Does Work-Life Balance Exist? A Myth or a Reality is a guest blog by Jacob Dillon
Work-life balance is a renowned concept that refers to the situation when a person has a regular and sustainable source of income, while at the same time, is able to take out enough time to relax with his or her loved ones or to do stuff that they find entertaining, in order to regularly rejuvenate themselves and avoid experiencing burnouts.
In today’s fast-paced world, maintaining a work-life balance requires creativity, passion for work, and a contemporary way of thinking. As corporate life stretches to late night hours, many successful employees have started to figure out ways to blend their work lives with their personal lives, so that they are able to fulfill their commitments to both.
One might think that finding this true balance would require quitting one’s full-time job, but that’s not true. If one is determined to maintain harmony in life, it is very much possible to achieve that without lagging behind in one’s performance in any aspect. All that needs to be done is to avoid certain things you shouldn’t waste time on, and add in elements of flexibility into your mindset towards work.
Thinking Outside the Box
Being employed full-time by a company and being able to contribute to its growth is a blessing in itself. However, when an employee is going through a burnout from their job or work, they may feel that work-life balance is a myth, and is isn’t really attainable.
In these cases, there are usually multiple factors that are causing their exhaustion or failure. Let’s examine this by looking specifically at engineers. Most engineers, by nature are good people, hardworking, dutiful and dependable and focused on improving civilization. But sometimes, their analytical mindset doesn’t allow them to think outside of the box. Chemical engineers (in general) working in offices or laboratories have a standard schedule that follows the 40-hour workweek. If they like the job they are doing, no matter how long their day has been or how tiring their job is, they can still take the time to relax with their family by having a dinner together every night. However, engineers employed at industrial plants, typically exceed 40 hours of work per week, as they often have to respond to emergencies at the plant.
However, if they think of their work as leisure, they would feel more valued and in-demand rather than agitated every time they’re called for an urgent situation.
Other chemical engineering jobs require the employee to travel extensively to and from project sites. Even though traveling could be exhausting for the mind and body, for a person with an adventurous mind, it’s not difficult to take it as an opportunity to visit new places and explore new kinds of people and cultures.
We should learn from those people who are really passionate about their profession and enjoy taking on challenging tasks in the organization they are employed.
Yes, there are people like that – those who have achieved a decent amount in their careers to date, and have begun to take pleasure in what they do for a living. These people are to some extent in a much better harmony with their overall lives than the rest of the masses. They don’t think of “work” as anything separate from their “life”. Thus they do have a “work-life balance”, but they may not necessarily call it that way.
Include Self-Care in Your Routine
When a person is passionate about their job, it is easier for them to include self-care strategies into their routine. These people can stay motivated to take care of their fitness, positively affecting their performance at work. This in turn translates to healthier personal and family lives, as they are able to stay lively in their work routine. In other words, we can say that they are able to create an overlap between their work and personal life, so that they are able to enjoy both.
How do they do this? Well, it typically depends on three factors.
1. Sustain Interest in Your Work
First, we have to understand that balancing work and life is not a static goal. It’s a dynamic and flexible effort that is driven in large part by the level of satisfaction we get from our profession and job. It’s simple – if we don’t like what we do, we will not only be slow in doing it, but it will drain our energy faster than otherwise, leaving no time for any fun or relaxing activities throughout the week.
That is why, before embarking on any new job opportunity, it is crucial to give thought to whether or not we can actually sustain our interest in the kind of work it entails in the long run. Choosing the wrong direction for your career is one of those mistakes that can cost you more than you think. People who choose their career paths more quickly mature in maintaining some kind of equilibrium in their lives faster.
2. What is Your Personality Type?
Second, it depends on your personality type. If you have a casual personality, for instance, you can simplify your schedules to rid yourself of minor things you shouldn’t waste time on, both at work and at home. If you are the efficient type, you can focus on setting your priorities and sequence of tasks that need to get done. Then again, if you like to be proactive in everything that you do, you’d opt for learning and practicing time management techniques.
If you feel you are physically fit and healthy, you can consider multi-tasking in the office and at home. Adopting strategies based on you personality style may not give you a perfect life routine, but they would for sure make a difference in your overall personal sense of satisfaction.
3. Delegate Tasks
Third, when a person has attained a certain position in their career, they have the authority to be able to delegate certain tasks to those below them. Successful delegation is a way of utilizing others to share your workload by taking some parts of it off your shoulders, allowing you extra time to focus on what you are more efficient at or passionate about.
Besides the above factors, your mindset also makes a big difference on how you feel about your life. People who have elements of gratitude, patience and tolerance in their nature are able to appreciate the good things more than complaining about the negatives. It is truly mentioned in numerous psychology research papers and dissertation writings, “We are what we think!” If we think being satisfied with our job and personal life at the same time is impossible, it would really become impossible and unachievable, whereas, if we think we can take small steps to add delightfulness in whatever we do, we can fill our routines with memorable and pleasurable moments.
To conclude, we can say that work-life balance does exist, but maybe not in the exact way that it’s perceived. At the end of the day, it all boils down to your approach towards work. When we are able to take pleasure in our jobs, we wouldn’t even feel the need to maintain any kind of balance, as our lives would already be in harmony.
Perhaps “balance” is not the right word to use. Let’s call it “work-life blend” or “work-life harmony” instead.
About Jacob Dillon
Jacob Dillon has been involved in providing web content writing services for business that want to see their Google search rankings surge, as well as coursework writing services for college students who want to excel in their literature exams, for the past 5 years. With his focus on optimizing her articles for SEO, he is able to get his clients reach vast audiences to be able to cost-effectively promote their products and services. Many A-grade students look up to him as a Paper Writing Pro, who has helped numerous students from different countries around the world in passing examinations with topnotch grades. He also writes articles for blogs and magazines, on topics related to personal and professional development. Feel free to contact him via Facebook or check his Twitter.
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To your success,
Anthony Fasano, PE, LEED AP
Engineering Management Institute
Author of Engineer Your Own Success