Why Work-Life Balance Is Important (With Benefits and Steps)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published June 10, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Work-life balance is a key part of a healthy and productive work environment. An individual who achieves this balance successfully dedicates an equal amount of time to work-related tasks and personal matters without experiencing stress or becoming overwhelmed. Learning more about the importance of maintaining a balance between your professional and personal life may help you overcome negative emotions and develop effective time management strategies. In this article, we talk about why work-life balance is important, review some of its benefits, and provide steps you can follow to achieve a greater sense of balance.

Why work-life balance is important

To understand why work-life balance is important, you can start by considering how to keep your personal and professional lives separate. If you feel satisfied with the time you dedicate to both work and personal matters, you may enjoy a healthy balance between the two. Individuals with this balance are more likely to maintain their mental health and experience less work-related stress. This can help you develop more positive personal relationships while achieving your workplace goals.

Related: 20 Best Jobs for Great Work-Life Balance

7 benefits of maintaining a work-life balance

Here are some reasons why achieving a balance between work and life may benefit your health, mindset, and mood:

1. Maintaining mental health

Individuals who attempt to maintain their mental health may find it easier to manage negative emotions, thoughts, or experiences. Being able to process negativity is important because it can affect your ability to make informed decisions with a clear mindset. For some people, processing emotions may improve their chances of discovering which work-life factors contribute to feelings of stress or unhappiness, making them easier to eliminate.

2. Improving physical health

Maintaining your physical health can help ensure you have enough energy to complete professional and personal tasks efficiently. Eating nutritious meals, forming healthy sleep habits, getting regular exercise, and doing activities you enjoy can all help you achieve a good balance. These examples can provide your body with the support and energy to help you focus on work longer and deal with negative emotions and situations more effectively.

Individuals can also achieve a better professional and personal balance when they learn strategies to improve their physical and mental health. For example, stress can limit your ability to manage your physical needs, so it's helpful to prioritize your mental as well as physical well-being.

3. Minimizing work-related stress

Work-related stress can sometimes occur when employees feel overwhelmed by their workload and responsibilities. Having some control over these factors can help you achieve a satisfactory personal and professional balance. Some choices that you can make in the workplace to minimize stress include delegating tasks when possible and declining to take on more work than you can reasonably handle. You can learn how to manage your workload more effectively by prioritizing the most important or time-sensitive tasks.

Another potential method for managing workloads is to consider your current mental state and physical well-being. For example, suppose you're faced with additional work or responsibilities before leaving the office. You can save those extra tasks for the following day so that you can go home, get enough sleep, and come back refreshed in the morning.

Related: Benefits of Taking a Break from Work to Reduce Stress

4. Being more present in the moment

Being present in the moment means being mindful of what you're doing currently. Mindfulness is one way to achieve a professional and personal balance because it helps you focus on the task at hand. For instance, you may choose to focus on your hobbies when not at work and block out work-related distractions, such as e-mails or office messaging platforms. Being able to focus on professional or personal activities can help you more thoroughly enjoy how you're spending your time.

Achieving a balanced lifestyle can positively impact your personal relationships as well. For example, individuals who work long hours might struggle to give their undivided attention to friends and family. This can also apply to your work relationships. Holding conversations with coworkers about their personal affairs can improve your mood and motivate you to complete tasks more effectively.

5. Increasing productivity and engagement at work

A balance between work and personal life can be easier to maintain if you enjoy the work you're performing. When employees experience high levels of job satisfaction, they may feel more committed to their tasks and inspired to submit their best work. Feeling engaged at work can help create a more efficient approach to task and workload management, which gives you the ability to focus on your personal business outside of work.

Related: How to Improve Your Performance at Work in 13 Steps

6. Becoming a well-rounded individual

Most employees have interests and hobbies that they enjoy in their personal lives, but they can lose them if they dedicate more time and energy to work than to personal business. Spending time on interests and hobbies can help you develop a wider range of skills and expand your knowledge. Prioritizing leisure activities outside of work can also provide employees with unique knowledge that they can share with colleagues. It can also make them more attractive to employers who are looking for candidates with soft skills and diverse life experience.

7. Becoming more successful

There's often a misconception that success requires extreme dedication to hard work. This can be important if you're looking to grow within your workplace, but achieving a work-life balance can allow you to focus on success without sacrificing your well-being. A balanced lifestyle can also boost employee productivity and engagement and support creative thinking. These skills can improve your chances of achieving success without having to overwork yourself.

Related: How to Measure Success in 7 Actionable Steps

How to achieve a professional and personal balance

Feelings of stress and fatigue can signify that you want to change how you maintain your professional and personal balance. Every individual has different work-life responsibilities, but implementing the steps below may help you improve your lifestyle balance:

1. Set a goal

Individuals can set and work towards both professional and personal goals that increase their happiness and fulfillment. If you want to set a goal that helps you maintain a better work-life balance, you can consider what conditions or improvements you require to achieve it. For example, if you want to have more time for your friends, you may strategize ways to lighten or prioritize your workload so that you leave work on time.

Related: Examples of Professional Goals and How to Achieve Them

2. Separate from your work while at home

A balanced lifestyle requires a separation between work tasks and time outside of work. For example, an employee who's trying to focus on their friends outside of work may silence their phone's notifications to reduce their desire to monitor their work tasks after hours. If this isn't an option, they can consider setting boundaries with coworkers or clients during specific hours of the day instead, making it easier to focus on personal business.

3. Use your time at work effectively

When you're working, you may strive to be as productive as possible so that your work-related tasks don't affect your personal life. As an unmanageable workload can reduce productivity in the long run, it's helpful to only take on the amount of work that you feel comfortable completing. This may benefit an individual's mental and physical well-being, allowing them to relax after fulfilling their professional obligations. Spending more time with your friends may make you more present at the moment if you have a lighter, more manageable workload.

4. Use techniques for stress management

If work connects to feelings of stress or anxiety, you can consider implementing stress-relief techniques to help improve your professional and personal balance. For example, exercising regularly is a stress reliever for many people. It can also improve your overall physical health and increase your productivity and energy levels. Pursuing hobbies outside of work may help employees manage their emotions more effectively and develop new skills. For example, if you find balancing professional and social obligations stressful, you can consider finding hobbies that include and interest your friends.

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