Career Growth Featured On The Job

Why Focusing On Work-Life Balance Is Actually Hurting You

Work-life balance is having a moment. Over the last few years, it’s topped the list as one of the most important career aspects for employers and employees alike. In fact, 61 percent of medical sales reps said that work-life balance is more important than high salaries in our 2019 salary report.

Yes, that’s right. Medical sales reps rate work-life balance over high salaries. While it’s good to acknowledge a need to disconnect from work, this hyper-focus could actually be hurting sales reps. 

It’s a bit idealistic to assume that life can be made a perfect equilibrium. Every person’s situation is unique, and striving for this mythical balance actually adds more stress to sales reps’ already full plates. 

Just because the business world suggests you should achieve work-life balance, does not mean it’s a realistic or healthy goal for you, especially in a field as volatile as medical sales. Here are a few reasons work-life balance should not be your top priority:

You’re battling an internal fight

Fighting for that all-too-perfect idea of work-life balance is a personal, internal fight. And that type of pressure can cause you to judge every move you make. 

Are you giving enough of your time to work? Are you living your personal life to its fullest? How happy are you making those in your personal life and those at work? 

There isn’t one perfect formula for dividing your time. It’s a personal choice that depends on your goals and needs at the moment. Where do you see the most value spending your time and focusing your energy at the moment? 

For example, if you’re traveling four days a week,  crushing your client meetings, and loving every minute of it, it doesn’t make sense to take a step back and spend more time at home. On the flip side, if you’ve been traveling nonstop for months and feel your energy draining, it may be time to come off the road for a little bit.

Your focus is spread too thin

A high focus on work-life balance results in damaging multitasking. This is a problem because multitasking can actually decrease your productivity by as much as 40 percent, according to the American Psychological Association.

When you’re focusing on work while also trying to be present in your personal life, it’s challenging to excel in either one. 

Instead, it’s important to live in the present moment, taking each day and each task as they come. Today, you may need to focus more on work. Tomorrow, there may be more time to focus on your family. Giving yourself wholly to each priority as they call for your undivided attention lessens the chance for burnout.

You’re not focused on boundaries and priorities

Work-life balance doesn’t help you set necessary boundaries and priorities. Instead, you’re looking to find harmony between the two. In reality, one may take precedence over the other on any given day — and that’s OK. 

Rather than trying to juggle between work and home life, set boundaries and priorities around the things you want to do. For example, you might set a boundary that you fully disconnect from work on Tuesday nights so you can attend your favorite workout class or cheer your son on at his basketball games. That might mean you leave your schedule wide open the rest of the week to accommodate client and team needs.

Use these set rules to create routines that will give you better control over all aspects of your life.