Elna Cain, a successful freelance writer and mother of twins, also manages to have time…
World of Freelancers contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I will earn a commission at no extra cost to you.
Do you know what work/life balance means? A lot of people don’t. Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place to find out! I’ll explain here what work life balance means for you personally.
What Work/Life Balance Means
In short, work/life balance is the balance you strike between how much you work and how much you don’t work.
Work = your career, along with any side hustles you may have
Life = all aspects of your life outside of work. This includes necessary parts of life like running errands and sleeping as well as more enjoyable, fun parts of life like relaxing or partying.
Everyone who works has some sort of work/life balance, whether they realize it or not. It’s sort of an invisible entity that can have a big impact on your physical and mental health, your family and loved ones and, of course, your work.
Even though we may not think much about our work/life balance, it’s a really important part of our lives.
While a healthy balance between our work lives and the rest of our lives is very important, it unfortunately also can be very difficult to achieve.
Good versus bad work/life balance
When we hear the phrase work/life balance, we typically think of it in a positive way. We usually think of having a good work/life balance.
But when there’s something positive, there’s usually also something negative. There is also poor work/life balance.
If you don’t have a good balance between work and the rest of your life, then you’re likely to become overworked. Being overworked feels terrible, and it’s pretty terrible for you. Overwork can lead to burnout, which is a state of exhaustion caused by too much stress.
Burnout can result in physical problems like headaches, muscle pain, loss of appetite and a lower immunity to illness. It can cause mental, emotional and behavioral problems too such as self-doubt, loss of motivation, isolating yourself from others and substance dependency.
So if you have a poor work/life balance, it’s very important that you change it to a good work/life balance.
Working for others versus working for yourself
The challenge to achieve a good balance between your work and the rest of your life can be a lot different for people who have traditional jobs such as company employees, than it is for people who work for themselves, namely freelancers, entrepreneurs and small business owners.
When you’re an employee you may not have a choice as to how much you work and the circumstances under which you work. It may be a challenge to create a work/life balance that is a good fit for you, but lots of traditional workers do succeed at this.
Freelancers and other independent workers may also find it challenging to create a good balance of work and life, but it’s usually easier for them.
While sometimes you may need to work just as much or even possibly more when you work for yourself, you have more freedom in your work. You have more choice about what kinds of work to do, and you can work when and where you want. This can make life a lot easier so that you feel you have a good work/life balance even if you’re working a lot.
How do you create a good work/life balance?
Creating a good work/life balance is so important. You can’t work all the time because it’s not healthy. But you also can’t play all the time because then you won’t be earning any money.
Since earning enough money to support ourselves is obviously extremely important, our default balance between work and life can be a little lopsided, with more of our time and effort naturally going towards the work part than the life part.
There may be nothing wrong with this as long as you love your work and you’re happy, healthy and well-adjusted. If your balance is heavily tilted towards work and you’re not happy about it, though, then you need to do something to shift that balance more towards your life outside of work.
Generally, the way to create a good balance between your work life and the rest of your life is to meet your financial goals while also taking care of your health and doing things that make you happy. The specifics of that are up to each individual person.
We’re all unique individuals. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to a good balance between our work lives and our personal lives. We all need to do what’s best for us and our loved ones.
How you create a good work/life balance depends totally on you.
Now that you know exactly what work/life balance means, if you’d like to create a better balance for yourself, download my free ebook here and find out how you can leave your traditional job and start freelancing.
Image by PublicDomainPictures