“Work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. The other four balls – family, health, friends, integrity – are made of glass. If you drop one of these it will be irrevocably scuffed, nicked perhaps shattered.” ~ Gary Keller
What Is Work Life Balance?
Ah, the old work life balance question. I renewed my focus on my own sense of balance after a friend reached out repeatedly and I failed to respond because work consumed my time.
Our perceptions of work life balance differ depending on how you were brought up. If you are a Baby Boomer, you may have heard, “You need to make it in this world. You need to do better than we did.” This conditioning leads to a more work-focused balance.
Or, let’s say you are in Generation X. You might have heard, “Work hard, but family is most important.” This message creates a need for 50/50 balance between work and life.
How Can I Achieve Work Life Balance?
No matter your upbringing, you still ask, “How can I achieve work life balance?”
- Understand your underlying message – Determine if it is true for you today. This helps you figure out how you define balance.
- Look at your calendar – How do you use your time? Write down all you did throughout the week. Then calculate the number of hours spent on various activities.
- Adjust accordingly – Looking at your calendar, is your time in alignment with your definition of work life balance? Adjust what is not.
For example, you may not mind working on your business on a day off. You start to feel out of balance, however, when you don’t take time for self-care. Or, maybe you start to feel out of balance when you stay at the office longer than expected too many days in a row and have to cancel or change personal commitments.
After teaching time management for over 15 years, I know each person’s threshold differs before things get out of balance. You need to understand yours. Then take action to adjust.
More Helpful Tips
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