A healthy work/life balance has seemingly never been more difficult to obtain. Working professionals are prioritizing their work life over their own health and relationships even as their mental health deteriorates.
The World Health Organization recognized this burnout culture in 2019 and described it as “chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.” The American Bar Association found that 28% of American lawyers suffered from depression and 19% had symptoms of severe anxiety. Yet with more technology and productivity tools available today than ever before, why is this still the case?
One of the reasons behind the increased amount of burnout is ignoring the signs. We’ll go over the associated costs of not maintaining a work/life balance and how to achieve it.
The Cost of Not Maintaining a Work/Life Balance
- Stress & health
- Lost time
The toll your body takes from overworking yourself can be detrimental to your health as well as the relationships in your life. Stress and fatigue can worsen and even create negative effects on your overall health and wellbeing.
By ignoring these factors and continuing to exceed your body’s natural limits, we risk losing the family and friendships which make our personal lives special.
- Time management
- Learning when to say no
- Detach from work
Not prioritizing the important tasks in work, and personal life, can lead to a decrease in your productivity and general job satisfaction.
This also spills into our personal lives when deadlines take precedence over personal time with family or friends. Understanding yourself and setting healthy limitations in both professional and personal lives will lead to an overall increase in satisfaction and output.
Discuss alternative solutions with your manager, alternate schedules and work hours if possible. “People who are most successful at finding solutions are willing to experiment until they discover ones that work.”
Also, detachment from work is a crucial aspect to a healthy work/life balance, as technology has made sure we are always accessible no matter where or when. Learn to set healthy limits, utilize tech tools such as email notification ‘snoozers’ and other features which ensure your personal time remains entirely yours.
Taking Care of Yourself
- Relax & rejuvenate
- Volunteering and hobbies
- Build a support system
Taking time away for yourself is crucial, that means from both work responsibilities as well as personal ones. Don’t sacrifice the activities and experiences that you enjoy, these are what will help you recharge your system.
Volunteering or joining external communities will also help to reinvigorate your wellbeing, while forging new relationships and decreasing mental distress. Also don’t forget that your peers and friends are probably going through similar difficulties in their work life balances.
Seek out others for support and develop systems in your life to be able to adapt to new problems as they arise.
Through technology we can separate the thin line between our work life and personal lives more efficiently than ever. Utilizing different tools and software applications the legal industry has become more streamlined than ever before. Studies found that flexible work arrangements didn’t damage business productivity, but actually increased it by 5% when workers adopted new technology and reduced time wasting activities such as commuting to and from work.
The work/life balance importance has never been more critical in creating an efficient workplace for your employees. By adapting to new tools and routines we can increase satisfaction in both our work and personal lives.