Mixing your work life with personal life can be overwhelmingly stressful. With workload and deadlines hanging over your heads, finding peace can be a bit of a sport. Maintaining a balance between work and other aspects of your life is a necessity. This is something that everybody around us often ignore or hardly think about. Speaking of which, Americans face the most difficulty when it comes to maintaining work, with their personal lives. It has been reported that 11% of Americans work for 50+ hours a week, while the number of hours they spend on leisure is limited to only 11%. That’s like spending hours and hours baking a cake for someone and instead of getting a slice, all you get is left-over cake crumbs in return and in many cases you don’t even get that as well.
Work and life balance is a dilemma that needs to be resolved. Experts have expressed distress over the rising drift of work-life imbalance. Not to mention, the consequences that come with it. An imbalanced work and personal life deteriorates your hobbies, your relationships, and your health. Thus, to keep everything going in a healthy flow, make sure to schedule your work in a way that you always end up taking out time for yourself.
What is Work-Life Imbalance?
To understand the work-life imbalance, we must first understand what work-life balance is. Work-life balance can best be understood with the help of this equation:
Mental resources + emotional wellbeing + physical ability
Demands + your goals + responsibilities
Those who can maintain a balance in this equation can find balance in their actual lives. On the contrary, work-life imbalance occurs when the aforementioned equation ends up with inequalities on either side. Many people put the blame of work-life imbalance in the hands of time. They assume, if they had more control over the time, they would’ve been able to carry out more tasks. But, you and I, we both know that controlling time is impossible. Therefore, you should always plan your deadlines strictly within the timespan you have allotted for work. Period!
What Causes Work-Life Imbalance?
You might’ve heard the famous proverb: “Don’t bite more than you can chew.” That fits the work-life imbalance in the most perfect way. Distributing your goals such that you always be able to take time out for yourself, should be your priority. Multi-tasking is good to some extent, but if you are habitual of it, then let go of this habit before it takes its toll on you. Multi-tasking can sometimes cause delays in your other tasks. One after the other, it all keeps piling up and the next thing you know is an overwhelming workload. If your boss has given you extra work, then distribute it priority-wise and finish the tasks one by one. Don’t put yourself in an inconvenient place where you have to get done with everything at once: that will just lead you into an even worse situation.
Do you make promises because you don’t want to say no and make your peers upset? Well, that’s nice of you to think that way. But, you must never let your kindness get in the way by making promises that you can’t keep. If someone is asking you for a favor and your schedule is already packed with other tasks, then simply refuse. Prioritize yourself and help others only when you know you have sufficient room in your schedule.
Signs Your Life is Lacking Work-Life Balance
Achieving a balance in work and life is something that everybody low-key wishes for. Because, let’s face it, nothing is more agitating than a packed schedule and a life where you don’t even have the time to breathe. Following are the signs you should notice in yourself if you feel like there is an imbalance in work and life going on:
- Our mood is the first thing that gets affected when there is an overwhelming workload and a short deadline. If you are in a bad mood lately, then quickly check your schedule, put all the pending tasks on a halt, turn off your internet connection and relax. You can finish your tasks later on but you can’t undo the damage you’ll do to yourself while being in a bad mood. Thus, maintaining a work-life balance is the key to a less frustrating life.
- Another thing you’ll notice when your life doesn’t have work-life balance is the lack of joy. You will find yourself constantly worrying about deadlines. Plus, the thought of deadlines whooshing past you will drag you into being anxious and the next thing you know – your mind will be in a state of anxiety.
- Overwhelming workload plus an imbalance in life and work causes a lack of control. You will begin losing control over your life’s most basic things. What makes it worse is that you wouldn’t even be able to take time out for yourself, no matter how much you long for that.
Wrapping it up
Work-life imbalance ultimately leads to a number of psychological issues. Not to mention, your motivation to work will also become shaky. American Psychological Association blames work-life imbalance as the root cause of depression. It is this imbalance that pushes individuals into having frequent episodes of headaches, poor concentration, and agitation. It is sad to see that work culture is plagued by an imbalanced work and life across the world and no one is doing anything to put an end to it.