11/12/2010 4:01 PM
Work/life balance is this thing that we intuitively know is "good" and helps us find our "happy" but its nebulous quality and highly individual interpretation makes it a slippery sucker! So how do you do it? How do you find your personal work/life blance? Here are 3 important steps for actually achieving this golden egg of balance most of us are looking for: 1) avoid the biggest mistake about how we think about balance, 2) understand why balance is important, 3) create your doable balance strategy.
- The biggest mistake in trying to achieve work/life balance is to believe that balance means "50/50" at any given point in time. Balance is an average over time which means it is rarely dead center. If you think about your marriage or significant relationship, how often is it really 50/50? Chances are sometimes you give more and sometimes to get more, depending on the situation. What brings happiness? A balance of giving and receiving over time.
- Balance is so important because it's the sum of energy in and energy out - and just like your bank account - if the balance is too far in the red for too long, you may go bankrupt with your health, happiness, and relationships. If you keep a positive balance of good energy, you can enjoy life, build strong relationships and weather life's ups and downs. Life balance is your "real" retirement account!
- You can achieve work/life balance with 3 management tactics.
- Draw a picture of your perfect day. Look at your picure and identify what is currently effective in your life and what areas need work. You will rarely be at the perfect picture but you can hover close to center most of the time.
- Check your check book. Once you know where you are at with your vision of balance, look at your check book and credit card statements. Where you spend your money tells if what you say you value is what your really value. Put your money where your mouth is and spend money on personal de-stressors, relationship builders, and other things that are important to your balance and
- Check your calendar. Where are you spending your time? Note the amount of time you spend at work and in other areas of your life and see how it stacks up. Where and how you spend your time - just like your money - tells you a lot about what you really do to balance your life.
The definition of balance and the ways it is achieved are very individual but one thing is universal - our balance is our responsibility.
Copyright ©2010 Erika Oliver