Work-Life Balance –An Individual Perspective

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Jack Welch said, “There is nothing like work-life-balance. There are work-life-choices and we live with those choices”.

Balance is the key to everything. One can progress in life by bringing about balance in the way we think, eat, feel and act. We constantly seem to be struggling with work-life-balance. Success is when there is a happy balance amongst work, family, friends and self.

Generally work life balance is perceived as a balance between the personal and professional lives. The Business Dictionary defines it as “A comfortable state of equilibrium achieved between an employee’s primary priorities of their employment position and their private lifestyle. Most psychologists would agree that the demands of an employee’s career should not overwhelm the individual’s ability to enjoy a satisfying personal life outside of the business environment”.

Is Balance Possible?

On one hand our professional lives are influenced by so many aspects – social media, ever increasing knowledge base, need to keep ourselves updated on the recent trends, the fast paced and timeline based tasks, professional growth etc., and on the other there is a demands on our personal lives to manage our family, children, hobbies, quality time with ourselves etc. There is life all around us and the herculean task is to maintain the balance.

Not ‘Balance’ but ‘Choices’

Jack Welch said, “There is nothing like work-life-balance. There are work-life-choices and we live with those choices”.

There was a time where one was able to maintain clear distinction between work and personal life. We have progressed from that age to an era where our work and personal life are integrated.  Responding to an important email on a weekend or making a call to check on children during an important meeting is something which every working professional will relate to. Rescheduling an appointment to attend a parents-teacher-meeting or postponing vacation plan to complete a project as per timeline is something which most of us would have done.

So, it is more about having a sense of control over our lives in terms of making right choices at the right time, understanding the priorities, not feeling stressed and at the same time, being effective, both personally and professionally.

Importance of Gender Neutrality

Whether good or bad, as a society we have clear demarcation of roles and responsibilities for women and men. While women have stepped out of their confines to pursue education, take up full time jobs, there is no respite from the domestic responsibilities, which makes life stressful. Society is equally unapologetic towards men who may choose full time domestic responsibilities and part time career. When we come out of this conventional mindset and be gender neutral towards family and work responsibilities, we can hope to have balance in every aspect of life.

Going by the current trends, the demands on work and life will only increase. Career progression, fulfilling personal responsibilities, being happy in our own space etc., will happen to only those who learn to integration the two worlds into one without compromising on the quality of life. As someone said, never get so busy making a living that we forget to make a life!

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