This is the problem. The topic of having a work-life balance is not new to the United States, yet some cannot strike that perfect balance between work and life.
Work-life balance has been broken in the USA for over 200 years, As this CNBC article showed in 2017, way back in 1817 a Welsh manufacturer and labor rights activist Robert Owens coined the phrase, “Eight hours labor, eight hours recreation, eight hours rest”.
By 1890, when the US Government started tracking work hours, it was discovered full-time workers in manufacturing were pulling 100-hour work weeks. Now over 100 years later, and after a 20th century of reformed work conditions and labor union growth, today’s world of changing technology is increasing the demand for productivity.
Once again, work-life balance is very important. Americans are working an average of 50 hours a week. Employees in tech and finance average 60 hours. Doctors are discovering the damaging effects of stress on the human body while 1 in 3 Americans complain their work-life balance is broken.
Learn to see the signs that your work-life balance is broken.
1. You can no longer “play hard” after work
Chronic health issues are causing you to live life like a hermit outside of work. Even when you try to stay fit, eat right, and exercise, for some reason your body is quitting on you. This is a sign your body is feeling overworked and it is affecting your life.
2. You can never get enough sleep
You get 8-hours a night of sleep and it never seems to matter. The weekend rolls around and you want to sleep more. Sometimes, you may even fall asleep in your chair at work. This is a sign your brain is burning out and overloaded.
3. You have 0% patience for everything
As work-life balance slips away, your abilities to lose your temper and hold grudges increases. Before you know it, everyone and everything that gets in the way of your job turns into a personal grudge. Your work-life balance has slipped away and you are in danger of becoming toxic to your own workplace.
4. All of your relationships are disappearing
You know more about your co-workers than you do about the recent events in your family’s lives. Your friends and family complain they never see you and it seems your weekends are spent just trying to recover from the work week. And your spouse starts complaining he/she never sees you. You have all the signs you need to make a work-life balance change.
5. You use your phone in bed at night
You have endless connectivity to work because of your iPhone or Smartphone. People who work after-hours are asking questions. If you are in bed and think you should start working, your work-life balance is in trouble. You cannot set the boundary between work and life, but you need sleep.
6. Your priorities are out of whack
When you have no understanding of how to prioritize work, physical and mental health, family, and finance, it is time to stop what you are doing and think. Ironically, as much as Apple’s Steve Jobs influenced that tech community working 60+ hours a week, many ignore his final words of regret for living a life in the pursuit of wealth:
“What is the most expensive bed in the world? Sickbed … You can employ someone to drive the car for you, make money for you but you cannot have someone to bear the sickness for you. Material things lost can be found. But there is one thing that can never be found when it is lost — Life.” - Steve Jobs
7. You are an uncompromising perfectionist
We all want to feel successful. However, when you find you can no longer stand for an opinion from another, or your failures make you so depressed and filled with anxiety that you cannot function, your work-life balance has taken its toll.
Getting control of your work-life balance is necessary. You may want to consider working in a less stressful industry. You may be very good at what you do, but your endless drive for perfection may cause you to lose all the things you worked to achieve due to the destructive behaviors caused by a broken work-life balance.