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Wearing many hats

Updated on August 4, 2014

By Michelle Liew Tsui-Lin

All Rights Reserved

Which hat do you wear the most?

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We wear many hats.

Cliched but true, the phrase shows the problems we have maintaing a work lif balance.

We still cover our perspiring heads with those many hats every day. What is worse, we cannot seem to take them off.

Why is that so difficult? There is always a need to take sone of them off, but how do we do it?


Why we need a work-life balance

Like it or not, we need to tear off those hats at times. Work, at the expense of family life and a time of our own, causes a strain in more ways than one.

1. Negative implications on family life

For a start, it impacts family life negatively. With time hardly spent on them, family

life is strained.

That a busy father or mother does not know how well his children are performing in

school is not surprising.

2. Associated with health risks

To continue, a poor work-life balance is associated with many health risks. Increased pressure at work accounts for many health problems like weight gain, excessive smoking and depression.

This article does not advocate laziness, but certainly suggests that all work and no play makes Jack or Jane rather unhealthy.

3. Decreased productivity

Thirdly, contrary to popular belief, more work does not equate with increased productivity.

Excessive stress at work, as research shows, leads to less quality work. There is a heightened chance that we will spend more time doing absolutely nothing.

4. Burnout

That feeling of nothingness is what we know as burnout. Spending all of our time at work, with no time for play leaves you with a lack of purpose.

Your passion for your work fizzles out. When that happens, you approach your work with a sense of routine drudgery.

5. Need for extrinsic motivation

Ultimately, you resort to extrinsic motivation. Those who are overly-stressed often need stimulants such as pills or coffee to keep them going.

Top Ten Tips for a Work-Life balance

Why balancing priorities is difficult

We certainly need to balance those priorities, yet doing so takes its toll for various reasons.

1. The need for security

One of them is a deep need for security. With the need to support our families, we struggle to hang on to our jobs.

Finding time to be an A Star mother or father is walking on a really taut tightrope.

2. The need to outdo others.

To add, humans are innately competitive. We need to outdo others. We need to show how much we have compared to our neighbors and friends.

That aggressive need, whether we are conscious of it, drives us to spend too much time at work or at least, thinking about it.

3. Unclear expectations of employers and employees

Fourthly, the unclear or unreasonable expectations of employers may result in poor time management.

Employees, too, may strive to prove themselves at work and believe, mistakenly, that bosses expect their presence round the clock.

4. The birth of technology

Those unclear expectations are made less clear with the advent of technology.

Everyone believes that they have to answer their emails 24 hours a day. The increased use of technology puts us on call round the clock.

5. Guilt

Hence, we feel guilty when we do not respond immediately to work calls. It makes more difficult when employers take the liberty to call their employees after hours.


How to balance work and life

Knowing the difficulties, how do we strike a proper balance between our own interests and the work we do daily? Whether we are employess or self-employed, we need to strike that balance.

1. Get help.

The first thing we should do is to build a support network. Do not feel shy about asking fot help when you need it.

Having friends at work who are hands in need will take the stress off the job.

2. Let go of guilt.

You will also need to let go of the guilt you feel if you do not answer emails immediately.

After hours are just that. Claim them.

3. Establish boundaries.

Claiming them means establishing necessary boundaries. Know when you are off work and establish clarity about this.

If your employer cannot accomodate this need, yiu may need to consider your options and make a few plans.

4. Determine your own standards.

To add, we may be perfectionists. Prctice being reasonable with your standards.

5. Practice flexibility.

That means exercising a little flexibility. Assess if you are being a liitle bit too particular about certain matters and giving yourself unnecssry stress.

6. Create time for yourself.

Being more flexible means creating more time for yourself. We all need an occasional break from our responsibilities.

7. Enjoy family life.

Do take this well-deserved personal time to spend with our family members and those who need it.

More time for family and your personal interests allows you to feel more fulfilled.

8. Find good childcare.

To speak of family, finding reliable childcare services helps you to take your mind off family responsibilities while you are at work.

It gives you a clearer, fuller focus on your job and allows you to refocus on your family when you are at home.

9. Achieve integration.

Aside from finding child care, try to integrate your family and work needs. If it possible, make flexible work arrangements.

This is hard to achieve, but fulfilling when you do.

10. Get organized.

Lastly, get organized. For some, this sounds trite, but schedulers and organizers do help.


It takes a little effort and planning, but those many hats can be juggled.


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    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Bill.

    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image

      William Leverne Smith 

      6 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Great stack of hats. Thanks for sharing. Great reminders!! ;-)

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Indeed, Kalli!

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Chitrangada.

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      It definitely fits you well, Rasma!

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Devika.

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Dr. Bill. Glad to know you've got it....but yes, it takes quite a while!

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Audrey. It definitely is.

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, MizBejabbers!

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Manatita.

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Ann!

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Bill. We all tend to get that way at times.

    • Kaili Bisson profile image

      Kaili Bisson 

      6 years ago from Canada

      Great hub. We need to never lose sight of priorities. A job is great, but it is not the most important thing.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      6 years ago from New Delhi, India

      As many others, I also wear many hats and by adequate planning, dedication and determination have been able to justice to whichever hat I wear.

      Great hub topic, with which I can relate! Very well done and thanks! Voted up and shared on HP!

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      6 years ago from Daytona Beach, Florida

      My favorite hat is my inspiration hat for my writing and poetry. There are lots of things I need to accomplish so I'm adding the responsibility hat. Very intriguing and interesting hub. Thanks for sharing and passing this on.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      6 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      I had worn a hat but for a few fun moments. Great hub on hats.

    • DrBill-WmL-Smith profile image

      William Leverne Smith 

      6 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Great hub! Thanks for sharing. I've had the good fortune of, generally, being fairly successful at the balance, but it takes effort... every day. You can not "let up." But, it is worth it! ;-)

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 

      6 years ago from California

      Very useful Michelle! I think balance is something so very difficult to achieve

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James MizBejabbers 

      6 years ago from Beautiful South

      This is a very good hub for young and middle age workers. For us still-employed geriatric set I've coined this saying:

      Our children think we're made of money; our retired friends think we're made of time.© 2014

    • manatita44 profile image


      6 years ago from london

      Striking good work-life balance; letting go of guilt, competition ...

      time for oneself, all great pointers Michelle. I appreciate this.

    • Ann1Az2 profile image


      6 years ago from Orange, Texas

      midget - a great hub and some very good tips. I find the thing that helps me the most is one you mentioned at the last - organization. And making lists helps!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Great reflections and important for me to remember. I suffer from tunnel vision when it comes to work. I see a goal and nothing deters me from that goal...but it also means that I forget some of the other aspects of living. Thank you for the reminder.

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      How do you balance life and work?


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