Finding an effective work-life balance is important for professional and personal success. Imbalances in one area of your life can influence others, and finding the right balance is a growing challenge.
Canadians Increasingly Feel Overloaded
58% of Canadians report “overload” as a result of the pressures associated with work, home and family, and other areas of life – a sign that it’s time to assess our lifestyles and find ways to create more balance and eliminate unnecessary stresses in our lives.
“So many people get stressed out and they try to find things to do to remove that stress. What you really should be doing is setting up a lifestyle, process, or routine so you never get to that place where you’re completely overwhelmed. In the world we’re living in, there is a lot of anxiety. There’s an overwhelming nature to all the stimulus and responsibilities our generation’s being given on the track to career and family growth. Setting aside some time and working on your mental stability is, I think, important,” – Next Step Realty CEO Blair Brandt, on World Economic Forum.
An Increase in Hours at Work Contributes to Imbalance
According to a recent EY survey, managing work-life balance is more difficult than ever. The survey found:
- Approximately half (46%) of managers globally are working more than 40-hour weeks, and four in 10 say their hours have increased over the past five years.
- Millennials (78%) are almost twice as likely than Boomers (47%) to have a spouse/partner working at least full-time.
- “Finding time for me” is the most prevalent challenge faced by millennial parents who are managers in the U.S. (76%), followed by “getting enough sleep” and “managing personal and professional life” (67%).
Signs You Are Out of Balance
Here are the main signs that it’s time to put more effort into balancing your priorities:
- You always feel tired and are not getting enough sleep
- You have difficulty concentrating on the task at hand
- You often feel bad about neglecting different responsibilities
- You feel like you are losing control, running around in circles
- You question yourself and your abilities
5 Tips to Improve Work-Life Balance
- Determine what matters most: There is no perfect work-life balance. To find the right balance in your life, you need to determine what matters to you most and prioritize accordingly. For some, this could mean a 50-50, 60-40, or even a 70-30 work-life split.
- Schedule everything: Eliminating stress and feeling overwhelmed can be accomplished by scheduling everything, including things like making time for your family, exercise, and leisure time. Many professionals are great at scheduling work-related tasks, but fall short when it comes to scheduling other activities.
- Be self-aware: Understanding the warning signs of imbalance is a key factor to being self-aware. When you start to feel overworked or overwhelmed it’s a sign that you need to take corrective steps to re-balance.
- Take a technology break: Constant accessibility can make it seem like the work day never ends. Turning off your social media and email notifications, shutting down your laptop at a reasonable time, and taking a break from technology allows you to unplug.
- Leave your work at work: This may be easier said than done for many, but it needs to be done, at least occasionally. You need a break from work to allow yourself to refresh and refocus.