Is Your Life in Balance?
Work-life balance is a concept of prioritizing between work/career and ambition vs. lifestyle/health/pleasure/leisure/family/spiritual development. The balance between work and life varies for everyone because of diverse priorities and different lifestyles.
When it comes to maintaining work and life balance, there are two important points to consider:
- Daily achievement, including daily victories and accomplishments
- Enjoyment, including your satisfaction and pride, happiness and sense of well-being, and all the joys of living a full life.
So, do you have proper balance between your personal and business lives? Or are the demands of your work infringing upon the quantity and quality of time you have with family, friends, hobbies, and community?
The following work-life balance quiz will tell you the degree to which you should be concerned about work-life balance:
Work-life Balance Quiz
- I work 60 or more hours per week.
- I have little personal down time.
- When I get home from work, I am exhausted.
- There seems to be precious little time to enhance personal relationships.
- “Fun” is no longer a word in my vocabulary.
If you answered “Yes” to 2 or more of the statements above, you owe it to yourself to learn more about work-life balance.
The term work-life balance first appeared in the 1970s. The expression means having equilibrium among all the priorities in your life. It is interesting to note that state of balance differs from person to person. However, if there is little or no balance over an extended period of time, the vast majority of people experience stress and, eventually, burnout.
Persistent stress results in fatigue, frequent illness, eating disorders, upset stomach, headaches, forgetfulness, sleep deprivation, aggravation and irritability with colleagues, family, and friends. Research indicates that the workplace has become the single greatest source of stress. Let’s look at a handful of scenarios that create stress in the workplace. Do any of these statements belong to you?
- I have little impact or control over decision-making.
- My expectations of work performance do not meet those of my superiors.
- There seems to be little opportunity for growth, development, or promotion.
- My workload is very heavy, requiring long hours and infrequent breaks.
- My role is not clearly defined.
- The level of communication within my firm does not meet my level of satisfaction.
- I am involved in routine tasks that offer little or no professional stimulation.
- My work environment is unpleasant.
Today’s intense, competitive business climate has created corporate cultures that demand more and more from agency principals, sales managers, producers, account managers, claim consultants, loss control specialists and customer service representatives. To get ahead, 60-to-70-hour work weeks appear to be the new standard. Work overload has been exacerbated by computer technologies that were intended to make our lives easier. Technology has allowed our clients to view the insurance and risk management profession as a 24/7 business making the achievement of work-life balance very challenging.
If you answered yes to several of the above questions and scenarios, you may be more than just a hard worker. You may be on your way to full-blown work-life imbalance. If so, it’s time to take a long, hard look at your work life. Ask your family and close friends for help in assessing whether you are addicted to work. Recognizing the problem is the first step toward resolving it.