If you feel like a hamster on a wheel at work, yet your performance is lacking, it’s time to realize how achieving a work-life balance can help you be a better employee.
But before you start trying to split your work and life activities into neat little blocks of time, understand this: “It’s no secret that the key to a successful career and happy personal life is being able to strike a balance between the two,” said Virtual Vocations CEO and co-founder Laura Spawn. “Perfect equality is a myth, however, and it is far more beneficial to focus on the quality of time you’re spending both personally and professionally — and not so much on the quantity.”
Now that you know that you don’t have to puzzle over how to split time equally between your work and life but rather find a healthy balance between the two, here’s how doing so can make you a better employee — straight from business professionals, life coaches and executive coaches.
You Enjoy Work More
If you do as Spawn said and focus on the quality of time spent on both work and your personal life, there are a lot of benefits.
When work is all-consuming, it can result in feelings of powerlessness and resentment, said Patricia Thompson, Ph.D., executive coach and president of Silver Lining Psychology. But achieving a work-life balance can help you enjoy work more.
“I have seen many clients who have lost a session of passion for their jobs,” Thompson said. “In my coaching with them, I helped them to get back a healthier sense of work-life balance so that they could better recharge. The result? As you might expect, they felt happier overall. However, they also tended to get back in touch with the aspects of their jobs that they loved in the first place, and so their work satisfaction increased.”
You Experience an Increase in Productivity
The right equilibrium between your life and work can translate to improved performance and productivity in your job because you will be capable of handling your responsibilities well, said Natalie Maximets, certified life transformation coach at OnlineDivorce.
Lori Oberbroeckling, a corporate executive, mom of four and author of the book “Secrets of Supermom: How Extraordinary Moms Succeed at Work and Home & How You Can Too!” further explained:
“We know from the research that a feeling of balance between work responsibilities and home responsibilities allows people to be happier overall. Happy people are both better at managing stress and are more productive at work. This increased efficiency and productivity at work provides more flexible time which breeds more work-life balance. It is a self-fulfilling cycle.”
You Have More Motivation and Focus Each Day
Having a work-life balance helps Chargebacks911 COO Monica Eaton-Cardone stay motivated and focused when she’s working because she instinctively knows she’ll be able to rest when she’s done. “There’s a time and place for hard work, but always remember that at the end of the day, the best thing you can do is step back and give yourself a chance to reset.”
You Have Less Burnout
Work-life balance is the key to avoiding burnout, said Amie Devero, strategy consultant and executive coach for high-growth start-up founders and leaders.
“The benefits of that ‘work-life balance’ accrue in lots of ways. Perhaps most obviously by making people happier and more likely to stay in the job. When people sleep well, have time to handle their lives, families, health and recreation, they are better rested, less anxious and more energetic.”
You Experience More Creativity
Devero also had an interesting perspective on how work-life balance can drive creativity:
“But beyond that, when people have time to experience different things — outside of work and colleagues — they are more creative. Innovating and solving thorny problems requires lateral thinking. The stimuli that comes from reading, exercise, nature and having conversations with non-colleagues enhances that. Our non-work experiences provide more sources of ideas.”
You Experience Better Mental and Physical Health
Maintaining a balance between work and life can promote better mental and physical health, said Paul French, managing director of Intrinsic Search.
“There is a sharper focus on mental health right now. Employees who have enough time to be with their families and friends and to enjoy activities outside the workplace are less likely to fall prey to professional depression and anxiety. These negative mental states can end up affecting your physical health leading to problems such as absenteeism and even possible unemployment if you lose your job or have to leave because of illness.”
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