Everyone has responsibilities not only during work time but also in the family. For example, I am a general practitioner and also a husband to my wife. As a physician, I have to be in the clinic and manage the diseases, and as a husband, I must spend my time with my wife and family. I also like to go to the swimming pool and swim or spend time on my hobbies, which is the private part of my life. Each of us has limited time. We should decrease our time allocated to the family or our demands when we have to work too much. Conversely, when we experience a family crisis, we can not spend too much time at work or by ourselves. It is not just about time. It is crucial that when we have stress at work, this stress does not disturb our energy to do non-work-related responsibilities or vice versa.
Work-life balance is managing our time, attention, thoughts, and other resources between work and non-work responsibilities. Individual differences, as well as cultural differences, exist. Some individuals like to pay more attention to their non-work aspects, and “they work to live.” On the other hand, some people want to work too much, and “they live to work.” An addiction to work is workaholism. It is a disorder and has many harmful effects.
In some studies, work-life balance shows different features for men and women. Maybe it is a traditional insight that women have more responsibility in the family for child care, and men have a greater duty to earn money and work. In this culture, spending more time working for women with many responsibilities at home is stressful. Decreasing working hours and making them flexible can be beneficial in reducing work-life conflict for both males and females.
How can we achieve a good balance?
Firstly, setting boundaries between your professional and individual life is essential. Consider this scenario: you’re spending the weekend with your family and watching a movie when your boss or client calls; what will you do?
Maybe you think it is not harmful to answer that call. But it is because it is your weekend, and it is essential for your health and productivity to have a specific time for relaxation. It is an example of work-life conflict. As a suggestion, it is better to consider your time with your family as a holiday and do not think about anything related to your work.
Secondly, thinking about your priorities in life is helpful. Sometimes it is unintentional, and we believe our priority is our family, but we miss our responsibilities in our family due to long working hours. Next time you have a work-life conflict, observe your behaviour and reassess your priorities. Compare the value that you put into your work and your personal life. One may ask themselves, “Do I spend enough time with my family and friends, or on my hobbies?”
Thirdly, make a plan for your time, energy, and money. Spending enough resources on yourself can affect your mental and physical health. This action also increases your productivity at work. Exercising and vacations are some examples of decreasing the tension and pressure of your work or family responsibilities. It is beneficial to consider these activities as a reward for your efforts, and they can be part of your daily routine.
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