Work-Life-Balance: Trend or Future?

Jule Meyer

For some years now, the public debate has been dominated by the need to reconcile work and private life. Critics claim that the idea of work-life balance is the next idealistic dream of all those who simply don't want to work. But only a few manage to perform at their best in the workplace, come home in the evening and then take care of the family and lead an active social life.

Integrating work into life

If you look at the concept behind the work-life balance, then the distinction between life and work should seem strange to most people. However, this does not seem to be the case, as work has long been considered a separate part of life. The discourse about the compatibility of work and life thus prevents the solution of the problem actually addressed, namely the sustainable integration of work and life. The separation of work from the rest of life leads to dangerous dichotomies such as life vs. job satisfaction, leisure vs. working time, positive vs. negative activities. It is dangerous because it leads to a constant comparison between work-related and non-work-related tasks. Is the work-life spectrum in reality not much more diverse and less linear? Isn't work part of life and also part of leisure time? Can't work also be exciting and fulfilling instead of just depressing?

One role in focus?

So the actual focus of the discussion should be on personal balance, as suggested by Morris (2019). We need to question how we can shape our lives to enjoy different social roles such as partner, friend, athlete, worker and grandchild. Focusing only on one social role does not ultimately lead to increased satisfaction. Human needs are too complex to be met by a single social role.

Keeping the body in balance

In order to find personal balance, we need to ask ourselves questions that cover all six dimensions of our basic and developmental needs. Each of them cannot be covered by a single social role. These include physical, emotional, intellectual, social, spiritual and professional aspects of our lives. To evaluate the physical component, ask yourself how often you are physically active, how well you eat, and whether your habits are positive. This is the only way to ensure that your body has everything it needs to function.

Keeping the soul healthy

On an emotional level, it is about finding a lack of skills that help to deal effectively with emotions. In addition, pay attention to how your thought patterns affect your emotions. Also make sure that your intellectual needs are met. How much intellectual stimulation do you experience and do you use regularly? Social needs include healthy relationships with family and others. But questions about your purpose in life are also important. Finally, professional needs such as opportunities for self-realization are also important. If you notice major deficiencies in some of the components, ask yourself how these affect your life satisfaction. If it has a major impact on your overall well-being, it is up to you to decide for change.

Tips for more personal balance

  1. Be conscientious and think about why you do what you do every day.
  1. visualize your goals, it will help to overcome personal boundaries.
  2. stay calm even in difficult times.
  3. prioritize your goals and use them as a guide for daily decisions.
  4. remember that balance is not the goal, but part of the process.
  5. take time for daily or weekly checks.

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