Creating Work-Life Balance
You may have noticed lately there have been numerous articles on work-life balance. And even more on the concept of work-life integration. But how do you achieve this balance when you work with a company that believes the more hours an employee puts into the week the more productive they are towards contributing to the company goals. This employer attitude is more than likely to contribute to employees burning out, health related issues and as a result employees are more likely to leave. Let’s take a look at how you can achieve the balance you need in your life.
Understand your company’s culture
Take a look at what senior management and even what the CEO of your company does with their time. Do they have hobbies, do they talk about spending time with their kids, do they engage in physical activities. This will start to give you an inclination towards if the company values having balance in your life. By contrast however, are management always at work, pulling long hours, are there on weekends, attending to emails long after work hours. This will let you know that personal time may not be a value in the organization. This should be something to consider if work life balance is what you aspire to have in your life.
Assess your priorities
If you find yourself feeling guilty about not spending enough time with the people you love or are constantly putting in extra hours at work and this has caused you to miss events or crucial moments with your family you may not be achieving the balance you need. Assess what you make a priority in your life. If it’s your family, personal time, volunteering etc. assess if you are making time for them and how. Develop a list of what is essential to spend time doing. Make a schedule of your essential activities, put it in your calendar and make sure you attend to these items. Make yourself accountable and cancel only if necessary.
Assess what you are currently doing to achieve balance
If you are currently stressed out, tired of what you are doing and feel as if you don’t have time then you may not have the balance you need in your life. Doing only one or two activities for example only going to work or going home to do house work does not qualify as a balanced life. Re-visit past activities that helped to keep you energized. Was it visiting friends, engaging in a hobby, going for walks with interesting scenery? Start to re-visit previous activities and as mentioned above turn it into a priority.
Explore Your Options
If your current schedule isn’t conducive to getting much balance or it hiders you from taking the time you need to engage in activities that bring happiness it may be time to re-evaluate your situation. Start assessing where you may need more support. For example do you require a more flexible schedule, are you able to find time during your lunch break to disconnect. Assess were you need support and if applicable present your employer with an action plan. If however you find there is no compromise on your employer’s end you can consider other opportunities that align with your values. Balance in your life can be achieved. It starts with you to make it a priority. And remember there’s more to life than working!