If you look yourself in the mirror, can you say you are satisfied and happy with what you are doing in your life? As you start reflecting, I believe you should also go on reading this post about work-life balance.
What is work-life balance?
Work-life balance, from the word itself, is finding the equilibrium between the hustle and bustle of our lives as workers and individuals, referring to as life. We do know our career is important, but it aims to put an equal or at least ample time to our leisure and personal activities as well. We can say that we have a good work-life balance when we not only excel or put an effort in our jobs, but also an appropriate time for ourselves – family, friends, personal adventures and whatnot.
On the other hand, there are contentions whether it is really healthy to pursue work-life balance. One of which is the four burners theory. The four burners are health, work, family, and friends. We cannot blame the people who opt to focus on their work given their resources at hand – time, money and energy. Because sooner or later, our resources will be different. When we get old, we may have lots of time and money, but little energy. However, we may now allot more time in our personal lives since we don’t have to worry about work anymore. The list and explanations go on. The point of the theory is that if we turn on the four burners all at the same time, the fire may be low for each and our gas will immediately run out. To have a good work-life balance, we need to cut off two burners.
On a personal note, though I understand the four burners theory and have considered it before, it would be hard to compartmentalize our priorities and events in our lives. We can’t say that until 25, I will only care a little about my family and friends because I want to focus on my health and work.
Whatever it is, you may have to think things through well! The decision is still yours.
How to achieve work-life balance
Now that you have an idea of what work-life balance is and what could it be its downside, it will be your decision whether you should keep on reading this or just chill in Vermosa. But hey, maybe this is still worth reading? You may want to give it a shot on how you can achieve work-life balance:
First, accept that it is fine to have a life outside work
I believe that the door to start work-life balance, or at least to get a better one, begins with acceptance. You should tell and remind yourself constantly until you accept it wholeheartedly that it is nothing but fine to have a life outside of work. You don’t have to feel guilty all the time you think and realize your job is taking too much of your time, and that you need to do something else.
One of the unforgettable lessons in my post-grad classes is the difference between being a citizen and an individual. Citizenship is related to how we do in our society – our work, engagements, and affiliations. The individual is about our personal self – what we do outside work, ourselves as is. We may say that we are responsible citizens as we deliver well in our work, we pay our dues and taxes, but can we say that we are satisfied individuals?
Set your priorities
It is challenging to say manage your time without managing yourself first. Priority setting is a major key to achieving a healthy work-life balance. Everything else will follow if you know what you want or need in your life. Others are okay spending their time on work, while others would like to do something for their personal lives. Again, it will all go down on your priorities.
Remember, what you really wanted and needed to do for your individual personality, and also for your life as a citizen. You may want to list it down and rank those based on urgency, necessity or whatnot.
Leave work when it’s time to leave it
Leaving work when it’s past your duty is easier than done. I won’t deny the fact that I once belong to the population which brings their work at home. There are times that I thought I needed to, but then life hit me that I forgot who I really am outside my full-time and part-time jobs. Aside from teaching and writing, what else do I do to keep myself sane? I barely go out with my friends, and if I do, the stories I share are mostly about work. A lot of times that I get home, my niece is already sleeping, and I don’t have the time anymore to bond with her, so as with my parents. I told myself this has to stop and I should get a hold on my life.
It’s just a thought, or in Tagalog, akala ko lang. I thought I need to get everything done even if it’s past my schedule and I should bring these tasks at home. But no! I should respect my home as my home, and my work as work. I don’t want to get old and having nothing to tell my kids and grand kids about what I did in life that made me happy and fulfilled.
It would be fair to mention that we should also be professional. A lot of instances we argue that we should give time to ourselves, but we should also respect our work. If we want to give time for our individual lives, we should also focus on our work and other affiliations when we need to. But of course, if emergency calls for it, we should attend to it.
Have a bucket list
To cap off this short post, I would recommend you to have a bucket list. A list where you put your goals in life – personal and professional stuff. What do you want to achieve in your career? How about the fun things or adventures you always wanted to do? The commit yourself to this bucket list. Promise yourself that you will fulfill whatever you have written and no excuses.
Now that you are chilling in Vermosa and after reading this, have you thought well about your life decisions? Can you bravely say that you are achieving work-life balance, or whether you should do it in the first place? Give this a chance and think about. Have fun!
About the author:
Janice Jaramillo is a twenty something who loves to write various topics . She likes to travel around the world to meet new people and gain new experiences.