The True Cost of a Poor Work-Life Balance

What does it mean to have work-life balance? One’s own definition can be drastically different from person to person. For some, it is important for them to feel a sense of autonomy so they are able to distinctly separate their work life from their home life. This is especially true for working parents who wish to participate in their children’s day-to-day activities.

For others, work is in their blood. They do not mind committing large gaps of their daily routine to work-related duties, even outside of the office. This only becomes an issue once it begins to affect an individual’s ability to function in a productive manner. This is what’s known as ‘burnout.’

How can you tell if an individual is experiencing a poor work-life balance? What are some situations that can lead to these feelings and how can one overcome this frustration?

Today’s workforce is stressed

It is true that many employees are stressed, juggling multiple tasks, priorities, and conflicts at the same time. With the implementation of computers and ample Wi-Fi connectivity, employees can complete work and answer emails from any location, at all hours of the day and night. As a result, employees are working longer hours than ever before. In fact, many people do not take advantage of their company’s paid time off, if offered. Those that cannot turn off the switch between work and home are often left feeling anxious, over-tired and depressed. All of which can negatively impact your health.

How can you create a better work-life balance for yourself?

Start by setting some parameters for yourself to abide by, whether that be turning off email by a certain time in the evenings, or carving out time for a workout each day after work. This will give you separation, which is imperative to living a healthy and productive life.

Treat your time off and especially your weekends as “mini-vacations” by doing something that you enjoy. Plan an activity that you can look forward to, such as meeting a friend for coffee or visiting a local town or city for an evening out.

To truly develop a positive work-life balance, it is helpful to develop a regular routine outside of work. Frequenting the gym a few evenings a week, joining a club, or taking classes on a topic you are interested in will help encourage you to step back from work at a particular time each day.

With this advice in mind, what will you do to improve your wellbeing and life outside of work? How will you avoid the negative consequences of having a poor work-life balance?

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