Work-life balance is one of the biggest issue faced by today’s modern workforce.
Australian families are struggling with some of the worst work-life balance in the world. Australia lies below the OECD average in terms of work-life balance: Australian full-time employees reported having 30 minutes less time off (i.e. time spent on leisure and personal care) than those in other OECD countries, and more than 13% of employees regularly worked 50 hours or more per week in 2016.
According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development‘s (OECD) ‘Better Life Index’ Australians are in the worst third for working very long hours and in regard to the time devoted to leisure and personal care.
Finding a balance between your work and your life outside work can seem a daunting challenge even in the best of times. In one of our previous articles we’ve pointed out to an e-book we’ve created that provides some actionable advice on how to develop a healthy work-life balance. In this article we’ll reveal the most common misconceptions about work-life balance to assist you in the pursuit of finding the balance that’s right for you.
To achieve greater work-life balance and avoid the burnout phenomenon you should avoid these 10 common misconceptions about work-life balance:
Myth #1: Reduce the Number of Hours Worked per Week
Working fewer hours per week won’t necessarily make you any happier nor contribute to achieve your desired level of work-life balance. It surely is important not to overdo it, and work for 60 hours per week. It is a fact that there are just as many unhappy people in jobs that require 20 hours per week as there are in jobs that require 40.
What is important is how productive you are at work, and how effectively you spend your time outside work. The work-life balance doesn’t derive only from the hours spent at work, but also from your personal and professional goals, family and friends priorities and health needs. Work-life balance is not affected by the number of working hours, but by the quality of hours you spend doing what you love.
Myth #2: A Definition that Works for All
Achieving the ideal work-life balance requires time, effort and specific steps that need to be taken which are different for all of us. For some the definition of the Ideal Work-life Balance may mean working 50 hours, 6 days per week. For some it will mean the 9-5, Monday-Friday work week. For others the ideal work-life balance is working Monday-Sunday having flexible working hours and the ability to work from home.
The thing to remember is to figure out what works best for you, your goals and aspirations. Then find the road and work hard towards achieving it!
Myth #3: There’s a Magical Finish Line
As Brian Smith, at S Brian Smith Group puts it: “There’s no magic finish line that brings success and fulfillment. Instead, build a habit of living each day successful and fulfilled. If you stress and overwork yourself every day, you’re just cementing a bad habit of overwork and stress. No exit or amount of money or will end that bad habit. Build the life you want to live today and don’t put it off.”
Myth #4: Work-life Balance Is All about Time Management
Work-life balance is not about finding time to fit everything into your day. It is about spending your time effectively on what is most important to you. Think about what matters the most to you, what makes you happy and fulfilled at the end of the day. This may be working out at the gym, hanging out with family or friends, the time spent on professional development, and even work. We hear it all the time the real work-life balance is maintaining that 50/50 ratio between work and life. For some people their work means life, their work matters to them and makes them happy as much as others are happy by going to the cinema on a Saturday night.
What we want to say here is that YOUR work-life balance depends upon YOU, YOUR VALUES, DREAMS and GOALS!
Myth #5: Work-life balance is for those that hate their jobs and aren’t serious about career advancement
No, it doesn’t have to mean that if you like to bring in more balance to your life you hate your job. If you don’t want to work 100% of the time you still care about your job and career advancement. It is just that there are other things in your life that make you happy and you enjoy doing. Work life balance is a frame of mind. Your job isn’t everything. You can make the decision to focus your time on every aspect of your life, not just your job.