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How to Maintain Work-Life Balance When You Have an Erratic Job

Updated on January 2, 2019
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Hi, work-life balance is difficult for people to achieve in this day and age. The search for it is perpetual. Here are some my suggestions.

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Work-life balance is an eternal dream. All of us want to have our cake and eat it too.

Sadly, the chances of that happening are slim, particularly when one has a job with erratic schedules. How does a person maintain work-life balance then?


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CC-BY-SA 3.0 | Source

What is Work-life balance?

The definition of work-life balance has evolved, due in large part to generational differences. Its meaning varies according to the person who interprets it.

1. Baby Boomers and Work-Life Balance

Born between 1945 and 1960, these post-war babies met hardships at a young age. Most of them understood what poverty meant only too well. They craved stable work environments and opportunities for employment. Because they had to build firm financial foundations for their families, work-life balance wasn't their priority.

Therefore, Baby Boomers, most of whom are retired, tended to stay at companies for extended periods compared with the generations that follow them. Most of them reached senior positions of responsibility.

2. Generation X and Work-Life Balance

This generation, born between 1961 and 1980, experienced the difficulties of the long hours their parents spent at work. Hence, they value family relationships.

These individuals prefer to work for companies that allow them to attend to their families' needs when necessary. They also look for perks like short working hours, maternity/paternity leave, and vacation time.

3. Millennials and Work-Life Balance

Millennials, whose birthdays fall between the years 1981 and 2000, face their fair share of stereotypes. Though more privileged than the previous generations, they struggle with high student loan burdens and housing costs.

Career is a top priority for these young people, and they prefer to work for companies that support their lives apart from work. For this reason, businesses add game rooms, soccer tables, and ping pong tables to attract them.

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Why maintaining work-life balance is essential.

1. Preventing Burnout

Chronic stress can lead to burnout. A person may behave out of character under immense pressure and if he does not feel appreciated for his efforts. Should you notice yourself doing so, please visit a professional. Not addressing stress-related issues can lead to depression.

Work-life balance promotes good health. A healthy body is a precursor to a healthy mind. You maintain your mental health by making sure that you're physically well.

Good health entails regular exercise and eating healthily. It also requires destressing and not overworking. A healthy work-life balance keeps you in the pink of health.

2. Keeps you Productive

Work-life balance also boosts productivity. Because you've switched off your phone for the weekend, you can return to it with a fresh mindset. Redecorating the home and minding the children will not seem like such a chore. You will also complete the many projects you have on hand at work quickly.

3. You will enjoy your work

Everyone graduates from University with the end of the perfect job in mind. Like everyone else, you generally love what you do, but the demands of your work can take their toll.

Maintaining proper work-life balance will give you the right amount of time to concretize your tasks. It will also allow you to like them. You may miss your work if you take the right amount of time off it.

4. You will have more time for yourself

Do you have a cookery course that you have wanted to attend, but haven't been able to because of work?
Work-life balance will let you develop the skills needed for self-improvement and let you do the things you enjoy.

5. You won't feel deprived

Do you find yourself always turning your friends down because you have a deadline to meet? Were you frustrated because you missed the moment when your child said his first word? Balancing work and life will let you feel fulfilled by your job and enjoy these times. Remember that it involves prioritizing what is meaningful to you.

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The Disadvantages of an Erratic Job

1. Irregular Routines

Not everyone has the luxury of following a relaxed, fixed work schedule. Those who work the night shift often feel exhausted because their routines change constantly. They are also socially disconnected because they cannot spend time with their families and friends.

2. Shift inequality:

Senior employees get privileges, such skills training of working the day shift. Other employees have to work at night, and may not have the chance to improve their skills. What results is a lack of productivity and isolation of skills.

3. Work imbalance:

Employees who do shift work tend to have imbalanced workloads. For example, nurses who work at night tend to do more work because the casualty rates are higher at that time. Night shift workers at call centers will have higher workloads during off-peak hours when people have time to place calls to their organizations.

4. Safety:

NIght shifts are dangerous for people, particularly women. The danger begins when they step out of their workplaces. People become vulnerable to crimes during odd hours.

5. Health issues

Our daily routines, such as eating and sleeping habits, guide the fluctuations in our body. These changes are effective when we are young.

However, the body becomes sluggish when we get older, and inactivity will not let you use your body without effort.

Impediments like high blood pressure and diabetes start to show up when you're in you're in your mid-thirties. Shift work gets difficult at this point. Organizations employ young people to do shift work for these reasons.

6. Family Conflicts

People who have erratic work schedules will find their routines different from their families' and friends'. Their odd ours may leave their loved ones feeling neglected. The parents of young professionals often feel ignored. Shift work thus causes conflicts in families.

7. Poor safety

Shift workers tend to suffer from a lack of sleep if they work throughout the night. Their sleepiness results in less productivity because they are inattentive at work. The drowsiness may also lead to accidents.

8. Accessing food

Workers have limited access to food during the night shift. Therefore, employees eat what's available and end up compromising their health. They eat junk food and have disordered schedules.

9. Boredom:

Night shift workers become bored with their routines over time. They also become used to silence. The lack of the hustle and bustle leads to boredom.

10. Low productivity

Sleep is a luxury during rotational shifts — the lack of sleep results in a lack of productivity at work.

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CC-BY-SA 3.0 | Source

How to Maintain Work-Life Balance when You Have An Erratic Job

Poor work-life balance can lead to undue stress and job dissatisfaction. It can be hard to maintain a healthy work-life balance when if you have a job which requires employees to keep erratic work schedules, such as nursing, manufacturing, and telemarketing. These tips, however, may prove useful.

1. Acceptance

First, come to terms with your situation. Doing so will help you to alleviate stress. Acknowledge that all occupations, particularly those which involve unpredictable schedules, will require you to develop coping mechanisms to deal with unforeseen pressure. Mistakes are common, but it's more beneficial to learn from than to wallow in them.

2. Knowing your life's purpose

Also, not having a purpose in life can prove to be an obstacle along a person's career path. Maintaining an awareness of this is not easy if you have an unusual job. You must keep your vision and know what you need to do to achieve your goals.

3. Keep your life simple

We live busy lives, and demands on us seem to increase daily. Whatever your career path in life, you probably have countless projects on hand.

Web and mobile applications develop continually. Use these to simplify and organize your life. They will help you respond to people and tasks as needed.

In all, it's possible to maintain a work-life balance even with an erratic job, if you are aware of its potential pitfalls and put in some effort.

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    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      2 weeks ago from london

      Michelle, hi and happy 2019! So good to see you!

      You have covered the subject very well. You seem to have spent some time on it and of course it all makes sense. I like the way you went through the different age groups and the expected or known standards at the time. We live in such a fast changing world?

      Someone was asking today, why the kids ten years old have accumulated the sugars of an 18 year old. Would make an interesting study.

      Shift is a drain on work life balance yes and parents are either not there for the kids or two tired when they get home. Of course, this affects the psyche of the growing kid and all sorts of behaviours pop up.

      Good to see you, dear. Keep up the good work.

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