Recently a phrase keeps popping up in conversations and in the media, a cry for more of a "work-life balance". I started asking people what they meant by "work-life balance." Here are the most common responses.
These are big questions and there are myriad solutions out there to address work life balance and stress reduction. Some women believe balance in work and life is a myth, some spend most of their lives striving to achieve it and others choose to simply 'get on with it'. The prospect of addressing work life balance, or managing stress can in itself feel overwhelming and stop us from taking the time to discover how we can balance all the different parts of our lives.
There is no point in setting goals and putting in place action plans to achieve your ideal work/life balance if you don't know what is stopping you from achieving your ideal work/life balance. For example, it may be as simple as you switching off your work mobile phone when you leave the office, so you can't be disturbed by work calls in the evening.
Focus on values. The best place to start finding your work-life balance is with your values. Your balance will be defined by your values. The things you value most should, over time, occupy the most of your time, thought and energy. Once you are clear on your values you can map your activities and time to them. When you do that your ability to understand your perfect balance will be clearer and therefore easier to achieve.
These are only two examples of the many ways that your body affects your mental state and your life experiences. So when I hear all this talk about "balance" I wonder, what does it actually feel like? How is imbalance expressed in our bodies? How can we bring more equilibrium into our actual reality -- our physical body -- in order to we experience more balance in our lives? Here's a way to experiment with your relationship with your life's obligations and opportunities, as it is reflected in your physical being. You can do this sitting down, for starters. Close your eyes for a minute and notice your body's position.
Business success is something all of us are striving for, myself included, but achieving this goal is impossible without a balance at home and work. Working at home is easier once I ironed out the snags that typically get in the way of productivity. By check here creating a simple system, the balance of time between my family, social life and business is a no brainer.
Then, ask yourself what is the purpose of your work/job and does it align well with "who you are" and how you are wired? Does it/can it meet your needs? Do you genuinely like what you do, even though you may not really like the way you are doing it?
How well these systems work will depend on how well they are set up and implemented, and how committed leadership is to it (walking the talk). It will also depend on employees willingness to make choices - learn and work with the systems, ask for help, push back when needed, believe it's possible and to accept the role and responsibility they have in creating a work-life balance they can be happy with.