As we find ourselves caught between technology and social media advancements, it has become more and more difficult to untangle from a web of interlocking responsibilities from our jobs and personal lives. We’ve gotten used to attending to emails from our phones even before getting to work or working from our tablets late at night in an attempt to lessen our backlogs. As a result, the concept of work-life balance has emerged and is now sought-after in jobs. However, the idea of a complete equilibrium between work and our private lives sets unachievable standards. Oftentimes, we find ourselves at a crossroads when we struggle to be successful at work whilst enriching our hobbies and personal relationships. This makes the notion of ‘balance’ problematic. We become frustrated constantly recalculating our priorities and actions to achieve a stability that’s impossible to maintain-often at the expense of our well-being.
This triggers the need for the concept of work-life balance to evolve. According to Amazon CEO Jeffrey Bezos, the healthier approach is to view work and life as interdependent. “It’s actually a circle, not a balance.”, he says. He suggests that what we should strive for is a holistic view of work and life as variables. We then focus on what’s controllable rather than exhausting our energy on the inevitable. But the question still remains; How do we reflect this Philosophy in life?
1. Understand that it begins and ends with you.
What one may consider too much or too little when it comes to work and play is highly subjective because our intrinsic motivators differ. It’s important that we explore the whys of our happiness and contentment so that we are able to find it in everything we do and encourage it in the choices we make.
2. Set your goals and determine your steps.
Once you’ve assessed what drives you and what’s truly important to you, you can take the steps necessary to get to where you’re going. At the same time, you’re able to create goals that are realistic and achievable.
3. Create boundaries.
We become victims of stress and anxiety when we fail to learn the importance of saying no. Boundaries keep us from stretching ourselves too thin.
4. Put your physical and mental well-being at the top of your list.
As the saying goes, you cannot pour from an empty cup. When our health is constantly compromised in order to accommodate a false sense of work-life balance, things take a turn for the worse. It’s important to invest in your health because that’s the only way others can invest in you. Find out how Harmoni standing desks promote comfort and improve health.
When push comes to shove, communication is key. If responsibilities at work are taking control over your other responsibilities, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with opening it up for discussion. Eileen Carey, CEO of Glassbreakers, says, “ If you aren't getting paid to do something and the task will take away time from accomplishing what you are paid to do, saying no demonstrates your commitment to your role and the value of your time.”
Work-life balance is not necessarily a myth, but it cannot be narrowed down to one definition, either. Balance is a never-ending process, forces constantly have to work alongside each other and adjustments are imperative. Most importantly, a sense of balance is relative. We progress when we are not looking at our goals as one-way journeys and when we do not create shortcuts by jeopardizing our welfare.
Canales, K. (2021, July 3). Jeff Bezos says work-life balance is a 'debilitating phrase.' he wants Amazon workers to view their career and lives as a 'circle.'. Business Insider. Retrieved October 15, 2021, from https://www.businessinsider.com/jeff-bezos-work-life-balance-debilitating-phrase-career-circle-2021-7.
Gross, E. L. (2018, July 28). When to say no at work (and why it's important). Forbes. Retrieved October 15, 2021, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/elanagross/2016/09/19/when-to-say-no-at-work/?sh=7cfe4f681322.