Work Life Balance – Does it exist?

Simply put, work-life balance is the flexibility to accomplish work in your business life, and have the time and energy to enjoy your personal life. But is it really possible to achieve or is it simply a myth?

The biggest reason people argue in favour of this being a myth is rather simple: most of us don’t know what balance means for us individually. It is tough to make time for family, friends, community, personal growth, self-care, and other personal activities, in addition to the demands of the workplace.

So what factors create this notion that we can have it all and achieve this ying and yang:

Technology = Freedom? – Most technology after all is designed to keep us all connected 24/7. A good thing right? Maybe not. It has made it much easier for employees to be ‘permanently’ at work, blurring the distinction between professional and personal. It’s rare for people to leave home without a mobile device. And these devices have our email, social media, as well of course the ability to call and text. Simply, you are never alone, available 24/7 and this sense of connection can make us feel that we have to be available at all times.

Corporate Success and Productivity = Happiness? – We all like to do well at work and we all have the days where we work more hours then others. But many of us also forget that although this can give us small wins, the hamster wheel of employment is a long one and happiness shouldn’t solely be based around your work. Your happiness should be about who you are as a person as a whole, not just who you are as a professional. Happiness is in your relationships with people and things and looking after yourself. So sometimes stop, take a minute and think, do you really need to work that extra hour, will it really make a difference.

Managed Time = More Time? – Compartmentalising life is something many have tried, in order to strike a balance but unsurprisingly have failed at it. Many moons ago, some clever stick came up with the idea of working to three 8 hour blocks a day – 8hrs for sleep, 8hrs for work, 8hrs for social. It doesn’t work. Firstly it is incredibly stressful, secondly it doesn’t account for other hours required in the day for things such as travel, eating and other circumstances. It’s a very unnatural way to live and very unhealthy one and one that will most certainly not give you more time.

Looking at the myths lets be honest they don’t and won’t make a difference to this equilibrium we all seek, so what do we believe can help:

Screen Time – How we use it can determine whether it can help or hinder work-life balance. We live in a digital world, where it’s easier than ever to communicate and I believe that the onus is on the employer to create a culture that can support employees’ work-life balance. Employers, can set an example for their staff. Creating workplace cultures that value personal time, not expecting everyone to be accessible and available all the time and ensure that everyone has time to pursue their own personal passions.

Planning – Make plans! Dinner plans with the family or friends, a movie night, a day outing. It doesn’t matter. Make social commitments; this will force you to leave your work and recharge.

Timing – Stick to a work schedule as much as humanly possible. But, also, give yourself some leeway. Stuff happens, and the occasional curve ball is thrown. But, as much as possible, sticking to a work schedule will help provide boundaries. Some people are morning people and others thrive later in the day. Knowing when you’re the most switched-on can help manage your timing and create better productivity.

Exercise – Many studies have been conducted that show people who exercise are more awake, more mentally stimulated, happier and have a desire to function at a higher level. We aren’t all gym bunnies but sometimes just taking yourself out into the fresh air for a short walk can work wonders.

Take a Holiday – Holidays can provide a valuable opportunity to unwind and recharge, switch off from work and reconnect. A study shows that 45% of the UK population end their year with unused annual leave, some even losing the holiday completely. Do not be one of the 45%.

Take care of your mental health – Now more than ever, it’s crucial to prioritize your own well-being.


Attitudes on work-life balance will continue to evolve with cultural, generational and economic changes.

So can it really be achieved? Is there a step by step guide? Is following the above going to give you the balance you want? Is it a myth?


Because it’s all about your perception and about your approach to your work and to your life.

Achieving work-life balance is about achieving an equilibrium between your professional and personal life and their is not a one-size-fits-all solution.

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