People are finding it harder than ever to achieve balance between family time, personal time and productivity, especially in today’s digital world where it’s even more difficult to ‘switch off’.
More than half of all employees today rate work-life balance as a key job selection criteria ; with a roughly equal percentage of men (56 per cent) and women (58 per cent) saying it was an essential pre-requisite for them.
When work overtakes life, stress levels increase, health deteriorates and it impacts relationships. Take a moment to consider these four points in order to help you achieve the coveted work life balance and enjoy your hard-earned free time.
Unfortunately there are simply some careers that are not attuned to work life balance. Inevitably, it is up to you to make the decision to change your career to something that better fits the work life balance you seek.
Ask yourself why you are working long hours in a job you hate? Is it to buy things you don’t need or to live in a house that’s too big? It’s not easy to acknowledge your reality, but if you can get through this step, you are well on your way to achieving balance.
Ultimately, it’s not your employer that controls your life; you are the only one that can take control and responsibility for the type of life you want to lead. Your idea of balance is likely to be very different to that of your employer. For example, an employer may provide onsite childcare services, this is a wonderful benefit, but guess what? It means you’re likely to work longer!
To achieve work life balance, be responsible for setting and enforcing the boundaries you want in life.
When you’re searching for balance it’s important to be realistic, you can’t do it all in one day but it’s not wise to wait until you retire or have a vacation either. Work life balance is about finding something in the middle.
Try little steps. One day you might decide to leave work on time and meet a friend for coffee, the next day you might attend a massage appointment, a couple of days later you might arrange to take your child to soccer training. The only way you can reap the benefits is to spread it out, don’t overwhelm yourself.
To have balance in your life you need to attend to the physical, emotional, spiritual and intellectual areas of life. But trying to address these areas shouldn’t bring disorder to your life. You don’t have to rush out and join the gym, start going to church or start a course at university, again, it’s about the small things.
Take a walk with your children, pick your child up from school if you’re not the one that normally does it, stop off at the park with your kids and have a run around, enjoy a dinner out with the family and have a good talk, read a book….it’s all the small things that address the physical, emotional, spiritual and intellectual aspects of balance and that help you approach balance in a balanced way.
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