by Simon Lythgoe
The term ‘work-life balance’ has become pretty popular in recent years but what does it actually mean? This concept is all about ensuring that there is separation between your personal and professional lives and that you have a good balance of both. However, although it makes sense in theory, it’s not always that easy to achieve in practice – but there are five very good reasons why everyone should start making this a priority.
1. It can make you more productive
It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that relentlessly working all the hours available will produce better results. However, the reality is that without a work-life balance your productivity levels are likely to drop. Long hours, little sleep, no social interaction and no time for yourself could actually make you less able to function effectively in the long run.
2. Work-life balance is key to physical health
The reality is that, for most of us, work involves a lot of sitting and often all the time we’re working is spent indoors. It’s only when we’re out of the office that we get to do the activities that are important for physical health. That could be sport and staying fit and healthy, taking the time to cook nutritious food, getting out in nature for a walk or even just ensuring that you’re getting enough sleep each night. If you don’t make time for the personal side of your life then your physical health could start to suffer.
3. Your emotional health may be affected without it
A lack of work-life balance can lead to high levels of stress and the potential for anxiety and depression. There is a wealth of research that indicates that humans really suffer on an emotional level if their work-life balance is off. It’s essential to take steps to try and get this right if you want to avoid burnout or the potential for serious mental health issues, such as depression. There could be many factors involved, from lack of contact with loved ones because you’re working such long hours, to unreasonably large workloads and not feeling valued for what you do. The first step towards positive change is ensuring you have time for yourself, especially if you’re under pressure at work.
4. Work-life balance is what makes us human
If your life is all about work then it can become pretty two-dimensional. The experiences, conversations and ideas that you have when you’re outside the office and doing other things are crucial for creativity, innovation and just being a fully rounded employee too. The right work-life balance can make you a better communicator and a more driven an interesting person to be around – without it you might find that ideas, motivation and conversation run dry.
5. Life is too short not to
Very few people look back at the end of their lives and wish they had worked more. Life is short and ensuring that you have a positive work-life balance will give you the opportunity to really live it.
Work-life balance isn’t just a trending catchphrase it’s a concept that could be genuinely transformative, from how productive you are at work to what your experience of life feels like on a daily basis.