Work-life balance: improve the balance

Kim Erich
March 6, 2024

A good work-life balance means that one aspect does not negatively affect the other. You feel good, you do not experience an excessive amount of stress and at work you are able to work efficiently and productively. In addition, you don't take work home with you and you are able to relax and do fun things at home. Sounds good, right? However, many people find it difficult to find or maintain this balance. In this blog, I will take you through the consequences of a disturbed balance and give you advice on how to improve your balance again.

When are your work and personal life truly balanced?

Finding a healthy work-life balance is very important to ensure fulfillment and well-being in both your professional and personal life. This balance is achieved when you are not only focused and productive during work hours, but also able to enjoy leisure time carefree. It means not carrying the worries of work into your personal life, giving you the freedom to fully relax and enjoy precious moments with family, friends and hobbies.

The consequences of a disturbed work-life balance

An increased risk of burnout

A disturbed work-life balance can increase the risk of burnout. Long-term overload at work without enough rest and recovery can in fact lead to exhaustion and reduced performance. If you experience a very high workload at work and you are unable to recharge at home or let go of work, then the next day you are also unable to cope with new challenges at work. Your battery will keep draining. Read more about burnout prevention in this article.

Reduced productivity

Work-life imbalance can lead to decreased productivity. This is because constant stress and fatigue hinder your ability to work effectively, so tasks take longer and the quality of your work can decrease.

Health issues

An imbalance can cause a variety of health problems, both physical and mental. Sleep problems, high blood pressure, anxiety disorders and even depression, among others, can result from the combination of experienced stress and the inability to recover and relax adequately. Scientific studies emphasize that long-term exposure to stress hormones such as cortisol can negatively impact the immune system, brain structure and overall health. After all, the body and mind are strongly connected.

Improve your work-life balance: Binqy's advice

Create boundaries

Create clear boundaries between work and personal time by sticking to specific work hours and creating a clear barrier between the two. Develop a routine for the beginning and end of the work day to mark the transition and mentally distance yourself from work. For example, at the end of your workday, clean up your physical workspace. Put away documents, close your computer and don't open it again until the next morning. Once you close off at work, you won't be available again until the next day.

Learn to relax and recover

Consciously set aside time for activities that help you relax after an intense work day, such as walking, reading, exercising or listening to soothing music. Yes, that means including activities such as "sitting outside in the sun" or "reading a book" in your schedule now. Anything that promotes relaxation is good. Find out what is relaxing for you personally and make this a habit. Also take enough short breaks during the (work) day to recharge your energy.

Improve sleep quality

Improve your sleep quality! During your sleep, both your body and mind recover from all the efforts of the day. You recharge your energy to deal with new challenges the next day. Read what you can do to improve your sleep quality in this article.

Maintaining the right balance, how do you do it?

Maintaining a proper work-life balance obviously requires attention. It is important that you set boundaries by, for example, turning off notifications after work hours and not opening your work email. In addition, it is important that you continue to prioritize well. That way, you give energy to the tasks that are worth it. This will increase your productivity and reduce work stress. Divide tasks into manageable parts. A useful tool you can use to prioritize is Covey's Time Management Matrix. Read more about the tool in this article! Next to that, it is important to continue to integrate enough self-care. As described earlier, consciously set aside time for relaxing activities!

Ask your employer for help

Employers play an important role in supporting a healthy work-life balance. Don't hesitate to talk to your employer about possible adjustments to your work schedule or additional support in managing stress. Ask if you and your supervisor can schedule some time to review some things one-on-one, and come to the conversation prepared by writing down what you want to say. Use "I" statements to indicate what your needs are.

Written by
Kim Erich

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