I recently had to make my way back from burn-out. I was working too much and living too little. I set out to shift my life and with the help of coaches and support, discovered five principles to mastering Work-Life Balance. Now I live a life of “More Being and Less Doing”!
Can you relate to working too much, feeling overwhelmed, stuck, unfulfilled, or are you just lacking passion for life? I have been there and I can help. Contact me and we’ll set up a time to have a conversation about bringing the passion back, breaking out of the rut , and creating a life of balance.
“No matter how busy you are, or how busy you think you are,
the work will always be there tomorrow, but your friends might not be.”
The Elusive “Work-Life Balance”
It is a stand-out goal for most, and yet, the concept of a work-life balance is still vague at best. Part of that is in it’s uniqueness to each individual, and part of that is the difficulty of quantifying what it means.
What constitutes balance for you? How do you measure it when you’re working more than you need? What truth is there in the old adage, “you have to work hard to succeed”?
The tool I found most helpful came from worklifebalance.com which guides us to find balance from:
“meaningful daily achievement and meaningful daily enjoyment.”
It’s so simple and it flipped my perspective so I now measure and plan my day in a new way. It is a given that I need to feel productive and I need to feel pleasure every day – in all the areas in my life.
Principles of More Being Less Doing
After the support and work I made, what I found helped me most in creating a work-life balance were the following five principles:
What are you working towards? What’s the end goal? For myself, I was just trying to keep up and had lost sight of the “big picture.” Take time this weekend to write out what your working towards and see if and how much it includes personal, family, friends as well as work and financial goals. Keeping all areas of your life in mind, and take a baby steps towards each of them each day.
I wrote an article on Boundaries last year. Seems I was destined to learn more about it as I found myself struggling to keep up with my commitments and having a hard time saying, “No!” Check out the article for all the tips. Boundaries are key to creating balance! One place to start: leave work at work, and set limits on email and work hours.
“Balance is not better time management, but better boundary management.
Balance means making choices and enjoying those choices.”—Betsy Jacobson
This concept started for me when I worked through Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way. It is important to block off time in our schedule to get creative and find inspiration, which in many ways looks a lot like play time. Take a look at your schedule and block off one two-hour period each week for a play date with yourself. And then go do what inspires you: walk in nature, visit a museum, see a play, etc. The secret sauce is in following your bliss, allowing your inner child to express and explore. While friends can help, this principle is especially powerful when it is something you do alone.
In today’s world, with website like fiverr.com and taskrabbit.com it makes more sense to hire someone to do the tasks which you don’t have time or energy to do. One great piece of advice I got was to hire others to do the things I’m not naturally drawn to doing. It frees me up to do all the things I am passionate about.
This is a big one! Part of the challenge of not feeling productive enough is when I try to measure up to vague, undefined concepts of success, largely set by other people’s definition of success. When I do not have an idea what success means to me, I just keep running on a hamster wheel. Decide before you start your day what success is going to look like, and aim for that. Yes, aim high and allow for being human!
Impacts from your Environment
Work-life Balance is supported in an environment where there are clear boundaries between your work areas and your living areas.
For example, if you work at your dining table, be sure to completely clear off all work items before eating – otherwise, you’re literally eating your work.
Another way to maintain balance in your office space is to keep mementoes of your non-work life evident while at your desk. Too much would be clutter, but you can have a desktop photo or a few small items that remind you of the life you are working for, not the work you are living for.
“Work is just a part of our Life, not vice versa. So Live life full time, work work, part time.” – Vikrum
Wishing everyone a balanced and successful life!