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  • Writer's picturePatrick Littorin

How can we create balance in life?

Updated: Jan 17, 2021

There are several reasons why sick leave increases due to burnout. These can be external factors in the individual's work situation, such as a high workload, time pressure or a poor work climate. Or personal factors come into play such as the individual being sensitive to change, having low self-confidence and low belief in their own abilities, perhaps combined with high demands on themselves. Or it is a "cocktail combination" of all these factors.

At the same time, it is becoming increasingly difficult to create a balance between work and private life. The reputable magazine Harvard Business Review writes in its March issue (HBR March 2014) about the problem. For five years, the researchers have interviewed almost 4,000 managers about how they view the (im) balance between work and their private lives.

The results of the survey are summarized: Forget about seeking balance in life - at least if you want to make a career. It takes a lot of work. However, we can learn to make better and more conscious choices. Time is a scarce resource and we must choose and prioritize better. Instead of reacting to crises privately or at work, researchers suggest that we try to involve our loved ones in work-related decisions and activities. At the very least, it is so successful managers creates long-term balance for their own personal resources between a demanding job and their family.

But there are no easy solutions. Sometimes reality takes over whether it is a death, a car accident or parental illness etc. Yet the most successful manage to find a form of balance in chaos. The researchers suggest that we should:

  • Define in advance what is success, set common goals together with your partner.

  • Consciously build a social network both at work and at home.

  • Travel and stay away more selectively. Feel free to bring your partner on the trip.

  • Collaborate more and seek active support from your life partner.

At the same time, there are large gender differences in the view of professional and personal success. For example, female managers place significantly greater emphasis on individual performance than men. They really want to "make a difference" in their professional life, gain respect and feel passion for their job. At the same time, the male managers prioritize challenging tasks and constant learning.

Both men and women define personal success in terms of good and close relationships. But what we mean is different. Men think that success means having a family, while women describe in detail what it means to have a good family life. For men, financial success is a sign of success. Women emphasize more the role as a role model for their children, especially their daughters.

In our test battery, imbalance in work is measured. The factor itself is not a success factor. But as an early indicator of whether the candidate is about to be ”burned out” or mentally exhausted, it fulfills an important function - especially in combination with our other personality tests. The test battery is then an early warning bell for the "cocktail combination" which increases the risk of burnout.

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