Looking for Work-Life Balance?
Work-Life Balance is a something that we have all been talking about for awhile, but what is it? Is it a sweet spot where we are happy at work and able to enjoy a happy, healthy life outside of work? Or is it something that we strive for, but never achieve. One recent suggestion is that we need to look at work as an integrated part of our life rather than pitting work against life.
According to an article in Forbes online magazine, we need to “move from work-life balance to work-life energy.” Primarily because of smart phones, there is a push to be available to work and family 24/7, which has blurred the boundary between work life and home life. Instead of seeking balance, we should be seeking ways we can be energized at creative in all aspects of our lives. Identify what personally energizes us in work and life and move toward that. Of course, balance is different for every person depending on our time of life and temperament.
Stress at work or at home can be a major source of unhappiness and dissatisfaction. Learning how to manage our response to events, situations or even people who stress us out can help us feel more balanced. If we focus on controlling how we respond, rather than railing against something or someone we can’t control, we feel more in control of our lives.
Working hard can be tiring and deplete our energy, but there is a kind of work that can energize you, as well. This state is called flow and it is something that has been getting a lot of attention in the last few years. Pay attention to your work day. Are there activities that put you into a flow state?
Forget about multi-tasking! Try to do one thing at a time and give it your full attention. Jumping quickly from activity to activity without giving any one thing your full attention can create more stress and exhaust you. Multi-tasking can also lead to more errors and re-work.
Instead of trying to work more hours, schedule some downtime. When we allow ourselves to relax and have fun, our creativity and productivity increase.
Drop activities that sap your energy. If you have chores at home that can easily be shifted off of your plate, delegate. Or maybe you are spending time at work listening to a co-worker complain and vent their frustration. That time could be keeping you at work later or sapping your energy for your own job.
Exercise is a great way to take control of your life, your time and your health. Getting regular exercise relieves stress and helps you be clear-headed and productive. Even a short walk around the block or to lunch can give you a boost during your work day.
Ultimately, work-life balance is about our journey and not a place in time. Think about ways you can be happy and energized at work and at home. If you have anything that works for you, or have experienced a flow state, please share it!