Work Adds to Our Purpose In Life, But It Is Not Our Life Purpose

Work Life Balance

Why do we put our work before the people we love?  

We take those we love for granted, but we do not take our jobs for granted.  We identify ourselves by our role in our career rather than our role in relationships.  We justify with financial security.  Work adds purpose to our life, but it is not our life purpose.  

There is research that shows those with income over what is needed to meet basic needs does not contribute to our overall happiness or wellbeing.  Neither money, nor our career, contributes to our global satisfaction.  Global satisfaction, happiness, and well-being are achieved only through Emotional Intelligence.  

“Emotional Intelligence is defined as the ability to recognize, regulate, and utilize emotions that drive moods, feelings, and behaviors,” (Weinzimmer et al., 2017). High Emotional Intelligence is directly related to our ability to exhibit a healthy work-life balance.  Work affects family and family affects work.  If we are emotional about something at home, it will definitely have a direct effect on our job performance.  Likewise, high Emotional Intelligence is also correlated to improved job performance – including, but not limited to leadership, tasking, and decision making.  

There are two kinds of Emotional Intelligence that are relevant to managing the balance. Intrapersonal Intelligence is our ability to manage our own emotions and feelings.  We decide whether to have a positive or negative response to each “event” that happens in our life.  Second is Interpersonal Intelligence, which allows us to manage the emotions of others in a constructive manner.  This insight allows us the ability to deepen our emotionally intelligent philosophy of life while having a positive impact on our work-life balance.  We are our own managers, and we should manage ourselves in an emotionally intelligent manner.  And when we cannot we are responsible for our own checks and balances to recover quickly from the breach.  

If you have high Emotional Intelligence, you have the ability to effectively manage your work-life responsibilities in a balanced fashion.

Some of us always work from home, but now most of us do.

So how do we keep the balance?

According to Taylor, April 8, 2020, here are some suggestions:

1) Schedule working hours

2) Discuss your work schedule with others

3) Create a morning routine

4) Establish a dedicated work space

5) Plan your day

6) Take regular breaks

7) Prioritize social interactions

8) Exercise and get fresh air

9) Mark the end of your working day

10) Don’t be too hard on yourself

When master the work-life balance is mastered, success and your job performance incidentally improves.  

We have both work-related influences and non-work-related influences.  Research shows that in addition to improved job performance, this balance also improves job satisfaction, which decreases turnover.  Because of these proven positive consequences many employers are supportive of and encourage the work-life balance, many offering education in Emotional Intelligence help to achieve it.  

It is hard to see this direct affect until you commit to create the above habits in your own routine.  Some use work as a coping mechanism for non-work-related stressors.  Many who are addicted to work are unable to see the harm until it is too late.  Neglecting life outside of work results in many physical and psychological negative effects on our lives that lead us to regrets, stress, and heartache.  

Everyone is seeking purpose, but many are looking in all the wrong places.  Open your heart and open your mind to allow yourself to see what might be right in front of you.  In order to claim that you have emotional intelligence, you must be open minded and be willing to continuously learn, practice, and grow.  There must be a will to change and a commitment to creating the healthy habit.  

The balance between work and life is only one of many focuses of emotional intelligence.  We look forward to continuing to offer insight into the most important aspects of emotional intelligence that improve your overall global satisfaction.  

Kelly, J. D. (2019). Your Best Life. Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, 477(3), 509–511. doi: 10.1097/corr.0000000000000656

Taylor, L. A. (2020). Ten work–life balance tips for researchers based at home during the pandemic. Nature. doi: 10.1038/d41586-020-01059-4

Weinzimmer, L. G., Baumann, H. M., Gullifor, D. P., & Koubova, V. (2016). Emotional intelligence and job performance: The mediating role of work-family balance. The Journal of Social Psychology, 157(3), 322–337. doi: 10.1080/00224545.2016.1208141