Prepare yourself for a cliché...All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. It makes Jill a dull girl too. What is life without happiness? We only get one, unless you're a Buddhist, so it can't all be about work. On the other hand it can't all be about play. That's where the balance idea comes in.
What Is A Work-Life Balance?
It means having time for work and time for a life - your family, home and hobbies. It's National Work Life Week 21st to 25th September, so what better time to take a look at your own?
Why Is It Important?
Without a work-life balance people become ill, unhappy, and potentially lonely too.
A new study has found that those who work 55 hours or more each week increase their chance of stroke by a third over those who do 40 hours or less. The risk seems to run in parallel. The more you work, the greater the risk.
The same study showed that the risk of coronary heart disease increased by 13% too. Maybe that doesn't sound much, but it's a 13% you don't want to have.
Depression. Those who spend all their time working or addicted to their BlackBerrys over the weekend are risking a miserable existence.
When you go to work in the dark, stay behind office UV protective windows all day, and then drive home in the dark, you're at risk of seasonal affective disorder.
Children don't get the attention they need. Families are important. Don't be the mum or dad that regrets missing their kid's childhood.
We drift apart. Relationships need work - or rather communication and fun. You risk losing your partner if you never see them other than to say you'll be late home again.
How To Get It Right
Sometimes we have to work long hours for financial reasons and that can't be helped, but don't give away lots of hours for free.
Those who are first in and last out may get the promotion, but is that promotion worth the price? Since when did our families and health take second or third place?
The EU Working Time Directive allows workers to limit their working day to 48 hours a week by law. But we don't always do this. Some people seem to think if you have free time, then you aren't working hard enough. What a dreadful attitude that is.
Take your full lunch break to walk. Sitting down all day kills. Our sedentary lifestyle is slowly giving us heart disease. We must move more. Don't sit in front of your PC screen with a sandwich. At least eat in the kitchen or stairwell and go outside if you can. We're not built to be indoor static creatures.
Wouldn't it be great if we could go all Spanish and have a siesta at lunchtime? How about a Facebook petition to force all employers to provide us with nap pods? You know it makes sense.