Work life balance is a topic I’ve touched on in this life coach blog before, but today I’d like to talk about it in detail. Balance is such an important part of our lives. To ever be able to reach your fullest potential, you need to create a balance in your life that leaves time for growth in all areas of your life.
To start with, here’s a video I’ve recorded all about it!
My work life balance has been a major struggle for years. Finding balance in life has long been something that I’ve chased after, and I soon came to learn from talking to my clients and friends that it’s a pretty common problem!
It’s a no-brainer that everybody has 24 hours in a day. However, in today’s busy society, we have more work, obligations, tasks, and distracting nonsense to cram into those hours than ever before.
For me, it all began with a brand new baby and a brand new business. My ex-husband and I used to call the business the “high-needs child”. That’s the issue with businesses, they seem to have a high level of needs just like a young child would.
The goal is to help the child or the business grow, so they can be more independent without the constant input of the parent or owner. Your own personal goal for every aspect of your life should be to have systems put into place – automated, or not.
…Keep reading to discover the 6 Strategies For Improved Work-Life Balance.
I remember how I once thought that men had it good. At the typical desk job, like the one my husband had, they’re able to focus on one task at a time – maybe even two – and get them done efficiently. Their hunter-gatherer instincts, when engaged, make them the perfect candidate for that.
All the while I needed to feed, diaper, clean, teach and nurture the kids. Not only that, but I also had to find the time to clean the house, cook, and nurture the business so that it could grow, too.
I didn’t realize it at first, but at the end of his work day, the man at his job still had to come home to his family. Mentally and emotionally tired from a busy day of mundane tasks, disagreeable clients, and talking with coworkers, he has to somehow muster up the strength to give of himself to his kids and his wife.
My husband did not. Many other men and women faced with a similar situation do not. Not because they’re bad people, but because it just feels too hard.
They don’t invest the time into balancing their lives, because that looks like more work to fit in – and they’d be correct. The problem is, they can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel that shines on what their life could be if they just built their lives more intentionally.
My work life balance was OUT OF BALANCE.
Fast-forward to today, and it’s still a struggle. The difference is, I’m a single mom juggling a business, homeschooling, my health and fitness; the house, and – of course – the children. The work life balance sometimes gets even worse when I want to have a personal life and work towards meeting me soul-mate.
I’m not alone, in fact I was discussing this with a client just yesterday. Her children are all grown up but there are still the struggles of finding balance in life between her home and work.
This goes to show that it doesn’t matter what gender or what age you are or if you have children or not, finding the magic work life balance is an on-going pursuit for everyone.
Why can’t we master the work life balance?
The answer is simple…
We can’t EVER master the work life balance because, life always changes. But we CAN learn strategies to help us IMPROVE our work life balance.
Just when I think I have a well-oiled machine humming along perfectly, my youngest wants to add another activity. Sound familiar. It just seems like it’s always something that changes to mess with our plans doesn’t it?
Sometimes I get a hair-brained idea that I want to stretch myself with my website niches and add another one. Making a living online works but only if you show up and do the work. Sure, there are the passive income aspects of the internet lifestyle that flow but an online entrepreneur needs to constantly educate and grow.
For your own work-life balance you can see better than anyone if you have a balanced life or not. Constantly striving to pursue a balance in life between work and family is crucial. We need to make time for those who matter in our life AND we must make a living, how ever we do it.
Would you like to get more out of your life? Would you like to improve your work life balance? It’s never too late to make a new choice or reverse a choice that you may have made that doesn’t work well with your goal of finding balance in life.
Now as I have said, I am a student. I have not mastered the work life balance and I don’t have a magic wand… Dang it! Wouldn’t that be awesome?! What I can offer you here are the techniques, tips and advice to help you improve that which isn’t working for you in your own life. A better balance between work, family and life commitments can be a reality!
Are you ready to learn some strategies to improve your life?
Let’s get to it…
Action Step 1: Identify your top three core values. I’ll give you an example; For myself my number one core value is family followed by, health, then fitness. In that order… Now your assignment is to grab your life journal or a piece of paper and write down what your core values are.
~In this way we will be able to pin-point our focus.
Action Step 2: Identify your priorities in your day. Let’s face it; cramming in everything that you want to do and need to do in one day is impossible, right? So write down your top five priorities.
~Now you can take your top three core values and inter-mingle them to your priorities.
Action Step 3: Create two calendars, one for your family and life commitments and one for work. For some people the work schedule is a no-brainer, it’s simply Monday through Friday 9-5. What you may want to add to it are your project deadlines. It really helps getting down on paper to help you stay organized. With the family and life calendar, adding all of the kids dentist appointments, school activities and days you want to take for yourself will be so helpful in being more organized. These calendars are full of your goals which help you block time out for ALL of your priorities.
~Just like any new system, it will take a bit of time to set it up but do it because this really helps. A LOT!
Action Step 4: Create a work-life balance constitution. This is your written commitment that states you will have boundaries and stay true to your core values. It keeps you accountable. Now that just about everyone has a smartphone, it’s easy, really easy to work around the clock. In this way, many people feel that they don’t have time to go to the gym or play ball with the kids. We actually do, instead we are making unconscious decisions to continue working day and night.
~”I commit to the work boundaries set and never cross them so that I can give myself 100% to my other areas of life!”
Action Step 5: Work and the problems or stresses that are associated with work often take a hold of us in the manifestation of physical pain, anxiety, or emotional outbursts. Which one do you gravitate towards when faced with stress?
Leave work at work! I know, I say it like it’s simple. Even though bad habits like bringing work home with us are tough to break, each of us MUST learn how to do it. When you’re home with your family, you need to be WITH your family, body and soul – not just in the same room as them.
You have the greatest power in the entire animal kingdom within you… Choice! Yes, you can simply choose to do it. Choose to be in whatever room and moment you move into, instead of the one you left at work. Choose to be wholly present.
If you work away from home, I recommend sitting quietly and closing your eyes for a moment as you step into your car to go back home. Take a breath. Breathe in this new moment, and exhale work.
Now put a vision of a lovely, happy, warm scene of “home” in your head. Feel it. Embrace the warmth, comfort and joy of home. Think about how you can greet your family with love and enthusiasm.
Next, say to yourself (preferably aloud), “I CHOOSE to leave all of my stress and worries of work behind me. I am no longer at work. I am here.” Now, it’s safe to drive home.
The stress of the traffic is another issue. You can choose to have a happy commute home. Has traffic nearly slowed to a standstill? Take advantage of this time and use it effectively.
You can plan ahead to have an audiobook ready for you to turn on, you can try some new music you’ve never heard before, you can play an audio for learning phrases of another language, or you could simply use the silence for meditation and visualization. This time spent sitting in solitude doesn’t sound so boring and stressful anymore!
~Walk through the door of your house refreshed and ready to experience the joys and love of “home”.
Action Step 6: Take it easy on yourself. Get some extra help in your life. There are times when life just gets a little too hectic. It’s critical that you understand and agree that you are not an island.
I remember the decades where my ex-husband didn’t lend a hand with the family life, and I was way in over my head. This is a common scenario that can easily occur to anyone, especially when you’re a single parent!
If you are fortunate to have the funds to get some extra help in the home or pay for a night away, then do it. If you have the family connections to help take your child to the park once in a while, do it.
However, if you do not have the resources such as these, you need to learn to let a few things go. Maybe you simply don’t vacuum for a few days… Let it go.
The house might get a little dusty, but you have bigger fish to fry. Anyone who judges you for willingly accepting your humanity and limits is too petty to be worth keeping, anyway. Most likely, they’re wishing that they could feel so free!
There is no shame in asking for help. There is shame, however, in working yourself into the grave and becoming a stressed out, anxious mess!
~Remove the superwomen or superman cape and get a sidekick help you out every now and then. Breathe. Take some yoga. Relax with meditation and locate the resources that help you create a balanced life.
Achieving the work life balance that creates flow in your life is obtainable but it IS a process. You CAN achieve a fulfilling, balanced life at home with your family and in your career or business. Never giving up on the journey of your own fearless pursuits takes commitment and passion for life.