quickly and let our work life dilemmas prolong. Anxiety-laden lives can fall prey to major illnesses like obesity, cholesterol, diabetes, and hypertension – which along with other hereditary factors can all have a multiplicative effect on our hearts.
The result of tension reduction in life helps in the enjoyment of a more manageable workload and allows you to relish the time you get to do the things important to you. The main advantage of shedding poor time management is that upbeat sensibilities like joy, enthusiasm, and happiness enter your life because you feel less burdened all the time.
According to Jonathan Thompson, writing in Dignity Health, when you feel more regulated in how you’ve set your priorities, you can better deal with negative emotions and thoughts. You get breathing space to think more clearly and allow your subconscious worries to rise into your conscious mind, where they can be tackled.
Eating healthy meals, reducing sugar and alcohol intake, having healthy sleep habits, and sustaining regular exercise … these are just some of the things you find you have the time and mindset for. You stop using junk food, sporadic exercise, haphazard sleep, or addictive vices like smoking or drinking to spike up or slow down your wildly fluctuating energy levels.
Connecting with people and relating to people are two ways to deepen bonds with the community of family, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances who enrich your life by adding their viewpoints to yours. You grow as an individual when your connections bring you the best in their lives to enhance yours.
According to Mental Health America, being guilt-free to perform any work – at your job or home – improves your outcomes. You will see significant growth in your ability to be more productive … to take on more work, finish more work up to a high standard, and then tune off the work because the satisfaction is complete.
Your mind is a creative machine. Notice how it’s constantly producing ideas that you are tempted to implement. If that machine of imagination and creativity shuts down, how much poorer will your life be? Endless chores done by rote, without any sparks of inner delight to chase dreams and delightful visions … that’s a sub-human use of your remarkable mind.
According to Arianne Cohen, writing in Bloomberg.com, unless your work and life are in good sync, you’ll have no time to give to those hobbies that most fulfill you. Why is it that when we talk of spending our time and attention wisely, we only include work and home life? What about our passions, thrills, and self-expression – and the time we need for these – to feel happy at the end of every day?
The important thing is to live by your definitions of success. Overextended people have no time to think of what that success may look like, so they are always left feeling as if they have no North Star. Everybody must have something in life that drives them to rise above themselves to actualize their potential.
Your life is meant to be great here and now, not at some future date when you’ve sorted out your perfect mix of work and home. Starting today, aim for a life of equilibrium that is meaningful to you. Gain the wondrous benefits of brimming happiness. Stay heart-healthy. Be a Zinda Dil.