The Realities of Work-Life Balance

The Realities of Work-Life Balance
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Feeling like all you do is work? You’re not alone. The struggle to maintain a harmonious work-life balance resonates with countless individuals. But how do you balance your work-life with so much happening at home? And how do you balance your workload to be more efficient?  


Achieving a healthy work-life balance requires conscious effort. This means setting aside specific areas and times for work and personal life. By doing so, you create a clear distinction between the two aspects, allowing you to establish well-defined boundaries between your work and personal time.

With many struggling to find harmony between their jobs and personal lives, it can seem inevitable to feel overwhelmed and overworked. But it doesn’t have to be. 

What does work-life balance mean?

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A healthy work-life balance refers to maintaining a harmonious relationship between your work and personal life. It involves consciously managing your time and energy to meet both professional and personal commitments while prioritising self-care and well-being.

However, having an unrealistic view of what a healthy balance looks like with regards to work, and life often results in demotivation, depression, and burnout.

3 Myths about work-life balance

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Myth 1: The lesser you work, the happier you’ll be  

While working long hours can kill productivity, working fewer hours can also lead to higher anxiety levels. Fewer working hours doesn’t always mean a lighter workload: in fact, they often involve managing the same amount of workload in a shorter time, leading to constant deadline pressure and anxiety.   


Myth 2: You can achieve perfect balance  

Picture a world where the work-life balance is just right - like a puzzle fitting perfectly. But the truth is, priorities and demands can shift, and finding an exact balance might lead to unnecessary stress. Thus, instead of chasing the perfect schedule that everyone yearns - like trying to squeeze in a gym session after work every day – strive for one that’s realistic and achievable.


Myth 3: “I’m the only one who feels unbalanced”

The truth is every working individual is struggling to find the right balance. Having a perfectly balanced work and personal life is a complex process that never ends.


Rather than aiming to entirely separate your workweek from your weekend, strive to integrate both aspects of your life to achieve your professional goals comfortably. Remember, it's an ongoing journey, so be open to giving yourself some grace and adjusting your approach as needed. This positive direction fosters a healthier work-life blend. 

Balancing for the better

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While work might be demanding at times, it should never become a priority over your well-being. Here are some ways to ensure both are taken care of. 

1. Me-time!  

Plan occasional full-day or weekend retreats where you prioritise self-care. Whether you exercise, meditate, join an art class or take a walk in the park, it’s important to always set aside a few hours a week to do something for yourself. 

2. Set clear boundaries 

Establish specific work hours and stick to them. Avoid checking work emails or taking calls outside of these hours to ensure personal time remains uninterrupted. 

3. Take breaks in between work 

Take short breaks during the workday to recharge. Whether it's a walk, a quick chat with a colleague, or a few minutes of relaxation – breaks can improve focus and productivity. 

Why is it important?

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Maintaining work- life balance is essential not only for your personal needs and relationships, but also for several other reasons, including:  

1. You become less susceptible to burnouts

It's no secret that when you find yourself run down, fatigued, or overwhelmed by stress, your immune system often takes a hit. If you let these stress-related health issues go unaddressed for too long, they can lead to burnout. This can make you more prone to getting sick, like catching the flu or even more serious health problems.

No matter how hard we strive to stay healthy, the daily juggling act between the demands of our jobs and the whirlwind of life’s challenges can sometimes take their toll, leading to illnesses.

Nevertheless, there’s often a glimmer of hope – you can tap into your Akaun Sejahtera savings for Health Withdrawal if you’re 55 years and below, which caters to various critical illness treatments or to purchase healthcare equipment*. Its primary purpose is to offer financial assistance to you, your spouse, your parents (biological, adopted, step, in-laws), your biological siblings and your children (biological, adopted, step), thereby easing the financial burden that may arise during times of medical necessity.

*Please note that not all types of critical illness treatments and purchases of healthcare equipment qualify for EPF Health Withdrawal and are subject to EPF's approval. 


EPF also provides the Member Protection Plan, through the i-Lindung platform. It’s designed to ensure financial security and peace of mind for your medical needs and life protection. With i-Lindung, you can opt for cost-effective life protection and/ or critical illness insurance coverage, with annual payments drawn from Akaun Sejahtera for members below 55 years old, or Akaun Emas for members aged 55 and above. Moreover, you get to choose from a variety of insurance/ takaful providers that best suit your medical needs and life protection.

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2. Improved overall quality of life

Effective work-life balance reduces stress, improves mental well-being, and enhances physical health. By allocating time for relaxation, exercise, and spending quality moments with loved ones, you can boost your immune systems, increase energy levels, and reduce the risk of various health issues. Balanced living leads to better sleep, healthier eating, and reduced burnout, promoting a happier, healthier life.

Remember, achieving balance isn't the same for everyone; it's a unique journey for each individual – a journey of self-discovery and incremental adjustments. By crafting a personalised strategy, we can inch closer to reclaiming the balance we yearn for in our dynamic lives.