Thoughts and such like.....
We're inundated with the myth that we should be striving for a work/life balance, I believe we've got it wrong, we should be striving for a balanced life. Forget whether it's work, family, personal or anything else, what we're looking for is to feel good about how we manage the different parts of our lives on a day to day or week by week basis.
By striving for a work life balance, we're never going to get it right - we need to look ask the question, what works for us? 'Progress not perfection' as Marie Forleo says. Some of us love what we do, it energies us and makes us feel good - we may want more or if we do more we feel guilty at not spending more time with those we love, for others there are times when we need to spend time on work, or with our family - the trick is to be okay with that - it's not about how much time we spend in either place it's the quality of time we spend there.
According to Health Canada, there are four categories associated with balancing the different aspects of our life:
It is great that organizations are looking at holistic ways in which to support their employees, however I believe it's also up to us as individuals to look at ways we can balance our life, whether spending too much time at work, thinking about work or working on personal challenges. So although I may complain that I've had to work late the last couple of weeks, I also need to look at where my head is when I'm at work, am I really focused or do I waste time, worrying about balancing my life - too, do my family/office think I'm spending too much time on the one or the other, or is it in my head? If they do feel I'm spending too much time sometimes, what if I engage them by explaining why I have to work late, and together look at ways in which they can support me today, so that I can free up my time sooner - even work on a reward for everyone when this intense time comes to an end.
If there is no end in sight, then being responsible must mean asking the question, is this the right place for me - now some people may say, 'I don't have a choice', however there is always a choice. Keep searching for something better, maybe a lateral move might be better, if the choice is between being constantly exhausted, mentally knocked down, or moving to a similar job where the culture is different - sometimes we need to make those hard choices in order to save our sanity, and that of our family.
When it is our family that is pulling at us, then the choice may again need to be made, to take unpaid leave; to make a difficult choice of leaving a job that doesn't allow you sufficient time to spend with your family for one that may pay less but that does allow you that time. Balance is always about choices and we are all different - remember that saying 'no-one on their deathbed is going to say they wished they'd spent more time at the office'. This is your only crack at this life - make the best choices you can!
Want help, contact me and set up a free discovery call. Remember only you are in charge of how you live this life, and that there is plenty of life left in you to live!
Maeve O'Byrne's Blog