Work-life balance is a priority for many professionals. The goal is usually to achieve a lifestyle where they feel productive and on target with their careers without being overburdened, all while still having time for personal activities and household obligations.
Often, work-life balance is what people strive for, but few professionals know someone who actually feels they have it. As a result, it begs the question, is work-life balance a realistic practice?
What Is Work-Life Balance?
In many ways, “work-life balance” is a nebulous term. There isn’t a single definition because it's incredibly personal. What works well for one person may miss the mark for another. Much advice often falls flat; it isn’t universally applicable.
However, in a general sense, work-life balance generally means feeling that your work and personal life coexist peacefully. You can give what feels like an appropriate amount of attention to your career, household, family, and self.
Typically, when people feel they don’t have a balance, the part that’s out of alignment involves their careers. It can include long hours or rigid schedules that make handling personal responsibilities difficult. Having more responsibilities they believe they can reasonably handle can also harm balance, particularly if the stress disrupts their personal lives or relationships.
However, overwhelming obligations at home can also impact personal harmony. When demands on your time exceed the hours in the day, there’s a mismatch there, as well.
Is Work-Life Balance a Realistic Practice?
Whether this is realistically achievable largely depends on what a person feels it takes to accomplish it. Like all goals, some people may set their sights far beyond what’s possible. When that happens, the race toward work-life equality doesn’t just feel like a marathon; it seems never-ending.
However, having a realistic picture of what finding this balance entails makes it possible to head in the right direction. Plus, you may even be able to get to a place that feels manageable, even if it isn’t perfectly balanced.
How to Achieve Better Work-Life Synergy
Achieving a work-life balance begins by understanding that perfection isn’t typically possible. Your personal and professional life will have ups and downs. The goal is to see if most days can’t feel reasonably aligned.
It’s also wise to remain flexible. Seize the opportunities that come along. If a workday isn’t overly demanding, you can wrap up on time and get a chance to practice self-care, participate in a hobby, or relax with your family; take advantage of it. Then, when there are days when work requires more of your time, effort, and attention, it won’t feel so burdensome when you look at the big picture.
Finding a career that you’re passionate about also makes a difference. When you enjoy what you do, challenges don’t weigh on you as they can if you’re disenchanted with your position, employer, or field. It doesn’t have to be a job you love, just one you like most of the time.
It’s also critical to care for yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally. No one can burn the candle at both ends forever. If you don’t stop to care for yourself, you won’t be as effective in other areas of your life, so make that a priority.
Finally, don’t be afraid to set personal and professional boundaries. Getting comfortable with saying “no” is empowering, allowing you to sidestep requests that don’t align with your priorities or won’t fit into your schedule. That can be a critical part of the equation, ensuring no single aspect of your life takes over.
Workplace Tools Can Enhance Your Work-Life Harmony.
Implementing tools at work to help you become more efficient can be an excellent way to save time, allowing you to manage your day better. If you’re looking for a balance in managing vendors and your workforce, SimpleVMS can help. Schedule a no-obligation demo with SimpleVMS today!