Work-life Balance and self-determination theory

What is work life balance?

Work life balance is all about:

  • Attaining mental peace in today’s modern times.
  • Reaching an eEquilibrium between one’s professional and personal lives.
  • Choosing not to mix up their personal and professional life. This is good well-being advice for parents. Similarly, having a consistent focus on spending more time with their children.

In fact, manitaining an unhealthy work life balance can be very disruptive for some families. It does not just affect the mental state of the one/two parent(s). In oterh words, proper implementation of a focused working style at work and consistent involvement in family life is important.

What is self-determination theory?

This theory suggests that people will grow based on some variable components.

Learning new things and performing new tasks is one of the most important elements of self-determination theory.

Key assumptions of self-motivation theory

The need for growth will determine a person’s behavior. The first assumption is that humans actively reciprocate towards growth. The development of a cohesive self is the key determinant here.

The second assumption is that autonomous motivation should exist. There may be many external motivational factors with significant tangible value, such as money, power, fame, etc. However, for this theory to be successful, the individual should have internal motivation as the key element driving them, factors such as the idea of gaining knowledge, improving skills, etc.

How will individuals attain psychological growth?

According to self-determination theory, individuals can attain psychological growth when certain factors are fulfilled. 

Autonomy – people determined to achieve growth will have to attain an autonomous vision. People should have the feeling that they are in control of their behavior. The idea of taking direct action will ultimately result in real changes that assist people in feeling self-determined. Once people know what is in their control and what is not, their actions and goals become clearer and they can make better decisions moving forward.

Sense of belonging – there should be a connection factor involved when someone is anticipating psychological growth. People should have a feeling of belonging somewhere or to some community, which will add more value to their life. 

Attaining self-determination can have many other underlying benefits as well. People become more open to admitting their mistakes and learning from them. If someone has made a mistake in the workplace and if that person is acting with self-determination, then he or she is more likely to admit their fault. Admitting the mistake will provide them with an opportunity to fix it and take corrective steps.

On the other hand, if the person has low self-determination, then he/she will not take the blame and will look for other things to blame. By doing this, first, they diminish their personal character and, second, they do not learn anything from their mistake. The person will also never feel motivated to fix the mistake.

How does self-determination theory work?

The idea of self-determination does not emerge in a person overnight. Rather, it takes continuous effort to build it and people need to work towards it. People should be proactive and not passive. People can either grow from conversations or be ignorant of other peoples’ opinions.