Work and family – how to get both under one roof is no longer just a question of women. In many jobs, the boundaries between work and leisure are becoming more and more fluid, and with increasing responsibility, the willingness to let them blur increases. This trend is also underlined by a term appearing more and more frequently for some time: work-life blending.
What do work-life blending and work-life balance mean?
Even if the terms are similar, they mean different things.
Work-life blending is about merging the world of life and work. You will then move flexibly from one area to the other without having a clear distinction. For example, flexible working hours or working in the home office draw the line between work and leisure. The secret lies in the relaxed individual rhythm.
On the other hand, the work-life balance definition attaches importance to the fact that the two areas of work and leisure are in a balanced relationship. So not 16 hours of work, 30 minutes of free time, and the rest consists of sleeping.
Why is a good work-life balance so important?
The current situation shows that the necessary work-life balance is unfortunately not the order of the day. In a survey by the Cologne market research institute YouGov among 744 employed academics, around 20% of the participants stated that they work for their employer at least once a month on weekends or public holidays – and that voluntarily, i.e. without an order from the boss. Around half of the respondents also answer work e-mails and calls in their free time.
All in all, employees nowadays often have more freedom, but they also pay a high price because they are less and less likely to switch off entirely after work. This is all the more true of course for self-employed people, whose existence depends on the success of their company. And of course, a certain amount of commitment and (if you will) dedication is exemplary, necessary and suitable for the company. However, you should also always make sure to take time out with friends and family. In the end, regular regeneration also helps you to remain productive.
Benefits of a good work-life balance
If the leisure time is neglected, social contacts are limited, and the permanently stressed body is prone to illnesses and states of exhaustion. If there is no opportunity for regeneration, performance is limited, and, in the worst case, burn-out can occur. In that case, one could say that there is an imperfect work health balance.
A good work-life balance can prevent just that. If you are only under a heavy workload for a short time, you can compensate for this with a long weekend. But this is more difficult with a permanent imbalance. Stressed people often neglect their partner and family, which often leads to a separation.
Even without a break, however, the emotional balance is missing and leads to loneliness. Workaholics, in particular, only notice late that something is going wrong because they have a high tolerance threshold for the imbalance. However, if you have a balanced relationship between work and leisure, you are more balanced, satisfied and motivated.
Your immune system is more robust, and you are better integrated into your social environment. Therefore, an excellent work-life balance results in emotional and physical balance, strength and health.
How you realize that your work-life balance is out of balance
Indeed, the imbalance manifests itself differently in every person. Still, in principle, excessive demands initially lead to forgetfulness or confusion . Appointments that you can otherwise easily recall from memory for the whole week without a calendar are blown away as well as significant phone numbers that you knew by heart or maybe even birthdays.
This is because your brain no longer makes a clear distinction between work and profession. It is full of information, and therefore, it can easily lead to mix-ups or a kind of “data loss” (forgetting).
You also notice that you feel overwhelmed and exhausted. Little things that you used to do on the side can sometimes become insurmountable challenges.
You have been active in a club up to now or have been regularly out with friends, and the meetings are now significantly limited because you are too tired or do not have the time or desire? Suppose you suddenly find meeting friends and family a burden and are overwhelmed by it. In that case, essential things in life are neglected because hobbies and friends provide a necessary balance to the daily stress at work.
You will also find that you don’t have time for yourself either. Maybe your diet is suffering, and there is only one fast food or one chocolate bar because of all the stress? You don’t care about your clothes anymore, and you leave the house without noticing a stain on your shirt? Don’t you have the time or inclination to go to the hairdresser because even that is too exhausting? Are you too stressed to watch a movie or read a book? These can also be vital signs that something is wrong.
10 tips to strike the right balance between work and personal life
In the best-case scenario, you will find out for yourself which work-life balance measures are suitable for you. And there are certainly many tips that can help you with this. Nevertheless, we have put together a small selection of 10 recommended measures to help you achieve a better work-life balance.
Usually, you are the first to notice that something is wrong because you know each other best. Are you unhappy and dissatisfied? Are you missing something in your life? Do friends and family complain that you are neglecting them? Do you feel weak and sick? Has your job become too strenuous for you, or is it suddenly overwhelming, even though you always take on the same tasks? If you question yourself regularly, you can quickly see if your work life has taken over. And then promptly initiate countermeasures.
Create good working relationships between colleagues
You enjoy your job, but do some colleagues or superiors drive you crazy? Or do they dislike you and even bully you? Maybe there is competition ahead of an upcoming promotion or bonus payment?
In addition to the strenuous tasks that you have to cope with every day, it can also be the colleagues who spoil your work. You go to work in the morning uncomfortable because you don’t want to meet these people. This can put a strain on you all day and put a pressure on your work balance. Because even at work itself, balanced conditions should prevail.
It is therefore helpful to maintain a good or even friendly relationship with your colleagues. Then the work goes better, and you can spend the day more motivated. Overly close bonds are usually not welcome in the workplace, but your colleagues don’t have to become your best friends and blood brothers either. It is enough if you understand well and the work is fun.
It’s not about perfection; however, nothing will fail – no matter how good they are at something and how much you get into something. And failure is stress. Therefore, learn to accept that not everything always works 100% as you would like it to. Unforeseen things happen again and again, both at work and in the family. Don’t let that throw you off track. Just reschedule and make the most of the new situation.
You can also have appointments alone
It might sound strange at first, but make appointments with yourself – and keep them. In this way, you give small breaks just as significant as meetings with customers and business partners.
Manage your time
What many people take to heart in their job can also be transferred to other areas of life or even the whole of life: If you divide your time into four zones (work, body and health, family and friends, self-realization), you can plan much better when you will how long want to spend time on what. The best thing to do is to write down exactly what your plans are. This makes it easier to implement them and not work two hours long instead of doing sports.
Delegating is part of life
If you have employees, you will probably delegate one or the other task on the job. This is also possible in private life. The more you and your family do as a team, the more time you can spend together. And children are also welcome to lend a hand – as long as the tasks entrusted to them are age-appropriate, this can even help the little ones grow up with more self-confidence and a sense of responsibility.
Make yourself to-do lists
Often it is not enough to distribute tasks to get them done. To-do lists are a natural miracle cure. It’s best to make both your own and one for the whole family. Here it is determined who has to do what by when. This is a real motivator – because nothing feels as good as ticking off something you’ve done.
Extra tip: At work, it often helps to make several lists—a large one for the whole week and a smaller one for the day in question. So you can keep track of things even in the long term.
Also Read: How To Do Market Research In 6 Simple Steps
Priorities structure the greatest chaos of tasks
Especially in stressful phases, a lot of time, which you could use sensibly, is spent on the question “What am I going to do first?”
Often we tend always to do a little bit of everything and not come to terms with anything. A better strategy is to prioritize tasks and then concentrate on working them off one by one. It is often also helpful to sit down on unpleasant things first instead of postponing it for a long time – so you can then reward yourself with the things that are more fun.
If you know where everything is, you don’t have time to search
How true! It makes sense, as silly as it sounds: Bring order into your everyday life by giving everything you regularly need a permanent place. It saves a lot of time (and nerves!) If you no longer have to look for the key every day, wonder where you put your cell phone or have to pump someone up during your lunch break because you haven’t found your wallet again.
Treat yourself to your quality time
Spending time with friends or family does not automatically mean that it is used correctly – for example, if you sit together in front of the TV for a few hours every evening. Instead, let yourself get involved in real “quality time”. Instead, do something together, play with your children, experience things with friends that you will remember for a long time.
As the boss, you should also make sure that your employees have the opportunity to get involved in their job and to find enough time for themselves, family and friends. This includes flexible working hours, enabling sabbaticals or other longer breaks, childcare in the company or company sports.
Of course, all of this is not always easy to implement for small and medium-sized companies. But: you can also use the apparent disadvantages of an SME for yourself. Unlike large corporations, you can communicate much more directly and flexibly with your employees and make very individual arrangements.