Work/Life Balance - Is There Such A Thing?
If you’re finding it more challenging than ever to juggle your life and the demands of your job, you are not alone.
In a modern world where we have the technological ability to be in work-mode well after clocking off, we are working more hours than we used to. The ability to switch off, literally, is becoming more difficult.
Couple that with job insecurity and expectations from bosses that staff should work longer hours, leaves many of us feeling worn-out and overworked.
In a recent WA Speaks survey by The Sunday Times, only 6.4% of respondents reported feeling as though they had the right balance between work and their life. A total of 43% felt that they worked too much. It would be wise to presume that people are craving a balance of sorts.
Work-life balance refers to finding the right mix of work and life suited to us personally. Working too much isn’t healthy for anyone, and not working at all (or enough) doesn’t pay the bills or provide a sense of accomplishment. We all need a purpose for the day.
People talk about wanting a work-life balance and some even crave it. Yet most of us don’t actively put anything in place to get it. It begs the question as to whether people believe that work-life balance is actually attainable. Well, it is, YOU just have to make it happen.
If you are finding that you have too much on your plate, then it is likely that you put it there. Once you realise this, it allows you take the reigns of your life again. Taking responsibility for overworking allows you to start looking at ways you can change it.
Think about what brings meaning to your life and start building it in to your life again as though it as important as work meetings and deadlines.
Even if you don’t have much control over the hours you have to work, ask yourself – What are all the things in my life I can control?
You can control your downtime, your family time, sports games with mates, your date nights, exercise and nights out with friends. You can choose getting out of the office at lunch for a walk, and also what you have for lunch. You can also control switching your smartphone off at night, so you can have that hard-earned break.
Busy-ness is subjective. I know people that purport to be ‘busy’ all day but it’s actually about not managing their time well. To quote The 4 Hour Work Weeks Tim Ferris, ‘focus on being productive, instead of busy.’ Have a look at what you are spending your time on at work, and see what is sapping most of it. If it involves scrolling on Facebook, a talkative colleague, or duties that technically would be better done by someone else, then you might want to rethink how to work smarter.
Working productively can mean working less – which gives you more time for life.
So, visualise what your ideal week looks like, build the structure and be strict with your boundaries of the components of it. Life activities need to be booked into your schedule as important as the work activities.
The irony about work-life balance is that if you do it right, you will actually be better at work, and life. Funny that.
You are not your job, so don’t make your life one.