Finding work-life balance in today’s fast paced world is not a simple task. If you are spending more time at work than at home, you could likely miss out on rewarding personal life moments. Then again, when you face challenges in your personal life, such as caring for a young child or managing marital situations, concentrating on your job can be difficult. If your job is overwhelming and exposes you to potential stress, then you may begin to feel pulled between the emotional needs of work and the emotional needs of home. Whether the issue is too much focus on work or too little, when your work life and your personal life feel out of balance, stress – along with it’s harmful effects – is the result.
Work-life balanace does not mean an equal balance. Trying to schedule an equal number of hours for each of your various work and personal activities is usually unrealistic. Life is and should be more fluid and flexible than that. Your best individual work-life balance for you today will probably be different for you tomorrow, as our priorities and goals shift and change. The right balance for you when you are single will be different when you are married, and/or if you have children; also when you start a new career verses when you are retiring. There is no perfect, one-size fits all, balance you should be striving for. The best work-life is different for each of us because we all have different lives.
The first step to help create work-life balance is to recognize those people or activities that you value the most. At the core of an effective work-life balance definition are two concepts – achievement and enjoyment. Most of us what to achieve so that we move up the ladder of whatever we are working on. Most of us also want to have enjoyment of life, which does not just mean happiness but also a sense of well-being and love. Look at achievement and enjoyment as the front and back of a coin – you cannot have one side without the other.
How To Have Achievement and Enjoyment
1. Identify Your Life Values – Create a list of what you find most valuable in your life. This list could be a wide range of valuables from your partner, children, and family, the time you spend alone mediation or taking a yoga class, dinner with friends, to a special project at work that you a working on.
2. Evaluate The Importance Of Your Values – Compare what is on your list. Some things will have a higher demand than others depending on the time and situation. Know that this list will likely shift throughout different phases of your life.
3. Schedule In Your Values – Begin to work what you value into your daily or weekly schedule. If it is scheduled into you calendar, it will likely be achieved with the added bonus of being enjoyed!
Focusing on achievement and enjoyment in every day life will help with balancing and getting the most out of your experiences.