“Work life balance” - an expression thrown around by a lot of employers and workers. It’s an appealing state of life and something that organisations all wish to provide, or perhaps think they do. However, it’s not all about the employers - it boils down to the worker as well. Read on to understand how to achieve work life balance.

Work Life Balance Definition

The meaning of work life balance is having mental and physical equality between the effort spent on work and the effort you spend on the rest of your lifestyle. It’s about developing a balance between the time you’re working and tasks associated with work, and the time spent on the rest of your life, such as friends, family and hobbies. Why is it so essential?

The Importance Of Work Life Balance

So, we’ve recognized the definition of work life balance. Now we should find out why it’s so necessary. Why should you have a balance between your work and life? There are a lot of reasons for this.

A good reason for this is that you need to give yourself a mental break from work. The time and effort and focus necessary for your work, whether you realise it or not, is quite a lot. The type of job you have can vary this, but most IT jobs involve a significant amount of mental concentration. A lot of people in the trade industries and also 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 recover from this. You should rest and have a break from work in order to recover - this is achieved in the “life” part of the work life balance equation. Spend time doing what you like, other than work.

One other reason to have a work life balance is it is ideal for your overall health. Working all the time isn’t great for your health - it may cause stress, and 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 after some time they can build up.

There are more things outside of work that are essential in our lives. Although the aim of this blog is to provide information on tips on how to boost your IT career, I realise it’s not the only part of your life. One of many ways to boost 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 good about having a work life balance? There are some advantages to having a rest between work time.

I believe it can make you more productive and efficient over the long term. Taking time away from work will let your mind and body recuperate, as stated before. This will make you focused when you need to be - during work hours.

Additionally, it can improve your overall life by increasing your relationships with others. Getting closer to family and friends, trying interesting things and getting into hobbies could make you feel good and enhance your mental state. These areas usually cause you to feel better about yourself, and consequently improving the way you go about your work and increasing your career.

How To Achieve Work Life Balance

Well, we’ve outlined the definition, the value and benefits of this concept. Now, how can we put it into action? I’ve mentioned a few points below that I’ve tried to use and some that I’ve been told:

Leave Work At Work - It can 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 done at home means you have a fresh start the next day. This can seem like a good option - and it’s something that can be good, but only moderately. If you’re taking your work home often, you won’t be able to 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 a lot more to life and work, and that’s why there are various hobbies and adventures people are keen on. Something I like to do is play basketball. It’s fun, social and good for health and fitness. Other people I know like to cycle, play video games, make homemade beer, learn video editing, read travel books, take up martial arts, and lots of other activities. It might even be something simpler like cooking dinner or watching a few TV shows. It gives you an escape from work and provides benefits that you don’t otherwise get. Find out what your hobbies are and try something new away from work.

Socialise - Being with others is a great way to accomplish work life balance. Whether this is socialising with co-workers, friends or family, the action of heading out and getting together with people has wonderful benefits and helps to balance your lifestyle. You can learn new things and have fun.

Set Your Peak Periods - Sometimes you can’t help it - work needs to be completed by a certain date or something should be done at the earliest opportunity. This is typical in the IT world. However, in the long run, it should balance out. You may need to work really hard for several months. From then on, you might slow a small amount. The aim of this point is to balance the high-volume or peak cycles of work with the non-peak cycles. If you work in a company or industry that has peak durations (for example, financial institutions may get busy at the end of the financial year), then you could revolve around those if required.

Take A Holiday - One of the better ways to have a work life balance is just to take a holiday. It doesn’t have to be extravagant - you can take a few days off to go for a drive, have a weekend away somewhere, or you could take a few weeks off to go international. The goal is to get clear 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 - At times things just need to change for you to get a greater balance. If you drive to work, you might find that taking public transport is an alternative that might help. You may want to go running each day before work. Opting to go out and eat at a restaurant once a week is another way. It adds a bit of variety to life and can make you feel rejuvenated.

Stop Trying To Do It All - Many of us overcommit to the amount of things that we do in life. This is especially valid as we mature and have a family and kids. Planning to do everything can mean that we do none of those things well. You need to learn how to acknowledge your limits and not try to undertake too many things at once. This applies both to work tasks and things at home.

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