In today’s economy, most of us are working the equivalent of two or more peoples’ worth of work and working longer hours. With this increase, the 40 hour work week is almost non-existent. As one is so busy, how does one keep a work/ life balance?
First what is work/life-balance?
First used in the United States in 1986, this is a concept that includes proper prioritizing between “work” (career and ambition) and “lifestyle” (health, pleasure, leisure, family and spiritual development/meditation). One of the main reasons this is a hot topic today is due to technology. Whether its computers, emails, or cell phones, employees can pretty much be reached or can respond 24/7. Though this can be advantageous in climbing up the career ladder, it also is disadvantageous to having a life outside of work and meeting personal obligations. These pressures can lead to conflict with family, unhealthy stress, unhappiness, reduced productivity, and can eventually make us burn-out.
How does one achieve fulfillment?
Fulfillment will not come from trying to schedule an equal number of hours for work and personal activities. On a daily basis, priorities either at work, home, or in ones life’s will change. The key is to strike a balan
ce and create harmony. The question is how to do so? Tackle it the same way as a project at work. Set prioities, track time, concentrate on one thing at a time, build downtime in the schedule. Ask for support, say ‘no’ if needed, rethink, and combine the errands if needed. Remember that no one can do it alone. A strong network of support is essential whether this includes paid help, emotional support, or work support.
Jim Bird, founder of WorkLifeBalance.com says that two key concepts are achievement and enjoyment. Achievement and enjoyment are the front and back of the coin of value in life. You can’t have one without the other. Ensure that there is a meaningful achievement and enjoyment in each area of life: Work, Family, Friends and Self. As achievement and enjoyment is created at work, bring that same concept at home to ensure that as things get done, enjoyment is part of each task. The contemporary concept is to integrate work and life. A lot of younger folks are ditching their professional careers to making a living through their passion. When work is life, there is no need to find balance as it is one and the same.
So, how does one strike a balance?
Whether in work or life understand what the definition of success is for you, understand that life happens and be flexible, find your passion, achieve what is important to you, and most of all enjoy what you do.
Written by Rita Shah
Edited by Pranesh Rao