In today’s global economy where business success requires higher productivity and longer work hours, the need for work-life balance is often ignored. Employers, employees and entrepreneurs alike need reasonable time away to check in with inner guidance, regenerate and refresh.

When you are overwhelmed by the all-consuming demands of your work, your personal life can suffer. When your work is dictating and shaping the majority of your reality, family, friends and marriages can often take a back seat. Further, if work feels unfulfilling and oppressive, it makes the time demand even more challenging to endure.

 

Is your work/life ratio out of balance? Five questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you find yourself missing important family events or taking less vacation days because of work-related projects?
  • Do you often work longer than 8 hours a day and find yourself answering work-related emails even after you get home? Or before you go to work?
  • Do you often bring work home with you? Are weekends more about having quiet time to work rather than time to rest, refresh and reconnect with others?
  • When was the last time you did something for fun or took time just for yourself?
  • Do you feel bone-tired most of the time?

What did you discover? Is work ruling your time and your thoughts? Could your work-life balance use some reassessment and realignment?

 

The Side Effects of an Out of Balance Work Life:

The demands of work can produce unhappy side effects in your life. Even those long hours spent commuting can take its toll on your well-being! When you have less and less personal time, it adds up to stress that can:

  • lead to sleep deprivation and exhaustion,
  • give rise to mental burnout that inhibits the ability to think clearly and decisively,
  • decrease your productivity leading to an increase in insecurity and instability regarding employment,
  • generate resentment and anger for having to live up to the business’ requirements,
  • leave little time for leisure and regenerative practices,
  • stifle creativity,
  • disconnect you from the inner wise resources that fuel balance and awareness,
  • cause health-related issues such as heart and high blood pressure, anxiety patterns and depression.

 

Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms

In an attempt to manage the imbalance, we can unconsciously adopt unhealthy habits and behaviours that include:

  • Poor nutrition (hitting the sweets and desserts at work and at home?]
  • Drinking more coffee just to stay awake,
  • Drinking more alcohol to relax in the evening,
  • Becoming a multi-tasker where we are not fully present to any activity or person in our lives [checking your smart phone while ‘listening’ to your spouse or child?],
  • Working from home on days off just to catch up or get ahead.

None of these responses are ideal but are often the ‘quick fix’ you choose when you are too busy or too tired to consider a more empowered alternative.

It is important to acknowledge that life is rarely 100% in balance. But you can develop the ability to surf the ups and downs of work demands and integrate them into a resilient, whole and happy life.

In the next few posts, we will address the subject of Work-Life Balance and offer insights and tips designed to assist you to restore reasonable balance between work and leisure in your life. It is possible to achieve!