We are always connected and always reachable. We reply to colleagues’ emails while we are in line at the supermarket and check the latest notifications on social media while we are working, constantly losing focus.
The line between online and offline, between work and free time, is increasingly blurred; and the disappearance of the physical distance between the professional and home environment, as the most experienced freelancers already knew and as they have discovered in more recent times smartworker first coat, it doesn’t help.
The way to recover and keep a healthy (and personal) work-life balance, however, it exists. He explains it Monica Bormetti, occupational psychologist who deals with training and coaching on smartworking, work-life balance and digital well-being: “When we feel trapped or under pressure due to various circumstances, the level of frustration, anxiety and stress increases and we stop “Work well”, that is, we no longer feel adequate in relation to our context, our life and what we do. Increasing one’s sense of effectiveness helps to avoid this frustration ».
Finding and maintaining a good balance between online and offline life, between work and private life, is not a given. What are the difficulties to consider?
«First of all this balance, even when it is achieved, must be trained and monitored. In an age of perennial evolution and change like ours, we cannot think of being able to maintain a good balance between work and leisure by implementing small strategies that, given that they work today, will be good forever. This generates a certain degree of fatigue, because it always keeps us busy and does not allow us to let our guard down. A second element of difficulty is linked to the image that evokes the word balance, or that of the balance. On a scale I have two opposing elements – for example private and working life, online and offline … – and there is the idea that you have to remove on one side to add to the other. This binary perspective risks increasing frustration and guilt, because it makes us feel obliged to always give up something. Personally I think it is useful to get out of this dynamic and instead lead people to think about how they could become more effective in their lives, to be understood at 360 degrees, in all its complexity that is proposed from time to time: the business meeting, the dance course, the children, etc. ”
So there are more ways to find a good balance between work and leisure, and doesn’t it necessarily work for everyone in the same way?
“Exactly. For example, today in the professional world there is a risk of being trapped by the legislation on the right to disconnect. It is a legislation that certainly makes sense, because it arises from the need to protect the worker. But if we reduce the solution of the problem to a “from 6 onwards turn off the phone and do not reply to emails”, we are oversimplifying the matter. In fact, this strategy does not necessarily work for everyone. There are people who for ambition, personality or for the particular moment of life in which they find themselves want and benefit from being very available at work, even by continuing to answer emails and the phone for a few hours after standard hours ».
In short, everyone finds their balance. But how do you notice if it is missing?
«I would start by asking myself a very simple and banal, but effective question: how am I? Let’s stop once a day and ask ourselves. It’s a question we hear and ask often, but sometimes without even hearing the answer or replying in a truly authentic way. Instead, we should take five minutes of the day to think about it. How am I in this moment of my life? In a line where the opposites are “very good” and “very bad”, where do I place myself? Is there something about managing the complexity of my life, between work and private life, that creaks? This is the first step. It is then necessary to take a picture of the problem, to circumscribe it: the risk, otherwise, is that of perceiving oneself crushed by a great and oppressive anxiety and frustration, to which, however, one cannot give a name. Do I feel worried because I am under pressure for a certain work project? Why does my child struggle with distance learning? Delimiting the problem prevents us from perceiving it as something vague and smoky. Third step: you need to improve your sense of effectiveness. In general, we can ask ourselves if at this moment in life we can do something or adopt some new habit to feel better on two levels: physical and mental. In fact, even resting well (one of the first things that fails in times of stress and pressure), exercising and following a healthy diet are aspects to be taken into consideration, because if we feel physically well, mentally too we will be more flexible and efficient in reacting. to the complexities of life “.