With stress on the rise and burnout around the corner it’s not a surprise that supporting employees to find a “work life balance” is becoming an increasingly more popular topic in big business. Health and wellness is finding its way into the work place by establishing new cultures, offering new resources and simply saying it out loud. It’s absolutely necessary for businesses to start to acknowledge the physical and mental implications if employees are not provided an environment where they feel comfortable and confident to put themselves first.
However, is it all just words and no action?
We all know that the work doesn’t simply go away, and with pressure to run profitable businesses that means that cuts are made to the most expendable assets; the people. So, how can businesses expect to run profitably when the workload remains the same (or more) and the resource is less? All the while speaking of this work-life balance topic which should change the culture to protect the employees from unrealistic, high work load and give them the opportunity to enjoy the ONE life they are given.
The expectations don’t add up.
So, as employees we have to learn how to manage this our own way. Firstly, by putting a stop to the words “work-life balance”. It implies that there are only two main plates we have to spin in our lives, and that is simply not true.
We just have LIFE, and work is a small part of that.
- Write down a list of everything that you have to balance in your life. You can even bucket them into daily, weekly and monthly commitments. Think of something as small as do the laundry to your favourite yoga class. Everything that is taking your time counts here.
- Take a look at my tips below to see if there is something new you could do to build stronger balance in your life!
What works for me to keep myself in check?
Here are a few tips:
- I have ONE calendar for everything, and it’s my work calendar. I colour code it for appointments, social, sport, or for working on this blog & Instagram.
- I do my absolute best to stick to my calendar. If a work meeting comes in but I’ve already committed to a gym class or a friend, I say no. Same if a friend asks me to go for a coffee but I’ve committed to working on the blog, I say no.
- Then of course, learn to say no to people. Both professionally and personally. If we are talking professionally then ask critical questions, decide if this task is a priority for the business that will deliver into a bigger goal, or is it just a task for tasks sake. If we are talking personally, then ask yourself how you’re feeling and if you’re going to be able to fully show up for that person. If the answer is no, then say no.
- However, you CAN be flexible. Sometimes things come up last minute, but be smart about where you choose to invest your energy.
- Try to limit yourself to 3 commitments per day. For me that generally sits as sport, work, social or blog work. Any more than that and you’ll run out of juice pretty quickly.
- Regularly only make 2 commitments per day. Give yourself the evening to self-care, binge watch Netflix, read a book. Whatever fills you up without needing a commitment.
- Wherever there is the opportunity for someone else to fulfil one of your life needs, then take it. For example, hiring a cleaner even once per month will help to give you time to manage the other commitments.
My conclusion; work-life balance is a myth but life balance is fluid. It changes daily depending on what we balanced the day before, what plan to balance tomorrow, and anything else in between. There is also no one size fits all program here. Focus on fulfilling what you’re balancing in your own life, cut out the things that are no longer serving you, practice self-care and give yourself to the time for what’s important by saying “no” to other offers.
Learn to life balance.
Life is too fast to give half of it to work.