Today’s article is less of an informative piece and more of a question. Obviously there are several variables straight from the top, like what industry you work in and what your position is within said industry, barring all the variables, I pose the question – is there such an obtainable thing as work life balance and how does one know when that balance has been reached?
I write this article after just finishing an easy 9.5hour work day. For the past several months I have been working a standard 12hour day five days a week. Even during the few days I had off for the holidays I was working from home. While this may not be normal for everyone, lots of people I know are in a similar situation. With jobs so hard to find, when you get one many of us are putting in the extra hours without compliant grateful to both be employed and determined to prove our worth. And with so many fewer jobs, more and more people are responsible for jobs that would have traditionally been for two people.
How long can a person concentrate solely on their career before it starts to have negative effects on them?
The answer, much like your required work hours, varies greatly. Some people can go longer than others before they burn out from not balancing their personal life and work life, but eventually it will catch up with you in some form or another. Finding a balance with your outside life and work life isn’t about not liking one or the other, it is about understanding that your body, soul and mind need to be engaged in more then one thing a day.
I can admit that I have a problem balancing my work and personal lives. But how do I find balance becomes the follow-up question. A question I have yet to master. Doing a quick google search of “Life Work Balance” will render you thousands of articles giving tips on how to find balance and urging you to do so because of the negative physical effects not finding it can do to your body. Applying these tips in real life is not as easy as reading the articles. And not achieving balance is not always because of lack of trying.
I knew that my job came with some variable periods of when my work hours would be longer than others, but such an extended period makes it difficult to find my way back to balance and happy lifestyle. While I have in no way achieved the balance that I need in my life, I have found that accepting that there will be periods when this balance gets thrown out the window and using what time I may have outside of work, no matter how little, doing something personally fulfilling has helped immensely, even if the activity was as simple as watching that movie thats been sitting on my table for months. If you are going through a time when you feel like you have no balance in your life, try taking a step back. Assess how long term the lack of balance is. Then take baby steps into finding what works for you. And take comfort in knowing that you are not alone. There are plenty of us out there struggling to find the same balance you are.
And if you have found a way to balance it all, please feel free to share your secret!