The idea of work-life balance is based upon maintaining a balance between personal and professional life, in a way that one compliments the other. Finding equilibrium between work and life, defining limits, and prioritizing in a way that neither your personal, nor your professional life suffers, is the most demanding balancing act we have to pull off.
Striking a balance in itself is a challenge. Arranging your priorities as to maximize the productivity in your professional field and keep a healthy social and personal life is important. If the balance if off due to any reason, it means chaos.
Working long hours and spending more time at the workplace can test and complicate your relationships, damage your health, and may trigger episodes of depression. No time for your personal life means low morale and decreased productivity. On the other hand, if you are ignoring your professional responsibilities in favor of your personal life’s demands, you will start to lose your credibility at the workplace. One affects the other.
What ultimately motivates us to work is the desire to raise or maintain our living standards and live a good life. Therefore, our professional lives must accentuate our personal lives. Long working hours may leave you too tired to pay any attention to your own health, personal obligations and the people around you. As you move away from the joy of being socially active, spending quality time with loved ones, you will feel getting away from yourself too. You may not be able to keep your goals and desires in sight which initially pushed you to work hard and deliver your best. This lack of motivation will ultimately mean reduced productivity. Spending time on yourself, seeing that your work is helping you achieve your goals, can instill a sense of achievement thus boosting your morale and pushing you to work more efficiently. So it is essential to maximize your productivity that you keep yourself motivated and inspired.
Scientists say that stress can alter your brain over time. It can start degeneration in cells causing increasing weakness in the immune system which means more sick leaves, delays, and less interest in your work. If your work is putting a constant strain on your brain, it is bound to diminish your intellectual capabilities. Under extreme stress, our brain can also go into the survival mode. There are very few people who actually perform better under stressful situations. Some sense of urgency is good to keep you on the track but completely disregarding your physical and psychological needs will almost always backfire. A healthy mind is not possible without a healthy body. Exercise is said to considerably increase your mental health. Increased physical activity triggers parts of our brain that makes us happier, inspired and ready to deliver our best. No wonder so many of us with sedentary lifestyles, experience depression.
Exhaustion, lack of motivation, stress, even monotony can cause a burnout. When that happens, you can expect either very little or no productivity at all. A constant pressure to deliver on tight deadlines, may actually cause delays.
The most creative and intelligent people do not settle for jobs which they find mentally and physically draining, or which can interfere with their growth and wellbeing as an individual. People with higher EIQ know that they cannot work efficiently if they don’t get the time to refresh and regenerate. For maximum productivity on their part, they opt for organizations which take into consideration, their individual social wellbeing, as much as their own.
Organizations must recognize this tendency in order to best exploit their employees’ potential and reach the maximum scale of productivity. Creating a work environment in which the workers can find a balance between their personal and professional priorities is beneficial for both the organization and the workers. It can extend a very positive image of your business and thus not only attract but also retain more talent. Doing the opposite and putting too much strain on the employees can give your business a bad name.
What if it fires back?
It is scientifically proven, that to be productive and stay motivated, you need to take your time out. All work and no play can dull your mind and throw you into a mentally sluggish state. Recognizing the need to revise the workplace policies to accommodate the worker’s personal needs sounds very refreshing and promising but could it backfire? Some critics argue that it can. Increased control over work hours and work load might lead to a dormant behavior. Without predefined deadlines, one can easily go off the track and find it even more tiresome to work efficiently. For the organizations, it can be potentially dangerous too. If your business acquires a reputation for supporting a passive behavior, it can give you a bad name. If deadlines are too flexible, your competition might be able to take the edge over you.
It is most important that both the individual and the organization take into consideration each other’s motives and needs. One is dependent on the other. To stay active and productive, you need to take regular breaks without feeling guilty about taking them. Excessive workload will only disintegrate the quality of your work. Find your balance in life and it will shine through all the aspects of your life.