In your working life, you’ve no doubt encountered the challenge of balancing work and life.
Nowadays, the notion of ‘work-life balance’ is a clichéd, overused term and for some, an unreachable destination they have failed to achieve.
As a business owner, it’s been something I’ve reflected on over the years. What does it really mean, how can it trigger action in our own lives and why is it so hard to master over the long term? Here are five things to help you understand, find and retain a great work-life balance.
1. Work-life balance will vary at different stages of your life.
The truth is, our life changes and so does our work. When you place those two things in the context of a changing world, it impacts our work-life balance. When any of those these things change, it’s important to re-evaluate what work-life balance looks like because for almost of all of us, it will change over time. Our job is to make necessary adjustments to regain control.
2. Aim for balance, not perfection
There is no perfect, one size fits all system for work-life balance, and the pursuit of perfection will create a stumbling block. Instead, balance is the key. Finding harmony and balance in your energy input, output and time management is the key to a sustainable work-life balance and although from week to week, your schedule may change, that sense of balance should remain strong over time.
3. Employers of choice build environments that promote balance
Providing an environment where employees can achieve a positive work-life balance is increasingly recognised as a key factor in becoming an employer of choice. For employees and contractors, consider the role you’re taking on and whether it’ll assist or hinder in your quest for balance. For Employers and business owners, consider the things (both small and big) that you can do to create an environment that energises the people you work with and helps them find a better work-life balance.
4. Know the symptom: stress
When your work life and personal life are out of balance, your stress level is likely to soar. Knowing this is a blessing and a curse. The stress creates tension and imbalance in your life, but it can also trigger an awareness in you to make a change, and that it is time to re-evaluate work-life balance in your own life.
5. Set your boundaries and find ways to integrate
Even with the greatest of intentions, if no clear boundaries are in place, a work-life balance will remain out of reach. However, as many experts on the subject have pointed out, balance isn’t about building an impenetrable wall between your personal and professional lives but finding ways to connect and integrate the two.