When it comes to working, people usually fall under one of two categories. One, they lean towards overdoing it at work. Two, they lean towards “playing” a little too much. Quite obviously, either category may not yield the best results. The key, then, is to achieve a healthy balance between work and personal life.
It is easy to say this, really, but the actual implementation can be quite difficult. However, there are people – many of them quite successful in their chosen fields – who have achieved, and continue to do so, a healthy balance between their professional and personal lives. This means that you and I can do the same thing! How? Read on to find out.
There is no other way to say it. If you are living your life in the fast land, then you simply have to slow down. You may have all the right reasons for your lifestyle. You need your job, and you need to climb up the corporate ladder. The only way you can do that is by working 10 hours every day. You cannot afford to displease your superiors. The list can go on and on.
At the end of the day, however, you just need to take a step back and reassess your lifestyle and your priorities. Sure, you need your job and you want that promotion, but do you really need to pull 10-hour shifts on a daily basis? Do you really need to take your work with you wherever you go? Maybe you’re just taking on more that you are expected to – not because of external pressure, but due to your own self-imposed goals.
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Take the time to enjoy the little things: a few minutes in between meetings, an hour off for lunch, a weekend without work, and so on. If you take the time to experience the little pleasures in life, you will have more energy and motivation at work anyway.
Don’t hesitate to call for help.
This can be true for both your professional life and your personal life. At work, if you feel that the load is becoming too overwhelming (cues: missed deadlines, staying more than 8 hours in the office, etc.), then let your superior know. After all, you are only human and you need to know your limitations. You need to learn to say no so that other aspects of your life will not suffer.
At home, your load can become quite burdensome as well. This is especially true if you are a parent, and you are expected to juggle parenting responsibilities with a full time job. Employing someone else to help with the house keeping or taking care of the kids is not a bad thing, especially if you can afford it.
The bottom line is that you realize what is doable and what is not – and that you ask for help when necessary.
Goal-setting is something that any project manager will know something about. Any business undertaking begins with setting goals. Only once the goals are set can strategies be created.
The same thing applies to your life. If you want to achieve a healthy work life balance, then you need to know how you define this balance. What is it that you want in your life? What do you want to be able to do aside from work? What do you want 5 years from now?
Make your goals as concrete as possible, and write them down. This way, you will be able to measure them and see if you are making any headway in achieving them as time passes.
Identify the things that you need to…
- …stop doing
- …start doing
- …keep on doing
- …do less often
- …do more often
These are concrete ways of laying out your plan that will help you achieve a better work life balance.
Perhaps the most important thing that you need to remember is that you have to decide first – do you really want that balance? Most would probably say yes, but the conviction may not always be present. Unless you make a commitment to balance out different aspects of your life, then you just might find yourself getting burned out or not having as successful a professional life as you would want to have.