In our previous lesson, we defined what work-life balance is, and we ended with a call for you to take stock of what roles you are juggling. Whether it's work and family you're juggling…or maybe family and a volunteer role you're juggling…keep those roles in mind as we progress through the lessons in this course.
In this lesson, we will talk about why we should pursue a work-life balance. After all, some might want to devote an overwhelming majority of their time to one role and one role only. I'm NOT going to tell you that is wrong. Instead, let me share some research with you to help convince you that work-life balance is worth pursuing.
For starters – there is the idea of job satisfaction – several research studies have been conducted that show that those men and women who have a life characterized by work-life balance are MORE satisfied – or happier – at their jobs than their counterparts who have substantial IMbalance. Put simply – those with work-life balance are happier at work…and many of us typically spend 40-50 hours at work each week, so it makes sense that we would want to be happy there.
Next, in a study of over 1,000 adults, researchers found that those without work-life balance had higher cholesterol levels and BMI levels – both of which are NOT ideal for good health.
Finally, for those of you who have paid employment as one of your primary roles: work-life balance is highly correlated with job performance…meaning that those workers who have work-life balance tend to perform at a higher level than their colleagues who do NOT have work-life balance. This research finding is very important because many people assume that pursuing work-life balance comes at a cost to your job. That's not the case!
A final note before we end this lesson: all of us will have seasons of life where our work and life roles are NOT in balance. Even when you take into account and practices the strategies we're going to go over in this course, there are seasons where we must devote more time to work….or perhaps more time to family or another role. For example, if you are a tax accountant in the United States, you likely are going to have a busy season of long work hours from January to April. That's common, and that's OK. What we are aiming for is to have seasons of long work hours and NOT a year-round, continual cycle of overwork and IMbalance between work and life.
Your task before listening to the next lesson: Reflect on WHY you want to pursue a work-life balance. Is it for the sake of your spouse or children? Is it so that you'll have more time and energy to pursue a hobby? Also, as we move into the time management strategy, begin to think of what fills your time over the course of a typical week.
In our next lesson, we will begin learning strategies that will help us balance work and life – and we'll begin with the classic work-life strategy of time management.