WORK-LIFE BALANCE? THE LINE BETWEEN WORK AND PRIVATE LIFE

 

EN Burnout

 

What is Work-Life Balance? Everyone knows this expression and the majority believes that Work-Life Balance is a balance between work and private life. Although, if we think deeper about it, do we take enough time for ourselves so that we can give our maximum while working 100%?

The statistics show completely different results as losing control over our balance can lead to serious issues. Let's be honest: it is not easy to admit to your line manager that you currently have too much of work. It is crucial, though, to be honest and talk openly if something is not alright. This topic is important, and you are not alone in it.

In this article we will give you a few helpful tips on how to recognise early warning signals of the lack of balance, what you can do to find your balance and show you the advantages of a good Work-Life Balance.

 

IT IS ALL ABOUT THE BALANCE

Balance does not necessarily mean a 50-50 division, because that is almost impossible in today's world. When balancing professional and private life, it is first and foremost a question of finding a healthy balance for oneself. What we rate and perceive as sacrifice, duty or stress, and how we define a powerful "quality time", is strictly individual.

Just like you [employee], the employer also benefits from a fair balance of his employees. It has been shown that such employees are less absent, more productive and more motivated. To keep the workers efficient some pioneers, such as the Scandinavian countries, start at 30 hours a week.

When the Work-Life balance is being off from time to time, it is not so difficult to bring it back on track. The unwanted impact can occur through ignoring the negative signals your body gives you continuously. The best-known negative effect is the burnout syndrome.

 

BURNOUT AS A RESULT OF DISHARMONY

Burnout syndrome is described in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) as "problems related to difficulties in coping with life". In the ICD-11 version (to be applied from January 2022), burnout is defined as a syndrome due to "stress at work that cannot be successfully managed". This explicitly means that burnout can only occur in connection with the workplace.

Symptoms of a burnout, among others, can be the following:

  • Exhaustion and lack of motivation
  • Being easily confused
  • Forgetfulness
  • Fatigue
  • Being easily irritated
  • Apathy and indifference

It is important to recognise these signs at an early stage and take them seriously. Everyone should always reflect on themselves whether family, friends or hobbies are being neglected. Ask yourself whether you are really happy and satisfied. Please, be honest with yourself.

 

Tips and Strategies for a Good Work Life Balance

  1. Self-Analysis: You know yourself best. What are your values, what makes you happy, what do you need to satisfy your needs? Unconsciousness can never lead to a healthy Work-Life balance.
  2. Improve your time management: Create clear time frames. You can always modify them according to the situation, but important is not to get rid of the original plans. Set your priorities correctly.
  3. Set yourself a time limit: first complete the most time-consuming task, so you do not get into a rush later. Rush usually means chaos and nervousness, which you will not help you to stay away from the burn out.
  4. Avoid distractions: Whether in private life or at work, avoid disruptive factors such as mobile phones, surfing the net, checking mails, etc. Give your 100% on what you are doing now. This will allow you to finish the task faster and your private life will be thankful for you not doing overtime. Even conversations with colleagues can happen, do not get involved in all of them as work during working hours still has the highest priority. You can always join the small talk during the lunch break.
  5. Establish good working relationships with colleagues: A tense relationship with colleagues and/or superiors can be stressful and damaging for your mental health. Therefore, it is important to solve conflicts internally, to work in teams, to show consideration and to spend breaks together.
  6. Give equal weight to private and professional meetings: Of course, private "appointments" are easier to postpone than the professional ones. After all, friends and family have more understanding than the employer; sometimes you also need some time for yourself in peace and quiet. But caution is better than indulgence! For a healthy work-life balance, private plans should be taken just as seriously as the meetings at work. Otherwise, there is a danger that life in the long run will consist only of work and rest alone.
  7. Treat yourself with a break: it is stressful, chaotic and we are tense at work! Sometimes there is even a hurricane in our heads. Just taking a break has not hurt anyone yet. Treat yourself with a massage or make yourself so comfortable at home so you could find your inner peace. Candles, scented oils...create an oasis in your own realm.
  8. Health and exercise: For a good Work-Life balance, many people need sufficient exercise and a healthy diet. Especially, if you work in the office, sit all day long and just warm up something to eat during your short break. Especially when you had no time to cook at home, so you got something take-away on your way to the office. In your private life, make sure that you take your time to cook, take long walks, go to the gym or go jogging. Exercise releases endorphins and helps you reduce the stress you gained at work.

 

Take these tips close to your heart. The happier, more balanced and recovered you are, the more successful you can be at work.

Be aware, not everything can be achieved right away. Start small and work your way forward. You will notice that within a very short time you feel better and the work will be pleasant again. It is also no shame to ask for help: whether it is a professional therapist, a close family member or a someone you trust. It is important that you stay by who you really are, learn to recognise your needs and talk about them openly.

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