‘Work–life balance’ is a phrase often used but seldom defined. In the context of a COVID-19 pandemic, it may seem a twee concept as healthcare workers do what is needed to deal with exceptional circumstances. However, once the pandemic is over, many will be re-evaluating their life choices. This article aims to clarify what we mean by work–life balance and, within the confines of a busy job in cardiology, suggests strategies on how best to maximise it.
When work is life
Work–life balance is the relative allocation of time to professional activity compared with non-professional activity. ‘Good’ work–life balance usually means prioritisation of the latter. It is frequently a synonym for giving time to childcare or domestic tasks.1 ‘Poor’ work–life balance usually connotes a heavy emphasis on the importance of, and time allocated to, professional activities compared with non-professional ones.
These value-laden descriptors—‘good’ and…