Work-life Balance is a Process, Not a Goal

The ‘work-life balance’ concept is often presented as something to achieve, a goal to reach. However as the BBC pointed out, it is not an achievement, work-life balance is a process.

Simply splitting up your days into work and life chunks can often still be unfulfilling. Instead, look to find a work-life balance by continuing to address areas that are causing you to stress in a continuous, never-ending personal exercise.

Experts are suggesting individuals to become more self-aware by following these five steps:

  • Figure out the root of stress
  • Dive into the emotions bought on by those kinds of stresses
  • Reprioritise your emotions
  • Realign your thought processes
  • Make a change in your routine

These steps require vigilance, self-awareness and timely tweaks.

This five-step process is something anyone can adopt. Going through the steps, and constantly checking in with yourself, can help you shift and adapt your professional life to something that will better harmonise with your personal one, their research suggests.

“Awareness of your emotional state is essential in order to determine the changes you want to make in your work and in your life,” researcher Ioana Lupu of ESSEC Business School commented.

The post-pandemic prevalence of remote work, flexible work or even ‘hybrid’ working models will influence how we balance our professional and personal lives going forward.

Defining ‘life’ in this quest is subjective, however, it should be something that provides you with fulfilment and contentment.

Gemma Leigh Roberts, Psychologist and Founder at The Resilience Edge agreed with the BBC on LinkedIn stating, “our priorities, roles and responsibilities are continually changing, so we need to be aware of how we’re spending our time one day to the next, make tweaks where we need to, and continue this cycle again and again.”

“I believe it’s more effective to focus on work-life blend, rather than trying to find the perfect balance.”

This balance becomes harder to strive for as life moves on and commitments shift to children focused. The compounding stress from the never-ending workday is damaging to our mental health. It can hurt relationships, health and overall happiness.

There should be open communication between managers and staff to help limit the time employees feel “on the clock” so their personal definition of work-life balance can be achieved.

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