The importance of a work-life balance

How allocating time for your personal interests can lead to professional success

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pixabay

By: Kailey Gaffikin

Most people have busy lives. Although some may have larger commitments than others, such as a CEO of a fortune 500 company, the majority of individuals have places to be, things to do and people to take care of. These commitments build up overtime. It can be hard for those with the busiest of schedules to take a step back and think about when they should do something for themselves, outside of their professional and personal commitments. 

“The happier the employees, the greater the job performance and overall success of the company.” – Michael Guta, Small Business Trends

Personal life is just as important as professional life. In fact, a clear work-life balance is shown to positively contribute to an increase in productivity in the workforce. However, it is shown that “66% of full-time employees in the U.S. do not believe they have work-life balance” and even “33% of employed adults in the U.S. work on an average Saturday, Sunday or holiday” (Michael Guta, Small Biz Trends). These statistics may or may not be surprising, but they can have detrimental effects on work performance. 

When an individual’s work-life balance is out of equilibrium, both personal and professional life is impacted. When personal life is affected, employed adults are more likely to miss out on life events, spend less time with family and friends and have a lack of focus and engagement. When professional life is affected, work performance declines. This leads to feelings of fatigue and burnout which could impact the overall company and lead to a high turnover rate. As anyone can see, it is important that employers and employees communicate and set boundaries with one another on work-life balance to ensure that everyone in the company is taken care of and understood. The happier the employees, the greater the job performance and overall success of the company.

Understanding the importance of the work-life balance is a great start. The next step for employees is to figure out what is important to them outside of work. Allocate time for personal hobbies, such as painting on the weekends or working out every morning before work. This is a great first step in realizing that personal well-being is necessary and shouldn’t be placed on the backburner. Differentiating that personal time is not to be infringed on with work, and vice versa, outlines the times that are for personal life and the times that are for professional life. 

Remember to prioritize the things that matter. Family and friends are just as important as work commitments. Turn off the email and stay present during the time you allocate for yourself. Don’t let your hobbies and interests slip away. Use your scheduler to your advantage; just as you may assign lists for work requirements, assign times for when you’ll be reading, painting, working out, hiking or doing anything that increases your personal well-being. Remember, the happier you are outside of work, the more successful you’ll be in the office. Now, go crush that work-life balance!

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