Let’s Be Honest About WorkLife Balance
By Donovan Grant
"Life's demands may not slow up any time soon, and learning life balance is an ongoing art. If you think one day you will get it all done, and then you can relax, you are bound to be disappointed."
Christina Winsey-Rudd – Author
The results are in. Work-life balance is for everybody! The question is does it really exist? It doesn’t really seem possible for us to have an equal amount of time at work as we do at home. Sometimes you need more time at work to get that project finished; and the case for many of us we need more time at home to share quality time with the family.
The truth is work-life balance is different for all of us. And one thing for sure is that one person’s balance is another person’s worst nightmare. So, why are we hearing about work-life balance so often these days. What’s changed?
Well we all know that the traditional family life has moved on from just 5, 10 or even 20 years ago.
Just for starters… some families are no longer able to live comfortably on one salary so mums are choosing to work rather than stay home to raise the children; dads are working longer hours to keep their job status so they return home stressed and in no mood to play; and our young people are graduating from university and they have no prospect of jobs to go to. The traditional way of life is not the same so it makes sense that our needs for balance are not the same.
Oh and by the way, life balance is not just for families; the same can be said for couples or single people too. Couples want to spend more cuddle time together instead of keeping in touch via the Blackberry; Young men want to meet up with their buddies for a social event and young ladies are eager to get back in time to make the body pump class at the local gym. Everybody has got a reason to live a balanced life.
Here’s something that I have discovered during my research…Work life balance is not simply having enough time off work to do fun stuff.
It takes more than having more time off to make people happy. Well for me and a few colleagues I spoke to at the office work life balance is about keeping things in alignment with who you are and what you value dearly. These are four things that we agreed were important:
1. The desire to raise a loving family that cherishes honesty, difference, understanding and growth in each other.
2. The need to maintain a healthy, mind, body and spirit so that you can fulfil various roles in life.
3. It is important to earn a healthy financial position so you are able to contribute beyond just your own family.
4. The need to enjoy an interesting and forward moving career and/or business where you make a difference for the people we serve.
Now these are top level topics (I am going to expand on these in future posts) that are cornerstones of our lives. When we have a semblance of balance in these areas life feels great. Just like it is for me now!
Now you’re probably thinking, how do I get those four aspects all balance? Or some of you may be thinking is this just looking through rose tinted glasses?
Please note that this is not talking about getting all your ducks lined up in a row here. It’s about a sensible feel good factor. As it happens, I personally chased perfection for 10 solid years in my life and I discovered that perfection is overrated. I was constantly looking for imperfections!
The type of balance that I am talking about is where life as a whole is good and more importantly you are in control. What this means is that you are willing to take responsibility for all your results. Come rain or shine. The good, the bad and the ugly!
The law of rhythm states that “What goes up must come down.” And conversely it will go up again. So, it’s really about staying on track with your dreams come what may.
A quick question for you. . . On a scale of 1 – 10, how do you score yourself on your personal work-life balance?
Now I hope that it was easy for you to answer that question. If it wasn’t it could be that you’ve never taken the time out to give yourself a check up. My friend, you owe it to yourself to know where you are at in life. Socrates once said that “an unexamined life isn’t worth living.”
What did Socrates mean by that? Maybe he was saying that we have to know ourselves. You need to be aware of what makes you tick; what you like and dislike; what are you goals and dreams; what are your life values; what are your career plans. And the list goes on. . . the point is that it pays to take a look at your life on a regular basis to see if you are on track with your vision.
What’s your honest opinion on work life balance?
Grab a pen and your journal and make a few notes about what it really means to you. Remember this- work-life balance is for everybody!
Please add a comment below to share your view on what work-life balance means to you. Do it now!
PS. Look out for the next article in this series on work-life balance.
I believe in you and I am grateful to you for allowing us to serve you each and everyday!
Donovan Grant is a "Honest and True Step By Step Work-life balance and Career Coach. His systems help the average career changer as well as high flier get extra-ordinary results quickly. www.donovangrant.com.