Is Work-life Balance a myth?

Is Work-life Balance a myth?

Is work-life balance possible in today’s time and age, or is it just a far-fetch concept that is disconnected from reality?

The concept of balancing work and personal life started in the late 1800s, way longer than most people have imagined. Back then, the idea that one should limit the amount of time spent at work dates back to manufacturing laws. As time passes, the idea expanded. Now this concept doesn’t just apply to one or two industries. In this digital era, work-life balance has become every employee’s clamor.

What is work-life balance?

The term work-life balance is defined by the Cambridge dictionary as, “the amount of time you spend doing your job compared with the amount of time you spend with your family and doing things you enjoy.”

The idea is for people to live a balanced life- between their careers/professions and personal lives. One shouldn’t overpower the other, but instead, have a clear boundary of when to enjoy life as it is and when to hustle and enrich one’s career.

Is it achievable?

People probably have different views about it but until now, achieving work-life balance remains to be debatable. The mass influx of workers made the job market extremely competitive. Thus, for an employee to go up the corporate ladder or for someone to build up an empire, he or she needs to be excellent in their career.

The thing is, being excellent in one’s job implies countless overtime, spending 12 to 16 hours a day working on a project, always being on the phone, in the office, in a meeting, etc. Which isn’t bad, per se. Cliché or not, we can’t have everything at once. To reach the level of success you are aiming for, sacrificing some things is inevitable.

Especially now with the global inflation. For ordinary employees, one job isn’t enough to make ends meet. You need to hustle and grind, giving up time for yourself and your loved ones to make sure you can provide. It is a hard pill to swallow, but it is the reality for ordinary employees.

How do you find work-life balance in that situation? You don’t. When you have bills to pay, a family to feed, and the need to keep a roof above your head, you will choose to forget about other things aside from earning money. Instead of work-life balance, you aim for better time management skills. When you know how to manage your time wisely, and plan and organize your schedule properly, working 2 or 3 jobs will be possible.

So, is work-life balance a myth?

Yes and no. It all depends on how you feel about your work (is it something you love doing), your relationship with other people (whether you have a family of your own or not), and your financial needs. To each his own, as they said. We can never separate life and work, we need work to live. If you choose to spend your time working 16 hours a day, 7 days a week, that’s on you. It is where you find satisfaction, and it is where your priorities lie.

On the other hand, if a person won’t choose that path, work-life balance for them is real. Learning to say no and setting boundaries between work and personal life is not something you should be ashamed of. It doesn’t mean you are not working as hard as others. You can still be productive even without rendering overtime. Learn to prioritize, up your time management skills, plan and organize your schedules, focus on work, and avoid distractions.

Work-life balance is both a necessity and a luxury. A necessity in a way that no matter how much you love your job, stress and pressure are always there, and burnout will likely happen if you won’t take a breather. Luxury is for people who can’t afford it because life has been tough for them, and they may not have been given the same opportunities that others have.

At the end of the day, work-life balance is possible if you want it to happen. It all boils down to where your priorities lie.