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Work-life balance.

Noun. The division of ones time and focus between working and family or leisure activities.

There seems to be a worldwide quest to live a better work life balance.  Being that the conversations continue, it would suggest that an acceptable definition has yet to be found.

There is no cookie cutter approach to work-life balance.  Every individual will have a different idea of balance depending on their situation, values, priorities, and goals.  While one person may work for 60 hours a week and still find pleasure and enjoyment in life, another may work part time, but for a number of possible reasons, may find life stressful and out of control.  It’s also important to remember that your balance may shift, even on a daily basis, but certainly at different stages throughout your life and career.

Just like all tasks are not of equal importance, all moments in your day are not equal.  Trying to create equal time in your day for each task is unrealistic and generally unrewarding. ?????

Jim Bird, a Work-Life Balance expert, emphasises that while balance differs between individuals, there are two key concepts that are included in work life balance.  Achievement and Enjoyment.

Achievement: Something done successfully with effort and skill. A result of hard work.

Enjoyment: To feel pride, satisfaction, happiness, love. To have a sense of wellbeing, to celebrate life and all the joys of living.

In the long run, living one without the other will not be easily sustained.  Living a one sided life is the reason that many successful people are not nearly as happy as they should or could be.  Life could quickly become very dull and before you know it, you have missed out on many of lives enjoyable moments.

“Life will deliver the value of balance we desire…when we are achieving and enjoying something every single day…in all important areas of our lives.  As a result, a good working definition of work-life balance is:

Meaningful daily achievement and enjoying in each of my four quadrants: work, family, friends and self”

If someone was to ask you what you definition of a good day is, what would your answer be?

If you could say that you had achieved something and you had enjoyed something every day, your good days would turn into good years.

 

Try these simple strategies to achieve a healthy work life balance.

  • Build your weekly schedule around your four quadrants. Work, family, friends, and self. Making time for your family, hobbies and exercise will help recharge your batteries.
  • Look after your health. Your health should always be your No. 1 priority. If you are not in good shape physically, mentally, or emotionally, both you work life and your personal life will suffer.
  • Delegate tasks to help gain control of your time and eliminate the need for long hours. Sure there will be days when you need to work overtime. The problems comes when these days become the rule rather than the exception.
  • Determine your priorities. What do I need to start doing? Stop doing? Continue doing? Do more of? Do less of? Do differently?
  • Establish boundaries. Make it clear to everyone what you will and will do not at work and at home. Learn to say ‘NO’. Extra jobs done out of guilt will ultimately lead to burn out and feelings of resentment.
  • Turn off alerts and don’t open your emails. This will ensure focus and concentration for a job well done in less time.  It is also important to do this at home to ensure you are giving quality time to those around you.
  • Work smarter, not harder. Using the right combination of time management tools will cut the stress and save you time.

 

If a work-life balance still eludes you, don’t be afraid to ask for help.  Talk to someone that you trust about your situation. There is no need to make big changes all at once and becoming overwhelmed.  By putting a strategy in place, you will able to take small steps towards the balance that you desire, remembering that what balance looks like to you could look very different to the person sitting next to you.

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