Thinking of a work-life balance brings a certain picture to one’s mind and mostly that of a teeter totter. It’s impossible to keep perfectly balanced; someone always ends up lower than the other. Neither does standing in the middle help balance it. So taking it on the real life perspective, the work-life balance inevitably means one side or the other stays down.
In today’s busy world, prioritizing between ones work and their personal life can be a huge challenge. Most often people find themselves running their way up the corporate ladder with little time for anything else but their work duties.
For some people the right balance means keeping updated on what is happening in their family member’s lives, for others it means having the energy to be fully present both at home and at work. Otto Kapuka, a life coach and trainer of human capital at Arts Master Consultancy said that work life balance is not really just about balancing one’s personal life but also family life and all other aspects of life making sure that whatever one is doing nothing is lacking behind.
Otto stated that there are a whole lot of things that can cause an imbalance between one’s personal and their work life. “One major thing that causes an imbalance in one’s work and personal life balance is lack of time management, a lot of people don’t have the whole concept of time management and end up spending either more time at work and neglect their personal life or the opposite,” explained Otto. He further explained how some people lack vision saying that most people don’t have a vision and as a result end up doing whatever comes their way.
“It also boils down to discipline, a lot of people are not disciplined enough to really understand the importance of having a balanced life. You find for instance that a person is supposed to spend an hour on one thing but end up spending two hours. Some people also don’t know that they are supposed to have that balance and in most cases they end up suffering from bad results.”
Dangers of an imbalanced work-life
Otto believes that the lack of balance between one’s work and personal lives can be very dangerous because this means more attention to one thing and negligence to the other. If one doesn’t do their job effectively it affects their production and on the other hand not spending enough time with family members creates a disconnection between them and their family members and as a result they hardly catch up with family matters. “Lack of good connection with family members can be a serious thing especially when one finds him or herself in trouble,” said Otto.
Keeping it balanced
It is important that people plan ahead and
prioritise. The greatest way to increase one’s free time is to ensure that they use their work time as effectively as possible. “People need to learn how to prioritise what matters the most in their lives because it helps people to plan accordingly. Having a list of tasks planned according to priority will help you manage your time more effectively,” advised Otto. He continued to say that it is also important to stay disciplined and committed to one’s plan. “It doesn’t make sense to have a plan and not stick to it,” added Otto.
Otto also cautioned people to know the difference between their work, personal life, leisure time and their family time saying that each one of them needs adequate attention. “People often get lost in their work that they forget all the other aspects on life. Of course it may not be possible to spend equal time on each of the aspect but of the twenty four hours a day, try to maneuver things and try to find a balance to ensure that one part of one’s life is not lacking behind.”
Otto emphasized that a work and personal life that is well balanced is very crucial throughout one’s life. It allows enough time for family members to connect. He further explained that it is important for people to take introspection in their lives and really see if their lives are well balanced.
Another important aspect that people need to come to terms with is learning to delegate. Sometimes people feel that they are the only ones capable of doing something, which is usually not the case. If there is work that can be done by others, let them do it. Moreover, people need to limit the time wasting activities. Part of the reason many people spend extra hours at work is because of time spent on activities such as chatting to colleagues or on social media.
Otto advised people to always leave work on time and avoid taking work at home saying that it can be very dangerous. “People should by all means try to leave their work at the office and when they get home it should be about the people at home,” he said.
Therefore, it is important to structure one’s tasks starting from the most urgent to the least and with the view of leaving at a certain time and committing to it. People should also learn to draw the line between their work and their personal life by keeping their professional and personal time separate.
Finding a balance between your professional and personal lives is not like a crash diet, but rather, a lifestyle change. Habits are formed not by doing everything at once but by slowly making lasting changes.
Therefore it is important to start with committing to a healthy choice and keep building on it. “If you do not have yourself you cannot do your work, therefore you need yourself to do your work. Get back to the basics and know what matters the most, concluded Otto.
You don’t have to neglect any aspect of your life; you just need to find a balance.