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Work-life balance is the equilibrium between personal life and career work.

We live in a world obsessed with working and achieving. This obsession could be due to the materialistic nature of our modern society and some other factors.

Hence, the desire to provide more for ourselves and our family has resulted in being willing to work extremely hard. What we do not realise, however, is that this can be very damaging, particularly if our job involves large amounts of time spent working and not living life or obtaining a sensible balance.

Some of the effects of poor work-life balance
Chronic stress: This is one of the most common health issues in the workplace. It can have mental and physical consequences such as hypertension, digestive troubles, less socialization, unfocused thinking, chronic aches, pains, depression, anxiety and insomnia.

Burnout: It is a form of exhaustion caused by constantly feeling overwhelmed. It’s a result of excessive and prolonged stress which can cause fatigue, mood swings, irritability and a decrease in work performance.

Some tips on how to find the balance that’s right for you

Limit time-wasting activities and people:
Identify and make a list of what is most important to you; make sure it truly reflects your priorities. After which, draw firm boundaries so you can devote quality time to these high-priority people and activities as well as, focusing on activities you specialise in and value most. Learn to delegate or outsource everything else.

Let go of perfectionism:
A lot of overachievers develop perfectionist tendencies at a young age but as you grow up, life gets more expanded and complicated and as such, it becomes difficult to maintain. If perfectionism is left unchecked, it can become destructive. So, therefore it’s healthier to strive not for perfection, but excellence.

Separate work life from your personal life:
The workday never seems to end, ensure that you use your time away from work to concentrate on being away from work.
For some people, checking their emails or text messages for work updates has become habitual. This means, however, that their mind is far more likely to be thinking about working than relaxing, thereby limiting the time which they may need to recuperate.

Exercise is an effective stress reducer. It helps lift your mood and enhances or maintains physical fitness as well as overall health and wellness.

Some of the benefits of work-life balance
• Personal growth
• Personal health & wellbeing
• Increased productivity
• Reduces staff turnover

Most often, people think of having a good career as having a good life, but it may not always be the same. Rather, having and maintaining a work-life balance should be considered.

According to Hillary Clinton, ‘Don’t confuse having a career with having a life.’

Irene Asemota
December 2021

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