Have you ever wondered how many hours people spend at work per week? We found research conducted by Harvard Business School which says that 94% people happen to work more than 50 hours per week and nearly 50% people tend to work more than 65. That’s a lot, isn’t it? It seems like people didn’t know that too much work causes stress and tiredness. Well, they perfectly know it, but at the same time, they are not able to find any solution which could make their work shorter and more productive.
As a result, overwork destroys their relationship with the family members and friends and turns out to be harmful to their health. Because all of that they become unhappy. A chain reaction like in chemistry classes. Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, said that nowadays the idea of work-life balance does not make any sense. Is it really true? Maybe there are some other ways to live a healthy lifestyle? Let’s find it out.
Work-life balance — how can we interpret it?
We don’t know how to define work-life balance. It depends on what kind of work you do. If you have a full-time job, it’s rather easy to work regular hours without staying after-hours. If you run your own business, though, a startup or something like that, your job is your life for at least first three years — We know this from our own experiences. Some say that building a company is as much engaging and time-consuming as building a relationship and we totally agree with that. Work-life balance is possible only when both parts of your life (work and life outside of work) are important and interesting for you. If your work is not satisfying enough and it actually bores you, you can’t be dedicated to it in 100%. If you’re having a hard time in your private life, it’s possible that you’ll devote yourself to your work, not to your family.
But work-life balance can be disastrous — in practice, it’s almost impossible to have your life perfectly organized. You start to count the hours you spend at the office, with your children or in the gym. It’s a trap! As a matter of fact, it’s really difficult to achieve a perfect work-life balance.
But there are some alternatives! Let’s have a look at work-life integrity and work-life rhythm
We really recommend “21 Ways to Manage the Stuff That Sucks Up Your Time”, a book by Grace Marshall. It changed our way of thinking about the time spent at work and outside of work. What she proposes is work-life integrity. You have to ask yourself a question: are you the same person at work and after work? Are you guided by the same values and purposes? Work-life integrity isn’t about how much time we spend at work. It’s about who we are at work. When you are true to yourself in doing your job, there is a feeling of peace that comes with it. If your work conflicts with your values, it lacks meaning and satisfaction and your life seems out of balance, no matter how much you achieve and how successful you are. The same applies to the life outside of work.
I’m a huge fan of the idea of work-life rhythm.
Work-life rhythm means that there can be highs and lows and we don’t have to struggle to make everything “balanced”. We all have those moments during the day when we need to speed up or when we need to slow down and chill. Find your rhythm. Instead of trying to slow down when you’re in a rush and speed up when you feel sluggish, let’s just go with the flow of things. Let’s think of rest and recovery as essential to our productivity. Studies have shown that our natural physiology works best in cycles of 90–120 minutes followed by times of rest and recovery. Keep that in mind! Manage your energy, not your time.