Work – Life Balance

Is it a Myth? Can You Actually
Achieve Work-Life Balance?

12

“You will never feel truly satisfied by work until you are satisfied by life”

~ Heather Schuck ~

Client Karen Asks: I feel like I’m being pulled in all directions at once. My boss wants higher productivity, my family wants more time with me. Is balancing work and a personal life hard to do for most people?

Coach Joel Answers: It’s becoming an increasingly common problem in today’s hyper-competitive world. In a survey conducted by Strategy One, a global research and consulting firm they found that 89% of 1,043 Americans they surveyed state that work/life balance is a problem for them.

If you’re feeling out of balance right now, I recommend you shift your mindset with these ideas:

  • Accept that you can’t please everyone. If you try, the only person who ends up not being pleased is you!
  • Remember that you and your needs are important. Ask yourself: where do I need to be in order to get my needs met right now?
  • Set boundaries and stick to them. Your boundaries will protect you when work becomes challenging.
  • Keep your expectations of yourself realistic. One of the great myths of all time is that “You can have it all.”
  • Underpromising will help you take off some of the pressure. Don’t try to be a hero or a superstar. Stop trying to look better than your colleagues.

Obviously, you have a challenging career. That makes it almost inevitable that you’ll find yourself consumed in work. There are several ways you can prevent this from getting out of control.

  • Set goals and priorities for both your personal and professional life. This will help you decide how to dedicate time and energy to both sides of your existence.
  • Develop some new and exciting personal interests.
  • Determine what situations at work or at home you can and cannot control.
  • We’ve already mentioned boundaries. Learn to say “No” when requests go beyond your boundaries or don’t fit with your goals and priorities.
  • When you feel like your work/life balance is getting out of control, talk to your boss and discuss ways you can regain balance. Most companies realize that a happy employee is a more productive employee.

Very few companies expect their employees to have no life outside of work. Those that do find themselves with a high frequency of burnout, increased health care costs due to stress, and excessive turnover. Having a perfect work and life balance is seldom possible. But making thoughtful adjustments along the way can help you achieve a reasonable compromise.

Read through the lists in this article again and write down five things you’re not doing now that would help bring more balance to your life. Implement at least one of these a week for the next five weeks and the reevaluate how you feel.

Talkback: Do you feel in balance more than out of balance? What are your strategies for creating and maintaining work-life balance?

Image courtesy of Creativa / fotolia.com

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