How To Achieve Work Life Balance

Close-up of a clock showing the words "Time For Change". Shallow depth of field.

Dr. Purushothaman
January 9, 2014

Work life balance” - a phrase thrown around by a large amount of employers and workers. It's an attractive state of life and something that employers all like to provide, or at least think they do. However, it's not all about the employers - it comes down to the worker as well. Keep reading to understand how to achieve work life balance.
Work Life Balance Definition
The meaning of work life balance is having mental and physical equality regarding the effort you spend on work and the effort spent on the rest of your lifestyle. It's about developing a balance between your time you're doing work and tasks related to work, and the time invested in the rest of your life, such as friends, family and hobbies. How come it's so necessary?
The Importance Of Work Life Balance
So, we've revealed the meaning of work life balance. Now we have to find out why it's so important. Why must you have a balance between your work and life? There are many reasons for this.
One good reason for this is basically that you need to have a mental break from work. Your time and effort and attention necessary for your work, whether you realise it or not, is quite a lot. The type of job you've got can vary this, but most IT jobs involve a significant amount of mental concentration. Many people in the trade industries and other physical jobs often feel sore after a long day. It's very much the same for working in IT - working a long day can leave you mentally exhausted. Your body needs time to get over this. You need to rest and have a break from work in order to recover - this is accomplished in the “life” area of the work life balance equation. Spend time doing what you like, other than work.
One more reason to have a work life balance is that it is good for your wellbeing. Working constantly isn’t great for your health - it can cause stress, and also since you're working you won’t be exercising much which also isn't good for you. These may not be short-term issues but eventually they can build up.
There are more things outside of work that are important in our lives. Although the aim of this web site is to provide information on how one can boost your IT career, I realise it's not the only part of your life. One of the ways to improve your IT career is to have a balance between the work you do and the life you live. It has an indirect way of helping your career.
The Benefits Of A Work Life Balance
What's so great about having a work life balance? There are a few positives to having a rest between work time.
In my opinion it makes you more productive and efficient over the long term. Spending some time away from work will let your mind and body restore, as mentioned above. This makes you more focused when you need to be - during work hours.
This may also improve your overall life by increasing your relationships with others. Getting closer to family and friends, trying a new challenge and getting into hobbies could make you feel good and improve your mental state. These areas usually make you feel better about yourself, and therefore improving the way you go about your work and improving your career.
How To Achieve Work Life Balance
Well, we've discussed the meaning, the value and benefits of this concept. Now, how can we put it into action? I've detailed a few points below that I've tried to use and some that I’ve been told:
Leave Work At Work - It might be tempting to bring work home after you leave the office. Getting just those few extra items done seems hard at work, but getting them completed at home means you've got a fresh start in the morning. This can seem like a good option - and it's something that can be good, but only in moderation. If you're taking your job home frequently, you won't be capable of draw the line between work life and personal life. It will take a toll on you, mentally, in the long run.
Consider A Hobby - There's far more to life and work, and that's why there are so many hobbies and adventures people are fascinated with. Something I like to do is play basketball. It's fun, social and good for health and fitness. Others I know like to cycle, play video games, make homemade beer, learn video editing, read travel books, take up martial arts, and plenty of other activities. It might even be something easier like cooking dinner or watching a few TV shows. It gives you a rest from work and presents advantages that you don't otherwise get. Learn what your hobbies are and try new things away from work.
Socialise - Spending time with others is an excellent way to attain work life balance. Whether this is socialising with co-workers, friends or family, the act of going out and getting together with people has great benefits and helps to balance your lifestyle. You can learn new things and enjoy yourself.
Set Your Peak Periods - At times you can’t help it - work has to be accomplished by a certain date or something needs to be done as soon as possible. This is quite common in the IT world. However, over the long term, it should balance out. You might need to work really hard for a few months. From then on, you might slow down a little bit. The purpose of this point is to balance the high-volume or peak durations of work with the non-peak cycles. If you work in a business or industry that has peak times (for example, finance companies may get busy at the end of the financial year), you'll be able to revolve around those if required.
Take A Holiday - Among the finest methods to have a work life balance is just to take a holiday. It doesn’t need to be extravagant - you can take a day or two off to go for a drive, get a weekend away somewhere, or you might take a few weeks off to go international. The goal is to get out of work and give yourself a physical and mental break. It’s an effective way of giving yourself more balance in your life.
Make A Change In Your Life - In some cases things simply need to change for you to get a greater work life balance. If you drive to work, you might find that taking trains and buses is an option that can help. You might like to go running each morning before work. Opting to go out and eat at a nearby restaurant once per week is another way. It adds a bit of variety to life and can make you feel renewed.
Stop Trying To Do It All - Many of us over commit to the volume of things that we do in life. This is especially valid as we become older and have a family and kids. Planning to do everything can mean that we do none of those things well. You ought to learn how to understand your limits and not try to handle too many things at once. This is applicable both to work tasks and things at home.

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