Increasingly people search for the elixir of work life balance. A life where one’s personal and professional life can sit side by side. If you can address the following areas then you will instantly take some positive steps to improve your work life balance.
You need to really define what work life balance means to you. In one month’s, time if you were to improve your work life balance what would it look like, what would it feel like and what would you hear? Would you feel in control, less stressed and have more time to spend on important areas of your life e.g. family? Write or draw what you would like your life to look like in one month’s time and don’t worry about the detail.
What areas do I need to address first?
Think of all the areas in your life that stop you from having work life balance such as finance, career, health issues, childcare, commuting, lack of delegation, dis-organization and being a perfectionist. Write a list or draw pictures of all the areas that need to be addressed in order to give you work life balance.
What is my definition of balance?
Look at each area you have identified and think of a goal that will give you more balance in your everyday life. Then think about the practical steps you can take to achieve your goal and what action you need to take to implement it. It does not matter how small the step is but it is essential to start taking action as it helps you focus on gaining balance within your life.
A common issue for many people is long working hours. If your goal is to leave work on time, two nights a week, some practical steps could be to write in your time management system that you will leave at 5.30 p.m. and not schedule any meetings after 4.30 p.m. You should then fully utilize this time and do something that will give you more balance, which you normally don’t get time for.
What is my time frame?
Think of what small steps you can start making within the next 24 hours and then start thinking about the next week and month.
How can I manage my time more effectively?
Think of three areas in your week where you could save time. Think of your time wasters and address them so that you free up more time e.g. stop browsing on the Internet. Also, where possible think of doing tasks in blocks e.g. leave work on time, pick up kids, go to the Gym and then the supermarket to buy items on your list.
If you planned a few evenings a week to incorporate everyday chores and little tasks like Internet banking think of the large blocks of time you would gain and what you could be doing with that time.
What should I do with my free time?
Once you have more time in your day, carefully think about what you want to do with it. Do you want to spend it with family, friends or on yourself? Do you want to do something spontaneous or plan it in advance? Your quality time is the ultimate benefit of work life balance.
How do I maintain my work life balance?
Implementing change that covers both your personal and professional life will take time so be realistic. If you occasionally slip into your old pattern don’t spend time dwelling on it. However, if it happens regularly ask yourself, “what other practical steps can I take to ensure I reach my goal?” After one week ask yourself whether the balance in your life has improved and if so how?
What is my elixir for work life balance?
Trust yourself. When you have achieved an improved work life balance you will feel positive mental and physical changes within you e.g. more confident, relaxed and energetic.
Once you have found you elixir you will never want to let go of it! So, make sure that you maintain it by thinking about it on a weekly basis. Always be honest with yourself and focus on the real benefits of work life balance.
Happy and Balanced Living for Now and for Years to Come!!!