Is Work-Life Balance Really Dead?

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Apparently the work-life balance is dead. But somehow we didn’t even take notice that it actually existed thanks to today’s technological advances that keeps us connected 24/7, whether we liked it or not. It’s a pretty outdated term that probably did exist back in a time when people worked 9-5, then went home and left work at the office. But nowadays, work seems to always be with us – at home with our families, on dates, vacations…you name it, we’re always connected to work. You probably even think about work on the weekends, going over the week’s schedule in your head on Sunday.

So what is work-life balance anyway? Is it supposed to be defined as working less and spending more time at home? We don’t think so! Really, it’s all about finding some sort of balance that makes you happy. There’s no set work-life balance that everyone throws around these days because it’s a personal term that can mean something different to you than it does for me. I might think it’s cutting off any emails at 7pm to spend time with family or having some “me” time, while you might think it’s no work on weekends.

Finding the perfect balance is totally up to you. But it does need to be communicated with clear expectations to the people at work and at home so that all parties involved understand that even though you’re home you might still have work to do.

Five years back, when I was traveling more than 50% of the time, I often felt guilty about being away from home for so long. And because of that, I started blaming work for taking me away from my family. However, when I was at home, I felt guilty that I was not clearing my emails or preparing another proposal. My life revolved around living out peoples’ expectations. But the truth is, no one really expected so much from me! My mentor taught me to clarify expectations and to communicate commitments to people at work and at home. And because of it, I’m able to have a work-life balance that works for me and makes me happy. As long as you feel productive and you get your work done, then define work-life balance as however you want!

Other great ways to have the perfect work-life balance that makes you happy is to prioritize your work so that you don’t have to bring it home as much. This way you can get more done at the office and spend more time with your family. Also, learn to make do with “good enough,” because even though you always want to give 110% of yourself into projects at work and home, sometimes it’s just “good enough,” leaving you free to focus on other things that are more important.

Finding a happy medium for a work-life balance is essential to making you a happy person, both at home and at the office. And if you still haven’t found it, keep trying because when you do, you’ll be content and joyful!

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Kelvin Kong,
Founder & ambassador
Voices Of Asia

 

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