Ah, the ever-elusive work-life balance! It’s something that can seem all-but-impossible to find, especially in today’s faced paced world where we’re constantly on the move and facing ever-increasing demands on our time. Employers are constantly demanding more from their staff, and we react by putting more pressure on ourselves to do more, produce more, and give more.
Eventually, we find ourselves putting in more and more hours at the office and spending fewer hours at home.
When life becomes stressful and unpleasant, and you find yourself dreading Mondays with a passion, something has to give.
The answer is not finding a way to put in more hours, or figuring out how to be in two places at once, but rather, taking the time to step back, and taking a good hard look at your current situation. The solution, of course, is to find a balance—something that’s vital for your relationships, health, and sanity.
Today, let’s take a look at the top five reasons why striving for balance is so important.
1. Reduced Stress
If we were to step back and look at ourselves objectively, we would probably find that we’re always saying yes, continually pushing ourselves, and always wanting to do more. But while this may sound good, in theory, the fact is that this approach can cause a tremendous amount of stress. Constantly go, go, going without any time to stop, step back, and recharge isn’t sustainable, and isn’t a good way to live. Finding a work-life balance, though, can help to reduce stress significantly, allowing you to devote more time to the things that matter most.
2. Fewer Burnouts
Burnout is the natural progression of prolonged and unsustainable stress. After burning the candle at both ends for extended periods of time, something’s going to give. Whether it’s the quality of your work, or your relationships with loved ones, after a while you will start to notice that you’re feeling uninspired, unmotivated, and plain worn out. By striking a work-life balance, you will be able to separate work and life, gain time to process and deal with issues that arise, and save yourself from eventual burnout.
3. Healthy Benefits
Working long and stressful hours also puts you at risk a higher risk of health issues such as heart disease and diabetes. Other potential issues include weight gain and sleep loss, as well as an overall loss of energy and vitality. Finding a work-life balance isn’t just a good idea; it’s essential for your health.
4. Increased Productivity
Research from the University of Illinois highlights the importance of taking breaks, especially when faced with long tasks. It may sound counterintuitive, but finding a work-life balance can even improve your productivity. Our brains have a difficult time focusing on one thing for extended periods of time. Once we’ve reached our peak, a short interruption in concentration—in the form of a break—is often exactly what we need in order to stay on track.
5. More Personal Time
Taking time for yourself is important. But when you’re facing the pressures of work and family life, “me time” is often the first thing to go. Setting aside your personal wants and needs, hobbies, or social outings for too long, though, can cause you to become frustrated, upset, and even miserable. It’s important to hold onto the things you enjoy. Your interests are, in many ways, an integral part of you.
At the end of the day, we’ll look back on the time spent with friends and family with fond memories. That’s more than we can say for any job! Yes, work is vitally important, but your downtime is too. Give yourself permission to find a balance!
What are top reasons you strive for more balance in life? Let us know in the comments below!