When there is no with no work-life balance it is easy to become overwhelmed and lose your joy in life. You find yourself constantly putting out fires between work and home, facing extra challenges and stresses that are generated by the chaos, and relationships suffer too. Let’s look at some ways to find an effective work-life balance that is practical.
What is work-life balance
Work-life balance is Meaningful daily achievement and enjoyment in each one of your quadrants – Work, Family, Friends and Self. This does not mean equal balance in number of hours worked for each activity or area, but rather life should be fluid.
The balance will vary often on a daily basis, depending on what happens in each day. Today will carry its own variety of family, work, life issues and challenges, and tomorrow will have its own mix. Also, your status in life determines the balance: single or married, with or without children, working or retired, ill or well.
There is no such thing as “one size fits all”, but rather each of us has different priorities, values, opportunities and challenges. Therefore, your balance is unique to you, and would not work for someone else.
Vital to finding an effective work-life balance, there are two key areas that apply to all of us:
Daily Achievement and Daily Enjoyment
These two are like two sides of a coin, you cannot have one without the other.
Trying to live without one of these is the reason so many seemingly successful people are not happy.
Why do your children have to be in the most expensive school ? Why do you feel you must have a bigger office, higher salary, shinier car, better title, a bigger house, more degrees ? You need to carefully and honestly question why you think these things are vital and what is not so important. Figure out your Priorities.
Enjoyment is not about laughing all the time. It is finding happiness, really enjoying the finer things in life, a sense of being well in your heart and mind, truly happy just to wake up every day.
When was the last time you achieved a milestone at work or actually enjoyed a moment at work? How about at home, when did you last do something purely fun with your family or friends? Have you done anything just for you recently, a massage or a treat?
At work you can create a work-life Balance by making sure you Achieve but also Enjoy as much of work and life every day. Don’t wait for others to compliment you on achievements, do it yourself, and helps others do the same.
By being productive, genuine and looking for the joy in all you do, you become more attractive to those around you, and your good positive habits will encourage them to look for that balance also.
If your work and personal lives are not in sync, you become anxious and very stressed.
We spend more time at work as the pressures of deadlines and retaining our jobs grows, and we miss out on valuable family time or just time for yourself. It takes hard work and planning to obtain a balance.
Work invasion on Personal Life
Especially now in this covid era, people are under more pressure to carry higher workloads as staff compliments are lower, and to deliver so as to retain the job. It is the norm now to work even 18 hour days to keep up with international clients and timelines.
More and more we are working from home, with laptops ad wifi, and are now taking home work that we never did before.
You may find yourself regularly working overtime to achieve and impress, just to keep your job.
Relationships suffer as we often postpone family engagements and children for work.
Strike the Best balance possible
Keep a Log
Track daily what you do in a sheet, for 1 week: work and home. Then look at it honestly and weed out what is important for work and home respectively, and what you can cut or delegate to others. Have an open respectful talk to your supervisor about your suggestions and have a family meeting at home.
Learn to say “No”
Say No Respectfully and don’t back down, especially when your time is fully allocated, or it is an extra that will take away from another area in your life. Most times people take advantage of us if we never say NO. But say Yes when you can.
Leave work at work.
Create boundaries and stick to them. No work calls after a certain time. Turn off the laptop.
Have a separate phone for work to your personal number, and turn the work one off when you are in family or personal time.
Manage your time
Schedule household chores and don’t try do everything yourself, so that you can enjoy more personal time.
Miscommunication often ends up in lengthy arguments or unresolved tasks. Listen carefully, hear the other person and make yourself understood clearly.
Fight the guilt.
You are allowed to work and have a family too. There is nothing to feel bad about.
Make time for you. Pick hobbies and things that you really enjoy and get the relaxation and rejuvenation you need. A walk by the river, a cycle, a jog, massage, new hairdo, knitting. Whatever it is.
Protect your day off. Do not underestimate the value of time off. Your mind and body need a break, or you will be taking sick leave.
Get enough sleep
Seek professional help if you are not coping. There is nothing wrong with that.
Work-related stressors easily and quickly spill over into personal relationships, bringing even more stress, poor eating habits, excessive use of Alcohol and smoking, and health issues. Lifestyle diseases such as high blood pressure, uncontrolled cholesterol and diabetes, are very real.
FIND YOUR BALACE, AND KEEP WORKING ON IT. ITS A WORK OF ART.
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