Dedicated to everyone aspiring to create a full life, both inside and outside of the workplace. #OutsideWork
Work life balance has become an ever increasing topic these days in the workplace and rightfully so. As our economy grows, jobs are being created and more companies are “starting up” – it’s only natural that more people may find themselves short changing themselves in key areas of their lives as a result of a hyper focus on their career or job at hand. Let me make one thing very clear, it’s absolutely fine if not expected that you commit to your job and bring with it your passion, enthusiasm, curiosity and leadership (amongst a slew of other characteristics) but never lose site of how equally important it is to create balance outside the workplace.
Nowadays companies all over the world have heard the calls to improve in this area and more companies (and industries) are following suit creating a host of new benefits and opportunities to make work easier and life overall more enjoyable. As a Learning and Development professional but also as someone who works in People Operations, I understand that this conversation isn’t one sided and in fact requires both you (the employee) as well as your environment (/your company) to find that nirvana or dare I say “happy place” where work gets done, results are achieved and most importantly, the employees are happy.
Fact: 21% Employees who feel they have a better work life balance tend to work harder
So what exactly is Work-Life balance? Is it as simple as working no more than 40 hours a week? Well yes, no and sorta – let me explain. I came across one compelling definition I thought worth sharing:
- Work-life balance, in its broadest sense, is defined as a satisfactory level of involvement or ‘fit’ between the multiple roles in a person’s life. Although definitions and explanations vary, work-life balance is generally associated with equilibrium, or maintaining an overall sense of harmony in life.
Here are 11 signs you should be watching out for to make sure your work-life balance is in check versus you becoming checked out.
- Your friends and family jokes about your absence.
- You personal hygiene and self-care has diminished.
- You can barely make it to the end of the week and feel completely exhausted.
- You’re forgetting a lot of (little and big) things.
- You’re feeling like you are falling behind and can never catch up.
- You’re feeling like there is not enough time in the day to meet all of your demands.
- You’re thinking about the things you have to do at home while you are at work and thinking about the things you have to do at work while you are at home.
- You’re feeling over extended.
- You’re constantly feeling the need to overachieve.
- Your work area is disorganized.
- Your sleeping habits are off.
The good news for you is that this isn’t a life sentence and it can be somewhat remedied through taking some of the actions below. Although this compiled list may not be science shattering news, I know firsthand that they do indeed work over time.
- Limit internet time – set better boundaries so that technology does not rule your life. For more tips, take a look at 50 Instant Productivity Hacks You Need To Know.
- Pursue your passion persistently – own it and be disciplined in achieving what you truly desire out of life. For more inspiration, take a look at 45 Things You Should Give Up Today To Live A Happier Life.
- Keep a journal – it will help you on a regular basis to stay focused on what is important to you. For more support, take a look at 15 Ways To Keep Those New Years Resolutions
- Every weekend set a goal of doing one fun activity. For more support and inspiration, take a look at 20 Questions To Free Your Mind.
- Define your daily exercise time – what works best for you, 30 minutes in the morning, afternoon or evening? It could be as simple as starting with a wearable fitbit device to count your steps. Look into what options your company offers. For more support, check out this great article from Brazen Life.
- Go to bed a half hour early and get up a half hour early – this allows you to carve out additional personal time. For more support, take a look at 12 Morning Rituals Successful People Add To Their Daily Routine.
- When confronted with a choice, ask yourself these questions: What’s the cost? Will this add to my life or create more stress? For more support, take a look at Bruce Lee’s 7 Beliefs For A More Productive Life.
- Say three gratitudes each night – when you do this you will realize that you are too blessed to stress. For more support, take a look at 35 Powerful Morning Mantras To Start Your Day Off Right & Feeling Great.
- Reprioritize: What are your top 10 priorities for tomorrow, this week, month and year? Rank them in terms of highest, high and low. If work is #1, then take some time to re-consider what the rest of your life—family, friends, hobbies—truly mean to you. For more support, take a look at 25 Ways To Get More Done In The Workplace.
- Every weekend make it a goal to call two friends/family members – you won’t have any regrets about building up these relationships. For more support, take a look at 10 Things Entourage Can Teach You About Close Friends.
- Turn every occasion in your life into a positive – even negative experiences are seen as “What can I learn from this?”. For more support, take a look at 25 Reasons You Should Never Give Up On Yourself.
I can’t stress the importance of first recognizing where you are missing balance. If you can’t identify the gap(s) – you can’t expect to build better balance. If you are truly stumped, ask someone in your life that you trust to tell you the truth. Remember, others can see things about us we simply cannot.
Priorities may change, but taking care of yourself is always important.
Lastly, try to give up the “all or nothing” mentality – some days you will have the balance, harmony and happiness you are striving for and some days you won’t. Simply stated. The important thing to remember is to find what works for you and practice making it part of your routine. Be mindful of these 3 areas moving forward to avoid a potential loss of balance:
- Time: which concerns the amount of time given to work and non-work roles.
- Involvement: meaning the level of psychological involvement in, or commitment to, work and non-work roles.
- Satisfaction: or the level of satisfaction with work and non- work roles.
If you’re still scratching your head wondering if you’re set up for success around achieving your work life balance, take a moment and read the Forbes article The 25 Best Companies For Work Life Balance or browse through the site Glassdoor to get a better understanding of what you may need to be at your best.
Your turn: I really want to hear from you on how you achieve work-life balance? What’s your secret – exercise, eating food…Netflix marathons?
Not-your-typical Personal and Executive Master Certified Coach.
Joshua Miller is a creative and impactful leader. His career experience has spanned both the advertising world and the world of leadership and organizational development. To learn more about Joshua, please visit www.JoshHMIller.com
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