There was a time when work and family time had clear boundaries. Nowadays, that is no longer the case and one must be conscious and very careful in trying to achieve the work-life balance to get the best of two worlds. This line has been further blurred by the use of technology that makes people available even after hours and consumes the time spent relaxing.
On a more cheerful note – even though it might be hard, it doesnt mean it is impossible to achieve work-life balance. However, what this balance will mean for each of us will be different, as our needs and responsibilities differ too. The ideal state of harmony and the road to achieving it will vary, as does what we are struggling with right now. Thats why the solution needs to be tailored and why we will propose later a small exercise designed to help you move closer to your individual desired state.
Gains and benefits of achieving the balance
The appropriate condition of balance and the avenues of attaining it will differ from person to person, but the benefits of achieving harmony are significant to all people employed. When employees experience a sense of command of their own lives and time division between work and rest they are more engaged and energetic in both.
Being in control and knowing there is designated time for each helps people focus on work while at work and deal with family matters outside of it. Not merely do they enjoy family time more, but they are equally able to build better relationships with coworkers and management. Fostering better relationships reduces the number of conflicts and increases productivity. A company is only as great as its people and studies prove that employees that have an optimal work-life balance do a better job. Therefore, companies that encourage this balance will yield good results in productivity, employee retention rates and become more enticing attracting the most outstanding talent out there.
Managing the balance will have an extensive effect on health and wellbeing in general. Being tired and overworked takes a great toll. Thinking process becomes clouded and productivity declines. Over more, tiredness can lead to dangerous mistakes at work and in private life. Stress from working too hard and not tending to yourself has negative effects on the immune system. In turn, this has a negative impact on any medical condition and overall health.
Bear in mind, dedicating the majority of time to work leads to more work. By showing you are responsible and get the work done, you invite people to rely on you in the future again. This leads to less and less time devoted to family and friends. Time remains the resource we need to be most careful about spending as it is not limitless and you cant get it back. Think about what you spend it on before you run out of it. In the words of Steve Blank: When you’re gone would you rather have your gravestone say, ‘He never missed a meeting.’ or one that said, He was a great father.
Moving closer to the Ideal
Before we attempt to change something we need to comprehend where we are currently and what we would desire to avoid. Therefore, the following technique could help in gaining clarity and taking the first steps towards the ideal state of work-rest.
You need very little material – a pen and a paper. If you dont have it handy, perhaps your imagination can do. Start by drawing a straight link across the paper in a letter position. On the left end of the line, you should write a phrase that indicates the undesired state of work-life balance and on the left the desired state. Ask yourself, what would like it to be, and what would I dislike in terms of this balance. For example, one could write living to work on the left, unwanted, and working to live on the other, desirable, end. Find your own wording and note it down.
Next, think of this line as a continuum going from the state you dont want to be in up to the one you wish you had. This step is about positioning yourself on this continuum NOW, in 2 and 5 years, on your worst day and in the IDEAL state. Take the time you require to figure out where to mark each of these on the line. An additional step could be trying to position people close to you on this line, to the best of your knowledge. For all you know, some of them will be an explicit model of what you like to avoid in life and what you want to aim for. If you discover you know someone who has achieved what you desire, they can be a resource and you could reach out for guidance.
Furthermore, we want to move from understanding to applying. Once you have them all noted, think of two small things you could do that would get you closer from where you are NOW to the IDEAL. Remember the tale of the rabbit and turtle race? Even the most modest steps bringing you closer to the goal, as long as you are persistent and dont give up. Conceivably that modest step for you would be saying NO to additional work or to staying over hours? Would you need learning how to delegate better to decrease the workload you are handling right now? Would it be making a list of priority items that prompt your response after hours and those that can wait until you come to the office? Could you need to communicate more clearly when you are available for work and set clear expectations when they can (not) reach you? Whatever these two steps are, they need to make sense to you and be applicable to your unique situation.
Ultimately, it is possible you opt for Coaching for success and find a great Gold Coast Business Coach to assist you in this endeavor. A coach could assist in developing steps that are outside of your comfort zone but still not terrifying. What you decide to undertake at this stage should be challenging enough, but not paralyzing you with fear. Otherwise, you will simply go back to the behaviors you are comfortable with which lead you to predictable outcomes. However, if you continue going down the same familiar road, you will inevitably end up on the same place in the end. Change is about designing the following modest step and estimating the consequences before you take it.
Slow and steady is the key
Remember, creating a healthy work-life balance is a continuous process. Re-examine your priorities from time to time, draw the line again and if needed find assistance to support you staying on course. Work-life balance does not imply an equal division of time. Figuring out an optimal number of hours to allocate to each requires an investment of time and energy. Successively, life will reward you with feelings of fulfillment, meaning, and calmness. Being attentive and investing consistently will yield good results and ultimately achieve the harmony you need to make the most of the two worlds.
30 April 2019 Article Submitted byMilica Markovic