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Work:Life

By Ella Glanville

In the middle of another extremely busy half term, how many of us are already in need of a holiday?

The dictionary defines work as an activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a result. I define work similarly, anything which requires any type of strength to be completed. Within this form of definition, anything which is not preferable to do but must be done. On the other hand, the life component of this ratio fits more with the definition of being relaxed which is to rest or engage in an enjoyable activity so as to become less tired or anxious. It seems the hardest ratio to balance is that of work compared to life. Do you ever get that feeling when you seemingly do not know how you can possibly fit everything in?

This moment, when you run through the countless tasks which need to be done, is not cooperative to achieving a happy and full life. Take the example of working mothers with young children, defying the established societal stereotypes. They work all day, earning income to support their lifestyles yet when they return home, they have to prepare meals, clean, attend to their children’s needs to be the perfect homemaker rather than enjoying some downtime. As a human race, we are incredibly busy people yet we are continually pushed by ourselves and those around us to do more and be better.

Although this ratio is the toughest to form an equilibrium of, in turn it makes for a more productive and efficient lifestyle. An efficient lifestyle equates to being able to complete every task by its deadlines meanwhile reaping in the benefits of hard work. It would seem that performing under some kind of pressure is beneficial to performance, whether that be in regards to the work or life aspects of your existence. This idea of pressure leading to benefits reals in success. The debate entitled ‘work smarter, not harder’ includes scientifically proven methods in managing time which incorporate both work and rest. Students who work for longer amounts of time do not automatically gain the best results, it is all about finding what works for that individual in terms of methods to achieve success and doing that rather than spending copious amounts of time doing something which does not consequence in effectiveness. It is obviously understandable that having a complete balance between both sides is almost impossible. At certain intersections, it is necessary to prioritise one area over another and vice versa when the time is right. In terms of prioritising, what this does not equate to is fully focusing on one aspect over another as that contradicts the idea of finding a balance.

According to a Straits Times article, ‘Calling it a day at 3.30pm’, published on 6th March 2016 details a current trend demonstrating the leniency of CEOs in substantial companies, such as allowing workers to go home at 3.30pm on a Friday to allow for more rejuvenation at the end of a long, working week. This is becoming more and more apparent in the world of business and is the right step in achieving balance.

The ultimate question is how? How can we solve this seemingly impossible ratio to simplify it to it’s fullest potential? That is when you realise what exactly it is that you want to achieve by a certain timeframe and then develop strategies to achieve this. It is all about enforcing personal policies which are individual methods in dealing with stress to maintain this equilibrium. For some, that may be including short breaks in work-heavy schedules or practicing yoga to put you into a zen mode. The idea of actions and expectations in pursuing a balanced life is directly linked to personal policies. How can we do everything which is required of us? We must initiate personal plans to advocate for our precious, relaxation time. This personal policies can also include trending activities such as stand up paddle boarding, surfing and TRX which allow people to both relax and keep up with trending activities.

In relation to our student body, we must cope with the incredible work load and examinations in conjugation with a social life and other interests such as sport or drama. It is most certainly possible to implement these ‘personal policies’ to deal with what is expected of us. So, at this moment in the academic year, we need to comprehend what it is that we want to gain, understand, learn and grow from utilising all of the materials available to us. The fulfilled ratio of work:life allows us to if nothing else feel like we are giving consideration to all the important features of our lives so we don’t “miss a thing”. As cliche as it sounds that is all that life is about, making sure that you do not disregard anything which will never bring about a fear of missing out which is something all humans express. The need to be involved in absolutely every element but by simplifying this seemingly impossible ratio, it can be achieved.

In full, just by creating a simplified work:life ratio, we do not miss out on anything, which ultimately means a life goal is achieved, living every moment in order to experience everything. At the all important beginning of the school year, let us all find our individual middle ground and relish in it.  

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