Naturally, people can succeed in many departments of life but fail in others. For a working student, maintaining good academic grades, spending time with family and friends, and participating in social events is almost impossible. For this reason, work –life balance is actually an oxymoron, two different situations which are difficult to be complementary. The concept of work-life balance includes the prioritization of work, and lifestyle choices. Whereas the two concepts are closely intertwined, the outcome of each is different. For instance, some of the desirable lifestyle choices include spending ample time with family, vacationing, and amassing sufficient wealth (Hyatt, 2016). Ironically, for an individual to lead a comfortable life, he/she must work very hard. Furthermore, those people who do not work are regarded as lacking a life. For this reason, balancing the two concepts becomes problematic not only to students, but also for working mothers, fathers and to some extent children. Ideally, people quest for a flexible work schedule which allows them to concentrate on the social, religious, and familial responsibilities (Merrill, 2004). Lack of a personal life is one of the leading causes of depression. Moreover, depressed workers have higher suicidal tendencies as well as low productivity. Given, this essay examines whether working college students have developed intervention mechanisms that would enable them to maintain Life –work balance. Essentially, because of the constant struggles between academic, social, and work life, working students have not developed interventions to balance life-work. Nevertheless, there are multiple literatures, research and resources that can assist them in attaining this goal.
In an ideal world, whereby there are no disparities and inequalities in terms of employment, race, education, ethnicity, distribution of resources, and gender, life-work balance can be achieved. Realistically, the capitalistic and consumerist nature of the American people means that life is a daily struggle filled with many challenges and conflicts (Merrill, 2004). Consequently, people have to make sacrifices and choose between either work or life. For instance, in the case of a working student, during exams periods it is inevitable to forego work if they plan to excel. Inversely, for a self -sponsored student with a family who does not get tuition waivers, grants or bursaries, he/she must work extra hard to support their families as well as education. According toBoushley(2016) who works as an author as well as career counselor, life-work balance is one of the leading causes of stress and burn out for working college going students. Furthermore, the author suggests that the stressed out students become less productive either in their studies or work. Ultimately, Boushley (2016) indicates that the solution to the problem is to reduce the number of tests or examination offered at schools. Ideally, reducing tests will give students more time to engage in social and extracurricular activities. Moreover,since exams in schools are not going to be eliminated soon, a working student must prioritize and delve on what is most basic and important to him/her.
Franklin Covey Company
In essence, according to the premise laid out by Boushly (2016), life –work balance can be achieved through the intervention of the learning and employ institutions. Conversely, Hyatt, a former CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers and teacher for the plan of living forward, suggests that life- work balance is purely by choice. By this, the author demonstrates that everyone can create and execute a plan that acts as a guide regarding the type of life they intend to lead. Moreover, regardless of whichever choice one makes, all aspects of human life cannot be satisfied. As a result, Hyatt advises students take life in stages and responsibilities handled as they arise. Although the author’s intervention of developing a life-work balance plan is reasonable, it is not tenable for because of the myriad of variables involved in the life of a working student (Hyatt, 2016). More so for young adults who have to balance between the academic, social and work life. Nevertheless, working students can handle day to day responsibilities while making simple changes to create a flexible working schedule.
On the other hand, Merrill (2004), who is the vice president, leadership consultant, and teaches as well as the co-founder of Franklin Covey Company, explores the concept of life-work balance using a four quadrant model approach. According to Merrill’s methodology, all human activities can be categorized as urgent, not urgent, important and unimportant (Merrill, 2004). Ideally, this model is structured to direct a working student in making choices that would greatly promote both his/her life and work balance. Generally, the approach is unique based on time and the diverse situation of individual. While an aspect of an individual life may be urgent, similarly it can be unimportant and vice versa. For this reason, Merrill theoretical framework is concerned with the attainment of happiness rather than material property. As a result, the philosophy is based on the conviction that the family presents the key to happiness. Notably, in the course of his work, the author developed a self -assessment metric that evaluates elements such as work, life, time and money (Merrill, 2004). From the result, one can determine their status on work-life balance and therefore makes the necessary changes to improve his/her life.
Person’s physical and mental health
Although maintaining a life-work balance is a paramount struggle, it is important for a person’s physical and mental health. According to several sociological and organizational studies, conflicts between work and personal roles can cause depression. For this reason, employers should assist in developing flexible working conditions that allow their staff to spend time with their loved ones as well as attend to personal chores (Siva, 2014). Arguably, advances in technology have enhanced the flexibility regarding the locations which work can be carried out. Nevertheless, increased application of technology results blurs the line between personal life and work. Whereas in traditional employment workers operate in at a definite time frame, the working hours outside the working place are restricted. In a recent study conducted by the labor department, one of the top priorities for the current pool of job seekers is work flexibility (Siva, 2014). Similarly, for working students, a major concern is flexibility between school, work, and home. Although this report provides guidelines from studies that can be employed by everyone in the society to attain life work balance, it specifically targets adults working students, professors, and students who face similar challenges. Ultimately, according to research collected so far, the report concludes that working college students have not embraced the interventions of maintaining a life –work balance. Some of the interventions include, having a life plan of activities. Nevertheless, the study acknowledges divergent and contrary opinions which illustrate how adult working students have successfully developed interventions to balance between personal lifestyle and work. As a result, this report suggests that further research and studies should be performed to ascertain the effectiveness of the interventions propagated by some scholars.
Life work balance is a struggle not only to working adult students but all working Americans well as children. For students who work, attending lectures, spending time with family and friends and participating in other non-work activities is a difficult task. Nevertheless, there are various means through which people can have a flexible work schedule. Some of the interventions include reducing the number of tests in school, having a personal plan, and outlining important and urgent lifestyle concerns. Importantly, there are no precise methods of attaining a balance between life and works. The struggle is a process and challenges should be countered as they arise.
What includes the personal plan
Generally, it is everyone’s ambitions to become successful at work, sports, singing, dancing, talking with friends, and making money among other things all at the same time. However, there are challenges that make attaining this balance between 3 basic aspects of life which are work, school and family near impossible. According to a study by Merrill (2004), individuals can attain a flexible work life balance by having a personal plan. The personal plan includes all the activities one partakes in order of priority. Moreover, each activity is allocated a duration or time period based on the importance and urgency. Alternatively, institutions can also assist working students by eliminating the abundant number of tests performed in school. Additionally, employers and labor laws can be amended to avail the employees with flexible working schedules. Ultimately, there is a need for further studies to ascertain effective methods that can assist people towards attaining work and life balance.
The identified problem concerns full time students who work as well as have families back at home. Generally, these learners were identified from their respective institutions of work. Since most of them also had families, working students mostly reside off campus. In view of this, their greatest problem is attending lectures, going to work and delivering their duties and finally retiring at home back to their families. Notably, the initial step in solving the problem is identifying the routines and the individual’s daily activities. For instance, before designing the solution or planned intervention it is important to ascertain whether the individual spends time in activities that do not propagate his/her quest for a flexible work –life balance.
Individual’s daily routine
After identifying the individual’s daily routine, the next step is compiling the activities in order of priority from the least important to the unavoidable. Ideally, the 3 unavoidable variables in the student life include attending school, job and to family. Otherwise, there are other periods of the day that the students spends in leisure and other social activities. From evaluation, the study subject spends quantity hours on social and leisure activities during the weekend. Moreover, he/she does not attend classes or work on Saturdays and Sundays. While this factors were important in designing a work-life balance plan, the individual’s culture, attitudes, preferences, religion and culture were considered, this organized project entails personal objectives as decided by the learner(Hill, Hawkins, Ferris, & Weitzman, 2001). Secondly, the plan is simplistic and generally easy to abide by. Finally, the third benefit is that the plan ensures that no aspect of the learner’s lifestyle is significantly sacrificed. According to the inexpensive plan, the student will have to reschedule his work, and study timetable into more flexible hours. For school, with technology the student can learn from home through video conferring and other forums. The benefit of this is that school life and family life will be combined. Moreover, with this type of arrangement, the learner can access learning material from anywhere including home, work, and hotel among others. Secondly, for the job he/she can request for flexible working hours from the firms managerial team depending on the type of roles he/she performs at the company. Moreover, although life is progressive and should not be put on hold, it would be more beneficial for the student to reduce leisure and social activities during the weekends. Moreover, since college life is only 3-4 years, the student can resume social activities upon completion of his/her studies.
Arguably, despite several programs and action plans which allude to be effective in helping individuals to attain a steady work-life balance, the outcomes are usually different to the expectations. In actuality what the plans illustrates is that for one to have a flexible lifestyle, he/she must sacrifice some aspects of their lives. For this reason, establishing a balance between an individual’s lifestyle and work is very difficult. Moreover, people are born with varied innate characteristics with regards to what is important in life or not. However, some common attributes which can assist an individual in marinating a life –wok balance include effective time management, team work, concentrating on productive aspect of life, observing a healthy life, adaptability to variables, and establish good relationships with people .ultimately, the aim of an action plan should be to assist people to have a better balance of their lives.
Boushey ,H, (2016,April). Finding time. City of Publication: Harvard University Press.
Hyatt, M., (2016). Living forward: A proven plan to stop drifting and get the life you want. New York: Baker Books Publishers.
Hill, E. J., Hawkins, A. J., Ferris, M., & Weitzman, M. (2001). Finding an extra day a week: The positive influence of perceived job flexibility on work and family life balance. Family relations, 50(1), 49-58.
Merrill, R., (2004). Life matters: Creating a dynamic balance of work, family, time, &money.Lehi, UT: McGraw-Hill Education
Siva R., (2014). Work-Life Balance: Thieme Medical Organizational strategies for promoting Work-Life Balance and wellbeing. New York, NY John Wiley & Sons.
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