WORK LIFE MANAGEMENT:
Work-life balance is essential to combat stress, ensuring both individual employee and employer success. The stress associated with unbalanced lifestyles is costly; it damages productivity and increases individual health risks. Employees who have the tools to balance their professional and personal lives are happier, healthier, and more productive.
In addition to improving performance, many younger employees place a high value on work‐life balance. The employer that includes work‐life balance as part of their culture will be able to better attract qualified candidates.Research has consistently demonstrated that when clear goals are associated with learning, it occurs more easily and rapidly.
The objectives are:
- Explain the benefits of work-life balance.
- Recognize the signs of an unbalanced life.
- Identify employer resources for a balanced lifestyle.
- Improve time management and goal setting.
- Use the most effective work methods for you.
- Create balance at work and at home.
- Manage stress.
Understanding the benefits of a healthy balanced life will motivate anyone to make necessary changes. The balance will improve the lives of individual employees as well as the working culture. Learning the basics of work‐life balance will also increase employee productivity, health, and morale.
Why It’s Important:
A healthy balance between work and home should be a priority for everyone. Implementing proper work‐life balance offers many important benefits. There are, however, many hazards linked with an unbalanced work and home life.
Poor health: Working long hours without taking time to relax will take its toll on health.
unresolved conflict: A lack of balance can create conflicts at work and at home.
Poor performance: Taking on too much responsibility will lead to exhaustion and cause performance to suffer.
Financial loss: The impact on health and productivity takes a financial toll on both individual employees and organizations.
People who successfully implement work-life balance improve their sense of fulfillment at work and at home
Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of Balance and Order and Rhythm Thomas Merton
A healthy work-life balance decreases the risk of heart disease and other health problems.
Greater productivity: Being relaxed and well-rested increases productivity and improves work performance.
Stronger relationships: Personal and professional relationships are strengthened and conflicts are avoided when there is the work-life balance.
Take healthy breaks: You should take time to refresh yourself. Try stretching, walking, or meditating throughout the day. This will also improve your health and overall well-being.
Take enjoyable breaks: A mental change gears actually increases productivity. This fun activity increases your productivity
Take time off: Working to the point of burnout is not productive or healthy. Do not lose vacation days, even if you have to spread them out. Studies show that people who take their vacations are much more productive than those who do not.
Improved Mental and Physical Health:
It is common knowledge that stress is directly linked to different diseases. Numerous surveys have discovered that work is a leading cause of stress-related illness and injury, such as stroke, heart disease, and mental breakdowns. A balanced life will improve both physical and mental health.
How to Improve Health:
Awareness: A balanced lifestyle increases personal awareness, allow individuals to identify potential health problems early.
Lifestyle: A balanced lifestyle automatically improves health. It encourages healthy choices and helps develop the body and the mind.
Work-life balance is an effective tool to increase morale and improve working culture. The only factor more important than balance is compensation. According to several surveys, work‐life balance improves happiness and overall job satisfaction. Work-life balance typically translates to employees who work harder and are more productive.
Signs of an Imbalance:
The signs of imbalance are unmistakable. We see people suffering from poor health, burnout, and stress every day. For employers, this increases costs in the form of absenteeism, health costs, and turnover.
Imbalance promotes poor health. Over time, this can lead to devastating, and possibly life-changing consequences.
Effects on Health:
Obesity: Not taking the time to exercise or eat well can increase obesity, which is connected to heart disease and numerous other health risks.
Exhaustion: Sleeping well can add years to a person’s life. Sacrificing sleep for work will have negative effects on health and increase the chances of getting sick.
Emotional problems: Stress and exhaustion will wreak havoc on emotional well‐being. This will affect relationships and personal identity. It must be a balance in everything we do, not too
Poor health increases employee absenteeism and thus is a costly problem for employers. There are hidden and direct costs that must be paid when an employee is absent from work.
Cost of absenteeism:
Sick pay: Employees with sick days are still paid, which is a direct cost.
Loss of productivity: Even with someone to work the position of the sick employee, the employee familiar with the job will be more productive. This is an indirect cost of sick days. While most people who take time off are legitimately sick, stressed employees will take days off to catch up with personal obligations, and they usually feel justified doing so.
Most people know that overworked employees eventually burnout. Burnout is the physical and psychological response to long‐term stress.
Signs of Burnout:
Loss of interest: Burned‐out employees cannot make themselves care about their work, which is the source of their stress.
Lack of emotion: Emotional responses are abnormal when someone is burned‐out.
Loss of motivation: Former motivators no longer are effective.
Possible depression: Burnout is closely linked to depression.
Work is the main source of stress. Stress’ connection to obesity for workers in sedentary jobs is more significant than diet. The effects stress on heart health can be deadly.
Signs of Stress:
Overemotional: People under stress can find it difficult to control their emotions.
Lethargy: The physiological impact of stress can cause lethargy.
Restlessness: Stress can make it difficult to focus, causing hyperactivity and restlessness.
Anxiety: Prolonged stress can cause anxiety disorders.
Most people complain that they do not have enough time.The truth is, however, that most people do not know how to manage time wisely. Time management is crucial to an effective work‐life balance. Effectively implementing time management will reduce stress and help bring balance to life in and out of the workplace.
The Urgent/Important Matrix:
Many people confuse the urgent with the important. Urgent tasks do need to be done quickly, but that does not make them important. We are often stuck completing urgent tasks at the expense of the important ones. Important tasks are the ones that help us meet goals. Often, urgent tasks, such as fixing the copy machine, are distractions from what is important. Learning the difference between urgent and important will better anyone’s time management skills.
Learn to Say No:
Managing time requires that people learn to say “no.” This may seem cruel, but it is not possible to meet everyone’s needs. You must learn to say “no” kindly but firmly. Do not allow people to talk you into urgent tasks. You need to stick to a schedule and plan of action. Do not deviate unless it is a true emergency. For example, proofing a colleague’s letter is not an emergency that you must complete at once. Complete your important tasks first.
Urgent and Important:
Important, But Not Urgent:
- High value
Urgent, But Not Important:
- Routine tasks
- Not Urgent and Not Important:
Flexibility is an important skill. Life cannot be predicted, and inflexible people fall to pieces when change beyond their control comes. Being flexible simply means that you are not resisting the inevitable changes of life. Flexibility is not passivity. It is being able to embrace change. This will reduce stress and improve work-life balance.
For example, car trouble will throw off your schedule, so do not try to keep up with your tasks that day.
According to the 80 / 20 rule, 80 percent of our success is the result of only 20 percent of our actions. The rule implies that we should place our focus on the 20 percent of activities that are the most successful. This requires that we prioritize goals. When this is done, concentrate on the 20 percent of activities that aggressively move you towards those goals. Give most of your attention to this 20 percent.
Goal Setting :
In order to effectively manage time and live a balanced life, you must be aware of your goals. It is important that you have goals because they provide direction. Working towards a goal will help focus energy and reduce the stress that comes with not having a purpose.
The Three Ps
There are three Ps that will help you achieve goals. Approaching your goals incorrectly will only result in failure. The three Ps will motivate you and help keep you from becoming discouraged. When setting goals: you must make sure that they are positive, personal, and present.
Positive: Goals should be phrased positively, so they help you feel good about yourself and what you’re trying to accomplish.
Personal: Goals must be personal. They must reflect your own dreams and values, not those of friends, family, or the media. When crafting your goal statement, always use the word “I” in the sentence to brand it as your own. When your goals are personal, you’ll be more motivated to succeed and take greater pride in your accomplishments.
Possible: When setting goals, be sure to consider what’s possible and within your control.
Goals cannot be achieved if they are impossible. SMART goals make it easier to achieve success because you know that success is within reach.
Aspects of SMART goals:
Specific: Goals must be specific. An example of a specific goal is workout 30 minutes a day.
Measurable: Measurable goals let you know when you are successful. For example, lose 5 pounds is measurable.
Attainable: All goals, particularly short‐term goals, need to be attainable. For example, promoting three times in six months is not attainable.
Relevant: Goals must be relevant to the situation. A goal to find a mentor is not relevant to someone who is established in his or her field.
Timely: Goals require specific timeframes. For example, lose 5 pounds this month is both measurable and timely.
Visualization means coming up with a mental picture of a goal and then believing that the goal will happen. Many successful people use visualization techniques. The process of visualization may seem like a waste of time to some, but visualizing a goal helps the mind to view that goal as a tangible possibility rather than some indistinct desire.
Choose a goal: Visualization must be specific. Choose a single goal to visualize. It is easier to start small.
Relax: Carve out the time to relax and focus on visualizing the goal.
Visualize: Picture the goal as achieved in great detail. See it happening in the present.
Accept: Believe that the goal will come true, and affirm it to yourself. Affirmations are useful tools that help win acceptance.
Balance at work:
Keeping balance when at work is difficult. Outside influences always try to creep in and destroy productivity. Becoming sidetracked, however, simply creates job-related stress that further increases the level of imbalance you experience. Fortunately, there are a few useful tips that will help you regain your sense of balance while at work.
Leave Home Stress at Home
Everyone has personal problems that create stress and hinder job performance. If these issues are severe, it may be necessary to take a leave of absence. In most cases, however, there are better strategies to help leave the home stress at home.
Get up early: Get up early enough to take a few minutes and prepare for a new day. Focus on what is ahead and not the past.Take advantage of the commute: View the commute as a chance to enter your “work zone.” That is, mentally gear up for the workday.
Communicate appropriately: Discuss your problems with a friend or confidant outside of work. Do not vent about home stress to your coworkers.
Find outlets: Discover useful ways to alleviate stress, such as exercise. This will help keep you focused throughout the workday.
Balance at Home:
We should be able to relax at home and unwind after a hard day at work. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. Home has the stress of its own, and it seems like the stress from work is constantly waiting to spill over into our home lives. To have work-life balance, it is important to learn how to effectively manage the stress and obligations at home.
Leave Work Stress at Work
Bringing the stress of work home will ruin your family life. Additionally, not being able to separate from work will destroy your balance, increasing your stress level. Luckily, there are a few strategies that will help keep work separate.
Stop on the way home: On particularly stressful days, you may want to stop somewhere for a few minutes and decompress.
Vent in the car or to a friend: Use the daily traffic jam as a chance to express your frustrations to yourself instead of ranting about them to your family.
Enjoy your family: Do not focus on the downside of family life. Find ways to spend time together that everyone enjoys.
Find outlets: Discover useful ways to alleviate work stress, such as exercise or meditation. Practicing these will help you focus on the present.
A man who suffers or stresses before it is Turn Your Phone Off Cell phones have made it nearly impossible to escape the pressures of life. Now there is always a way for someone to reach us. Not only are we inundated with phone calls, we have emails and social networks to worry about. There is only one way to fix the problem and alleviate stress: TURN OFF THE PHONE. It is acceptable and healthy to occasionally disconnect. Silencing the phone does not count as disconnecting. It does not matter when you disconnect, just that you do.
Take Some “Me” Time
“Me time” is essential to a person’s health and well‐being. Often, people think that “me time” is a day at the spa or something else extravagant that they cannot afford to
Actually, “me time” is much simpler. It is anything that you do just for yourself. There is no set expense or time frame that you have to follow when taking “me time.” It can be as simple as taking a walk. The only imperative concerning “me time” is that you actually take it.
Maintain Your Boundaries
Boundaries are important in every aspect of life. Without them, people will constantly pull our attention away from what is important. In order to achieve work-life balance, it is necessary to establish boundaries between work and home. This will require you to determine what those boundaries are and communicate them.
For example, you may set a boundary that says you do not take calls after 7:00 pm. Each person’s boundaries will be different, so think about what works for you. Once you set your boundaries and communicate them, you need to maintain them. People naturally push boundaries, and they will test you. You need to stay strong. For example, let a call go to voicemail and only return it if the matter is truly an emergency that cannot wait. Odds are that it is not. After some time, other people will learn to respect your boundaries.
It is impossible to experience work-life balance without stress management. Stress is unavoidable. If we do not handle it well it can cause lasting physical and psychological damage. On the other hand, managing stress can combat its negative effects. Fortunately, stress management is not too complicated; anyone can learn how to manage stress.
Everyone knows that exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, but it is also a key aspect to managing stress. Exercise affects people mentally as well as physically. It produces endorphins that will improve your mood and prevent depression. In order to reap the benefits of exercise, however, you must be consistent with it.
Tips for Success:
- Choose an exercise you enjoy: You will not repeat an activity that you hate doing.
- Start slowly: If you overdo it, you will simply become tired and discouraged.
- Schedule it: Exercise must be a priority or you will never get to it.
Eating Well :
Diet has a strong impact on our emotions and the way that we handle stress. Eating well is an important factor in stress management. Unfortunately, our bodies crave fatty, salty foods in times of stress. Rather than giving in to fast food cravings, focus on getting healthy.
Avoid sugar and caffeine: Their highs may give you more energy, but once you crash, you are left more exhausted than before.
Focus on nutrition: Be sure to include whole grains, lean protein, and leafy green in your diet.
Eat frequently: Increase your focus by eating small healthy snacks throughout the day. This will balance blood sugar and increase energy.
Getting Enough Sleep:
Many people are sleep deprived. Experts recommend sleeping between seven and nine hours a night. Sleep deprivation increases stress, weakens the immune system, and raises the risk of having an accident. Given the important role that sleeps plays in physical and mental health, it only makes sense to do everything in your power to improve sleep.
Ways to Improve Sleep
Avoid electronics before bed: Studies show that the light of the television, phone, or computer may make falling asleep difficult.
Relax: Unwind with a relaxing routine before bed.
Exercise: Exercise will make it easier to fall asleep.
Have a bedtime: A regular bedtime will train your body’s internal clock and help you fall asleep.
We are not always aware of how much stress is affecting our lives. It is possible to believe that you are effectively managing your stress when, in reality, stress is managing you. This is why it is important to step back and assess your stress level.The results of the assessment will reveal any changes that you need to make in order to improve your stress management. You can use the results of the assessment to make the necessary changes to your diet, exercise, and sleep routines.