Do You Have Work Life Balance?
Does work-life balance elude you? Is work-life balance possible for you? Would you like to have more time for the things and people that are important to you?
I was honoured to be invited as a Monash Alumni, to be a part of the panel of speakers at the recent Alumni Mentoring Leadership event, to inspire current Monash students with advice on work-life balance. It brought back memories walking past the Robert Menzies Building and lecture theatres where I had most of my Economics and Econometrics lectures (as part of my first degree).
Following this event, I thought I would share some of my thoughts on work-life balance with my followers too.
What is Work Life Balance?
Work life balance is a vague notion which means different things to different people. Rather than defining work life balance for you, I prefer that you think about what work life balance means to you. For example, at the above Monash Alumni event I shared what work-life balance means to me – being clear about my priorities in life and then making time for the things and people that are important to me.
Think about what work life balance means to you:
- What are your priorities in life right now?
- Who are the people you wish to spend more time with personally?
- Who are the people you wish to spend less time with personally?
- Who are the people you wish to spend more time with professionally?
- Who are the people you wish to spend less time with professionally?
- Which goals are important for you to achieve this year, next year, etc?
- What activities or hobbies do you enjoy and wish to spend more time enjoying?
- What activities do you wish to spend less time doing?
- Is it possible for you to make the above changes?
- If not, what prevents you from making those changes?
- What distractions are you allowing to get in the way of your desired balance?
How to Regain Balance
Your answers to the above questions will help define what work-life balance means to you. Then once you have this clarity, you can determine if you now have the balance you seek. If not, you can manage your time to make sure that you spend your time on the priorities that are important to you, and less time on the rest. You decide who to spend time with, how much time, what you do with your time and how much you enjoy what you do. Then you may need to make some decisions in your life to ensure that you have the balance you seek.
This is exactly what I did when I transitioned from working for a major financial institution to running my own company in 2000. That decision to transition was the best decision as it has helped me to create the life and balance that I enjoy. Think about any decisions you may need to make to create the balance you seek.
Because our priorities can change over time, it is important to review the above to make sure that the way you spend your time reflects your current priorities. You will also know it is time to review balance when you pay attention to the warning signs. Some of these may include:
- Not wanting to go to work when you are normally motivated (this was my warning sign to transition)
- Feeling exhausted or emotionally drained when you usually have energy
- Little or insignificant things stress you, frustrate you, annoy you
- The fire/spark in your belly goes out
- Feeling unhappy or dissatisfied about life/work/relationships/health
- Regretting missing out on things that once you had time for
- Resenting doing things that you used to enjoy
- Resenting people in your life/at work
Pay attention to the early warning signs and act upon them right away. If you leave them unaddressed for too long it may cause additional stress or other challenges.
Looking forward to continuing to empower you.
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