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Navigating work and life - the importance of having a work-life balance

Working and striving in your career, doing chores, meeting friends, taking time for self-care, having proper meals, and getting enough sleep - at times it seems quite impossible to get it  all done  during a day? Finding the right balance between all these daily tasks is called work-life balance.

Work-life balance is the concept of allocating time and energy between work and other important aspects of life, such as family, friends, hobbies, and self-care. The right balance may look different for everyone, but essentially, it is about finding harmony between the demands of your career and your desire for a fulfilling personal life.

Why do you need a work-life balance?

A healthy work-life balance is essential to your overall well-being and success. If you are constantly overwhelmed by work, you may start to neglect other areas of your life, which can lead to constant stress, burnout, and even health problems. But having enough time and energy outside of work to focus on other aspects of life, such as making time for relationships, engaging in activities you enjoy, and practicing self-care, can improve your mental and physical health. It allows you to take control of your life and how you spend your daily hours (Kalev & Dobbin, 2022).

Signs of an unbalanced work-life balance

An unharmonious work-life balance can manifest in various ways. Some common indicators include (Pofeldt, 2023):

• Feeling constantly stressed or overwhelmed.

• Difficulty disconnecting from work, even during personal time.

• Neglecting relationships with family and friends.

• Lack of time for hobbies or activities that bring joy.

• Physical symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, or insomnia.

How to improve work-life balance

Improving work-life balance is a process that requires conscious effort and self-awareness. What an individual needs is subjective; for some, it’s a more flexible work schedule; for others, it may be support from their environment, or more time for themselves.

Here are some tips that might help achieve and maintain a healthier balance:

1. Set boundaries: Establish clear boundaries between work and personal life. Avoid checking work emails or taking calls outside of designated work hours. At the same time, don't let your personal schedule interfere with your work, so you don't feel stressed or overwhelmed by your after-work schedule and responsibilities, lose focus during work hours, and end up working overtime to meet deadlines. Learn to say "no" in both aspects of your life. It's okay if you can't always meet everyone's needs; we only have so many hours in the day to do things.

2. Prioritize self-care: Make time for activities that nourish your mind, body, and soul. This could include exercise, meditation, reading, or spending time in nature - anything that helps you to wind down.

3. Schedule downtime: Make sure to schedule regular breaks and downtime throughout your day. This could be a short walk, a coffee break, or simply a moment to relax and recharge. Don’t forget to take days off from work in order to let your body and mind have a longer rest over a longer period of time in order to recharge. Time off can help you come back to work feeling refreshed and more focused.  

4. Reach out to people: Open up to the people close to you or a therapist if you feel overwhelmed by life. Talking about your problems helps you better cope with the stressors of your life. It’s also important to delegate and ask for help when needed. Learning to delegate can help lighten your workload and free up time for other aspects of your life.

Remember, work-life balance is a personal journey, and what works for one person may not work for another. It's important to listen to your own needs and priorities and make adjustments as needed. By prioritizing self-care, setting boundaries, and making time for what matters most, you can cultivate a more fulfilling and balanced life.


Kalev, A., & Dobbin, F. (2022, September 1). The Surprising Benefits of Work/Life Support. Harvard Business Review.

Pofeldt, E. (2023, July 25). Council Post: Nine Signs You Need Better Work-Life Balance (And How To Get It). Forbes.

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