We don’t really like the term “work-life balance” – somehow it seems to imply that “work” is something else than “life” – and that “life” is somehow more desirable. Not true! Being passionate about your job is an important part of life and even a key element of your well-being.
Instead of separating your “work self” from your “life self”, create a balanced life where you consciously spend and recharge your energy in your unique mix of work, play, family and what else gives you meaning.
Here are five tips – sometimes small but important steps – towards a personal life balance:
- Pause and tune into your needs – if your life is very hectic and there’s a lot of noise (job demands, family demands, full agendas) it’s easy to lose touch with yourself. Take a moment to reflect what you’re feeling, what you’re missing, whose expectations you’re fulfilling, and whether the things in your life are important to you.
- Remember balance is constantly changing, not a one-off achievement – balance today may not be what is was a year ago, and regular reflection and fine-tuning is necessary. Just think of how Covid has changed our lives – working from home with kids home-schooling is so different from the life with a daily commute and many social engagements. Reflect what is needed to bring more harmony and energy to your life in the current situation.
- Widen the time frame of evaluating your balance – it’s not possible to have a perfect day every day, but when you look at your agenda in one- or two-week blocks, you can fit in moments for every role in your life (parent, partner, friend, etc). When you widen the time frame of viewing your balance you don’t need to feel guilty about those days when you neglect one of your roles, because you know their time will come. Let go of perfectionism (at least part of the time ) – for example, part of the week it’s fine to feed your family takeaway meals, when you know that in the weekend you will be spending time to cook wholesome meals.
- Be specific when you ask for a change – remember, your employer or your partner can’t read your mind! Instead of saying “I need some me-time”, say “I would like to go to the gym twice a week. I’m thinking of Tuesday and Saturday. Can you be with the kids for 2 hours?”
- Small things matter! Of course, sometimes big “public” changes to our lives are necessary (for example, quitting a stressful career and re-training for a more meaningful job) – but better balance can often be found in the small things that really matter and make everyday life special. These can be enjoying an unhurried cup of coffee on your own, or attending your favourite yoga class, or reading a bedtime story to your kids. What are the small things that matter to you?
Would you like to hold a conversation with your whole team about living a balanced life? We can organize a themed Happy Hours for you!